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The Science of Giving: Using Behavioral Research to Understand and Expand Charitable Donations

This blogpost discusses the results presented and questions raised at this year’s Science of Philanthropy Innovations (SPI) Conference at the University of Chicago.

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The Long-Term Benefits of Quality Early Childcare for Disadvantaged Mothers and their Children

This post discusses research on the life-cycle consequences of comprehensive early childcare programs.

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What are the Effects of Recipient Contribution Requirements on Public Support for Social Programs?

This post discusses whether beneficiary contributions affect public support for social protection and charitable initiatives.

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Immigration and the Health of Black Children

Black children with foreign-born mothers are significantly healthier than those with U.S.-born mothers. New evidence suggests mothers’ time in the U.S. reduces this health advantage.

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Trends in the Prevalence of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia among Older Latino Adults.

Given the demographic changes occurring in the US, understanding the health problems that are affecting older Latinos is of increasing importance. (more…)

Understanding human health-related behavior in real time

This post discusses using transdisciplinary alliances to create innovative modes of data collection and new, dynamic computational models health-related behavior in real time.

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Let’s Redefine Statistical Significance

Researchers representing a wide range of disciplines and statistical perspectives—72 of us in total—propose to redefine statistical significance. For claims of discoveries of novel effects, we advocate a change in the P-value threshold for a “statistically significant” result from 0.05 to 0.005. Results currently called “significant” that do not meet the new threshold would be called suggestive and treated as ambiguous as to whether there is an effect.

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The Tension Between Traditional and Western Medicine

The tension between traditional and Western medical approaches may have large implications for global health. An evaluation of a hygiene information campaign in rural Pakistan shows that while people with weak traditional medical beliefs responded strongly to the program, people with strong beliefs did not. 

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Rerandomization: What is it and why should you use it for random assignment?

In this post, we explain the rerandomization procedure and provide an example to illustrate its benefits.  This topic will be of interest primarily to those involved with RCTs, and those interested in a relatively new, advantageous, and intuitive method for randomizing units into treatment groups.

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CESR Conference on Polygenic Prediction and its Application in the Social Sciences

The Center for Economic and Social Research at USC hosted the largest conference ever convened on the use of genetic data in the social sciences. More than 90 researchers from a wide range of disciplines discussed how polygenic scores (measures constructed from genetic variants across the genome) help predict behavioral traits.

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