The Dangers of Uninformed Belief

Russell Wilson’s pronouncements not only risk convincing his fans to waste money, but could cause some to delay necessary medical care, figuring those concussion symptoms will resolve with a gulp or two of miracle water.

Has Mammography Created an Epidemic of Pseudo-Survivorship?

Has overuse of mammography created a false epidemic of breast cancer “survivorship”?

The Harms of Believing in Exercise

Pretty obvious lesson here, but I will state it anyway. If you want to avoid becoming obese, eat well and exercise. Perhaps less obviously, try to convince yourself that exercise is not the key to fitting into that five-year-old pair of Levi’s.

Calling Obesity a Disease Dooms Dieters

The better we succeed in convincing people that obesity is a disease, the less motivated obese people will be to fight back against these social and physiologic forces.

Are Patients Harmed When Doctors Explain Things too Simply?

Sometimes fast-thinking is not so good. Which raises an interesting question for physicians trying to help patients navigate important medical decisions: Will they harm patients by explaining things so simply that patients make fast, erroneous choices?

The Lost Art of Not Ordering a CAT Scan

We can’t leave well-enough alone. What we know to be true – “this patient does not have an acute neurological problem” – isn’t fully true until we have imaged the heck out of patients and can see – fully and tangibly see – that their brains look just as normal as we knew them to be.

Q & A with R. Thaler on What It Really Means to Be a "Nudge"

Nudge is one of the most important and influential books on behavioral science and public policy I’ve ever read.

Study: When We Least Expect It, We Overeat

Sometimes being energized by your environment may be the worst thing for your waistline.

How Healthy Food Could Make You Fat

Say goodbye to the idea that what people weigh is solely a function of their deliberate choices!

Are Some Life-Saving Treatments Overkill?

We lose sight of the fact that sometimes the best medical intervention is not the most aggressive one.

Is it Irrational for Carmelo to Take So Many Three Pointers?

What happens when an NBA player misses a shot? How does such a failure influence the distance and timing of his next shot?

Will Cheap Genetic Tests Bankrupt Us?

The days of affordable genomic sequencing are rapidly approaching. But will such testing bankrupt us?

Side Effect Warnings Can Increase Pharmaceutical Sales

What is it that causes people to listen to the side effects of pharmaceutical products and still want to take the product?

Why Your Resistance Gets Low

Is it just weakness that causes us to overeat?

Is Greed the Key to Losing Weight?

A group incentive intervention to keep in mind when trying to promote socially and individually beneficial behaviors.

Define Emergency!

Fear of illness loses out over financial worries

Cancer Screenings and Natural Disasters: A Similar Debate

Can we claim to know the specific causes of individual tragedies?

Death With Dignity: Good Policy, Bad Name

There are many ways to die with dignity. Let's not propagate the mistake of equating dignity with suicide.

The Nitty Gritty of a Complicated Medical Decision

Should we consider only offering unproven medical interventions to patients willing to enter randomized clinical trials?

Is Behavioral Economics the Death of Living Wills?

What does behavioral economics teach us about the role of living wills in medical care?

A Smart Way to Use the Oncotype Prostate Cancer Test?

Will human psychology interfere with optimal use of the Oncotype test?

Why Do Patients Take Their Doctor's Advice?

Find out why people lean so heavily on physician advice. Is it the white coat?

Should Doctors Give Medical Advice to Strangers Over Email

What should doctors do when a stranger asks for medical advice over email?

Are Doctors Afraid to Talk Math with Their Patients?

Patient need information about their healthcare choices before they can become savvy consumers of healthcare. But too often, that information is nearly impossible to get.

Embracing People Who Do Well by Doing Good

I am fine with people doing well by doing good, are you?

Do Oncologists Lie to Their Patients About Their Prognoses

It's easy to give a medical colleague a 5% figure in the hallway, but at the bedside that's much harder.

The True Immoral Acts Behind the First "Test Tube Baby"

The true immorality behind the first IVF wasn't it being "unnatural" or posing risk to mothers and children, but lack of informed consent.

Deciding About Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

Given that the right choice often depends on patient preferences, it would be great to help patients understand enough of their math to involve them in making the choice. Pictographs can help them understand.

What Obese People Can Learn From Pigeons

Delaying gratification is an important life skill. As Walter Mischel showed in a series of groundbreaking studies, children who can delay gratification are more likely to go to college and less likely to end up in jail.

What Homer Simpson Can Teach Oncologists About Math

Cancer diagnoses can turn into math tests.