Director’s Blog In a wonderful new paper in Science , Jordi Quoidbach, Dan Gilbert, and Tim Wilson describe the “end of history illusion.” 1 This is not about the Mayan calendar or a Y2K syndrome. These scientists studied 19,000 people across six studies to answer a simple question: why do people so often make decisions that their future selves regret? Their results show that people consistently report that they have changed substantially in the past decade and just as consistently predict that they will not change nearly as much in the next decade
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Director’s Blog Let’s start with some good news. Over the past few decades in the United States, we have seen dramatic reductions in mortality due to coronary artery disease (an over 60 percent reduction, with 1.1 millions deaths averted each year), AIDS (a 40 percent reduction, with over 30,000 deaths averted each year), and stroke (a 30 percent reduction, with over 20,000 deaths averted each year). Indeed, last month AIDS was declared a chronic disease, recognizing that a young person who becomes infected with HIV will likely survive for decades and die of other causes
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Director’s Blog In 2007, Caryn James wrote in The New York Times that “autism has become to disorders what Africa is to social issues.” 1 This statement was intended to emphasize the emerging public recognition of autism during the preceding decade. But it was also a prescient comparison, for in the years since 2007, autism and Africa have become highly contentious topics with emerging movements that have polarized those involved and confused the broader public.
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