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Author Archive: Peter Ubel

About Peter Ubel

09/26/2014

More on Relativity and Happiness

Recently, I wrote about relative wealth and happiness. A new NBER paper, by Stevenson and Wolfers, seems to belie this view. It shows a sharp increase in happiness with increasing income: But these data are consistent with the idea that … Continue reading

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09/25/2014

Behavioral Economics and the Relativity Theory of Happiness

According to many traditional economic theories of human nature, higher income should make people happier. That’s because with every additional dollar we make, we can purchase goods that increase our “utility.” Or we can save more money, and reduce anxiety … Continue reading

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09/24/2014

Why We Cannot Trust Political Pundits, or Ourselves

Take a look at the image below and decide what you are seeing: Some of you might have seen a “B.” Others might have seen the number 13. The image, after all, is ambiguous. For that reason, in fact, it … Continue reading

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09/22/2014

Tobacco is Taking Over the World!

We’ve done a lot of things in the United States over the last few decades to curb tobacco consumption. We’ve warned people cigarettes will kill them, created persuasive ad campaigns to scare people away from cigarettes, and added a hefty … Continue reading

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09/19/2014

Heart-Wrenching Words from Beethoven on Deafness

It is an awful irony that Ludwig van Beethoven, who I consider the greatest composer in the history of the world, experienced deafness from an early age, a disability that did not seem to interfere with his musical productivity one … Continue reading

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09/18/2014

Designing a Better Restaurant Menu

My friend and colleague Brian Wansink, from Cornell University, worked with some colleagues to design a preliminary restaurant menu, that maximizes the odds the people will order healthy foods. Trick number one: don’t call them “healthy” foods. Here is an … Continue reading

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09/17/2014

What’s Really Scary about Obamacare

This cartoon made the rounds of twitter a few weeks ago, and was first brought to my attention by Timothy McBride (@mcbridetd). But it is such an entertaining cartoon, I thought I would circulate it again: For all its flaws, … Continue reading

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , , . Posted by Peter Ubel. Bookmark the permalink.

09/16/2014

When It Comes to Sex, We Are All Animals

It doesn’t pay for animals to miss out on reproductive opportunities. That’s why when a female baboon is at the peak of her fertility cycle, her buttocks get red and swollen, thereby alerting males to their reproductive opportunity. Cattle, too, … Continue reading

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , . Posted by Peter Ubel. Bookmark the permalink.

09/12/2014

Healthcare Versus Other Social Spending

Here is another great picture from the people at Vox. It shows the United States in the middle of OECD countries, when it comes to spending on social services, like healthcare, unemployment, and the like. Despite being in the middle, … Continue reading

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , , . Posted by Peter Ubel. Bookmark the permalink.

09/11/2014

Clever Graphic to Stop Public Urination – Yes, Urination

Let’s face it – us men are disgusting. So public policy experts are left to figure out how to keep us from behaving in our normally disgusting manner. Here’s one approach (thanks to Geoff Riley for bringing it to my … Continue reading

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , . Posted by Peter Ubel. Bookmark the permalink.