Do Touchscreens Change How We Vote? Sounding Smart, plus more weekly links


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

  • They can make you eat more bacon, but will touchscreens change how Americans vote? Shlomo Benartzi reviews the research this week. (Daily Beast)
  • When it comes to communicating your intellect and ideas, research suggests you drop the pen and use your voice. In a study of the “sound of intellect,” researchers found that MBA students were considered smarter and more likely to get hired when their job pitches were heard, rather than read. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Science is often flawed because the humans that do it are, well, human—computers haven’t necessarily helped, either. Regina Nuzzo writes in Nature about the cognitive biases that shape science and what researchers can do to overcome their worst tendencies. (Nature)
  • Are creative geniuses destined to be miserable loners? We’re not sure, but researchers tracked over a hundred creative professionals and found their work was incredibly draining. On busy days, creatives tended to spend less time of lesser quality with their spouses. No wonder burnout is so high. Researchers think something called “idea validation” could help. (Boston Globe)
  • There are 10 times more mentally ill people in jails and prisons than receiving care in state mental health facilities. To break a “vicious cycle of arrest, detention, release and re-arrest,” peer recovery specialists are working to reinforce rehabilitation within the justice system. Additionally, new programs and initiatives, such as the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, offer innovative approaches to reducing incarceration while ensuring public safety. (Washington Post)
  • “If my family writes in my obituary that I died after a hard fought battle against cancer, I will come back from the dead to haunt them until the end of time,” New Jersey resident Mike Burns told On The Media this week. Journalists love using war metaphors to describe cancer treatment, but as social psychologist David Hauser is finding in his research, framing cancer as an enemy may distort the way we think about prevention. (On The Media)
  • Are athletes contributing to the obesity epidemic? Junk food companies are paying professional athletes nearly double their salary to win over the food choices of their young fans. (Pacific Standard)
  • A city in the U.K. is introducing a voluntary “sugar tax” to nudge its residents away from soft drinks. “Voluntary” means businesses can choose to impose a small surcharge on sodas with the proceeds going to a children’s health education trust. Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver is on board, but many local business still aren’t sure what’s going on. (Guardian)


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