White House Sets Smart Default to Reduce Child Hunger, plus more weekly links


A selection of recent behavioral science news, articles, and resources of note:

  • The White House announced changes to the process by which children are enrolled in the nation’s free and reduced price lunch program. Now, instead of a costly and tedious form, states will be able to automatically enroll children using Medicaid data. The hope is that by setting the default to enrolled more children will gain access to the meals for which they are eligible. (White House, Washington Post)


Photo: US Department of Agriculture

  • What good is a degree in psychology? Inside Higher Ed reports that Florida Governor Rick Scott may be taking aim at one of the most popular majors in the state’s university system. Governor Scott’s concern seems to be the extent to which a major in psychology leads to career opportunities launching a debate about the value of psychology and the purpose of a liberal arts education. (Inside Higher Ed)
  • A team of scientists, from Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Broad Institute, identified a gene that may be responsible for accelerated synaptic pruning—the removal of weak and unnecessary connections as the brain matures—a leading theory of the cause of schizophrenia. The findings, which were published in this week’s Nature, have many who study the disease cautiously optimistic about discovering a potential treatment. (New York Times, Nature)
  • The United Nations’ 9th annual Psychology Day will be April 28th in New York City. The event will focus on “Using Psychology to Address the Global Migration Crisis.” (United Nations)


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