Mental Health & Society

The Brookings Institute recently released a study on what it terms the "Privacy Paradox," in that officials believe that our concerns about privacy are not monolithic, but contextual. Privacy involves withholding information from others to protect a social image, either for a person or the community he/she inhabits. 
Self-righteousness, gratitude, sympathy, sincerity, and guilt – what if these social behaviours are biologically influenced, encoded within our genes and shaped by the forces of evolution to promote the survival of the human species? Does free will truly exist if our genes are inherited and our environment is a series of events set in motion before we are born?
Dogs are versatile — they may be herders, guard dogs, guide dogs and even therapy dogs. But not all dogs are suitable for every task. One can test them, to be sure, but there may be another way to determine at least some of their personality characteristics — has a dog's muzzle become prematurely gray? If so, he or she may not be suitable for activities that require a calm outlook on life.
Even with the hot-button topic of abortion, there's one thing that nearly everyone can agree upon: having as few abortions as possible. And recent data from the Centers for Disease and Control states that the abortion rate in America has fallen by roughly one fifth from 2004 to 2013.
Research shows that when a teacher is being bullied, the bully is often the head teacher.
In the study of human behavior, individuals gravitate towards familiar things. That idea also extends to the realm of facial recognition. A new study indicates that those who observe and come into contact with a wider range of different faces are more prone to instantly accept an unknown person based solely by their facial features.
Anyone remotely familiar with the scientific method understands that just like a ruler or a telescope, statistics is a tool. Scientists use the tool primarily for one purpose: To answer the question, "Is my data meaningful?" Properly used, statistics is one of science's most powerful tools. But used improperly, statistics can be highly misleading.
Nate Silver, statistician and election forecaster, told ABC News that election forecasts that gave Hillary Clinton a 99% of chance of winning didn't "pass a common sense test." That is certainly true. What he left unsaid -- possibly because it wouldn't be good for his career -- is that all election forecasts that provide a "chance of winning" don't pass the science test.
Ideology is a double-edged sword. Dedication to a set of beliefs can be admirable, but when it leads to inflexibility and obstinance in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it is a dangerous thing. Such ideological rigidity -- often found among the adherents of various philosophical, religious, and political doctrines -- can lead to the rejection of evidence-based inquiry, which serves as the bedrock of modern science.
What is a scientific poll? First, it is a misnomer. There is nothing scientific about a poll. Second, it is conducted using sound statistical techniques. What's more, savvy politicos know that not just any poll will do.
A November 2015 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ranked the top 10 large cities and top 10 small cities by their homeless populations. These counts were conducted on a single night in January. Topping these lists were ... 
Gallup's recent poll on race relations asked a loaded question and lacked a control group. This is a recipe for very bad social science.