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Using Data from Natural Experiments, Researcher Documents Social Returns from Educational Investments

Emily Rauscher, PhD

Want to narrow the achievement gap? Try investing in education. Build a new school or a new wing. Or make other capital improvements, like fixing the HVAC.

It will take about six years, explains Emily Rauscher, an associate professor of sociology at Brown University; but in that time, school districts that passed bond measures for capital improvements by and large saw a roughly one-third reduction in the achievement gap between students from well-to-do backgrounds

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Driving Decisions Towards Truthfulness and Conscience

November 12, 2020

David Rand, PhD

If someone knocked on your door and tried to sell you solar panels, how likely might you be to buy them?

What if you learned the sales representative had those very same panels installed on his own house?

David Rand, associate professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, studies why people make choices, particularly those that benefit the greater good. Rand is a recipient of a 2020 Federation of Associations in

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Making Sense of Drug Addiction

June 3, 2014

We all know we’re supposed to make choices that are good for our long-term health, although that’s not easy when we’re faced with things that bring us pleasure right now. But for some people, the short-term benefits often win out over the long-term ones. That can help explain why some people get addicted to drug use and other risky behaviors – and why it’s so hard to get them to stop, according to Matthew Johnson, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at

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How Falsehoods Start to Sound Like Facts

July 30, 2020

You need a microscope to view the stars.

You need a microscope to view the stars.

Believe me yet?  Vanderbilt University psychologist Lisa K. Fazio says hearing a statement — even “extreme falsehoods that you definitely should know are false” — more than once increases the likelihood people will believe it.

“Even statements Americans as a whole tend to know are false; it didn’t matter,” said Fazio, director of Vanderbilt’s Building Knowledge Lab.

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