Analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency often rely on psychological techniques to predict the behavior and decisions of world leaders, and of populations around the world. Experts, including an active CIA analyst, describe how they do it, and how other nations use these techniques as well.
Are Lefties Really Different?
Handedness is a central part of a person’s identity. Left-handers are often seen as somehow different than the rest of us, and over history they’ve been stereotyped as more quirky, intelligent, and sinister than righties. Science shows that some labels are likely to be true. Experts discuss where handedness comes from, and what differences truly result.
Errors in medical labs can have life-threatening consequences. An expert explains that human error is impossible to completely eliminate, so labs are increasingly turning to DNA tracking to catch mistakes when they occur.
Dr. John Pfeifer, Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.
Medical errors are the third largest cause of death in the US, and mistakes in making diagnoses are the most frequent form of error. A noted expert discusses why mistakes happen, and what doctors and patients can do to make them less frequent.
Dr. David Newman-Toker, Professor of Neurology, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director, Center for Diagnostic Excellence
Do you consider yourself a multitasker? Are you reading this while you watch the news? Although you might think you are good at multitasking, research shows around 97.5% of the population is actually bad at doing two things at once.
University of Utah Professor Dr. David Strayer says that while everyone thinks they are good at multitasking, it actually blinds us to what we’re doing. For example, if you drive while talking on the phone, you might not remember the full conversation because you needed to focus on the road. Multitasking places demands on certain areas of the brain, and most of the time the brain cannot accept two demands at once. Researchers also found those who frequently multitask tend to be more impulsive and sensation-seeking.
Researchers call people who can actually multitask “supertaskers.” Supertaskers’ brains allow them to efficiently carry out two activities at once, and they develop this talent at birth.
Dr. David Strayer, Professor of Cognition Neurosciences, University of Utah
Dr. Jason Watson, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Utah
Approximately 14% of Americans live in a rural area and require access to local hospitals, but many rural hospitals struggle to keep their doors open, citing such financial pressures as the upkeep of equipment and technology.
Dr. Carrie Henning-Smith, a Research Associate at the University of Minnesota, says rural hospitals rely on government funding from programs like Medicare and Medicaid, however neither program cannot fully support the upkeep of buildings and the care of the patients. Although Medicare and Medicaid provide funding, 40% of rural hospitals still operate with a large loss.
Michael Topchik, Director of the Chartis Center for Rural Health, projects that if the current administration cuts Medicaid funding, 15 million recipients will lose health benefits. In addition, Medicaid cuts will drastically affect rural hospitals. Eighty rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and many more could be at risk in the years to come. Closing these rural hospitals would lead to a loss of 35,000 jobs and a $4 billion drag on domestic product. In addition, the residents of rural areas would have to travel long distances to get access to basic health care when they might need it most.
Dr. Carrie Henning-Smith, Research Associate, University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Michael Topchik, Director, Chartis Center for Rural Health
Dr. Daniel Derksen, Director, University of Arizona Center for Rural Health