The Psychology of Gun Ownership Revisited

Considerations of why people buy guns in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre

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How Our Healthcare System Fails Patients with Severe Mental Illness

Posted by Sara Gorman in Health, Public Health

This is a guest post written by Dr. Rachel L. Moster, M.D. Dr. Moster is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University.  Those of us who care for people with severe mental illness (SMI) are frequently reminded that adherence to prescribed medications is a major determinant of outcomes. Many studies have shown that… Continue reading

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Are We Guilty of ‘Pathologizing’ Science Denial?

Posted by Sara Gorman in Health, Psychology, Public Health, Science Denial

A recent article in The Guardian by Daniel Sarewitz touched on the concept of treating science denial like a “disease.” In Denying to the Grave, we argued that people who refuse to accept scientific evidence do not do so because of ignorance or pathology but rather because of deeply rooted psychological processes common to all… Continue reading

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Pharmacists’ Role in Fighting Science Denial

Posted by Sara Gorman in Concepts & Methods, Health, Psychology, Science Denial

If you’ve ever picked up a prescription or gotten a seasonal flu vaccine at your local pharmacy, you have no doubt come in contact with an increasingly important type of healthcare provider in the healthcare system: retail pharmacists. Retail pharmacists, many of whom work for large pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens, are increasingly… Continue reading

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What Can Neuroscience Tell Us about Racism?

Posted by Sara Gorman in neuroscience, Politics, Psychology

Have you ever seen a headline claiming that neuroscience can now explain some large, complex phenomenon such as ethics, free will, creativity, or genius? If you have, you’re certainly not alone. As Gary Stix commented in an excellent piece for Scientific American, “The steady flow of new studies that purport to reduce human nature to a… Continue reading

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How Doctors Think When They Make the Wrong Diagnosis

Posted by Sara Gorman in Health, neuroscience, Public Health

Making the right diagnosis is the heart and soul of medicine. Making the wrong diagnosis can have disastrous consequences. In medical school, we were told to approach diagnosis by starting with the “differential diagnosis,” a consideration of all the possibilities. Then, we would use data from the patient’s history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging… Continue reading

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When Evidence Goes Unheeded

Posted by Sara Gorman in Health, Psychology, Public Health

Recently we had a chance to sit down with Critica advisor and international development and global health expert, Olumide Elegbe. Elegbe is a senior strategic advisor, technical specialist and thought leader for health and international development organizations. We discussed a wide array of topics with a special focus on why we sometimes fail to adapt our… Continue reading

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What should we do about irrational politicians?

Posted by Sara Gorman in Health, Politics, Psychology

We probably don’t need to convince you that this idea of irrationality is quite topical right now. Tragic events in Charlottesville this past week have unveiled a well of hate lodged deep in large parts of American culture. They also helped reveal the extent of Donald Trump’s bigotry and hatred, which has been unsettling and disturbing,… Continue reading

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How dismissal of evidence-based healthcare practices hurts doctors and patients

Posted by Sara Gorman in Health, Public Health

Dr. Lauren K. Gorman, M.D. is a psychiatrist in New York City, where she has seen patients in private practice for over 35 years.  She is on the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Recently, a patient I had been treating for some time changed employers and therefore health insurance companies. The patient… Continue reading

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Social Influence in the Fight Against Science Denial

Posted by Sara Gorman in Concepts & Methods, Health, Psychology, Public Health

Take a moment and determine whether you agree with the following statements: Childhood vaccines are safe and effective and do not cause autism. Guns are unsafe to have in the home. Climate change is real and is caused by human behavior. Now take a moment and try to determine whether the vast majority of your… Continue reading

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