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Improving Healthcare by Harnessing the Social Context

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Anyone who has been to the doctor recognizes that medical diagnoses and treatments are embedded in a social context. Patients are influenced not only by what tests are performed and what treatments are suggested, but how the doctor communicates the results of these tests makes recommendations, and engages with patients. How can we use the social context to improve healthcare?

Wealth Doesn’t Always Equal Health

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“Wealth equals health” has been a commonly accepted principle for decades. Beginning in 1967, the classic Whitehall studies revealed that higher-class British civil servants had lower risks of mortality from a wide range of diseases

Talk About Your Body!

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By Alex Danvers

Charlotte Markey only had one couple get in a fight as a result of her study—mildly surprising, given that she forced same-sex romantic partners to rate what they thought their partner’s ideal body shape was in front of each other.

Self-affirmation changes health behavior

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By Tracy Epton

People engage in many behaviors that are bad for their health such as smoking, not exercising, eating unhealthily or drinking too much alcohol. What is intriguing is that people continue pursuing an unhealthy lifestyle even when they are confronted by information that tells them that these choices are bad for them; they minimize the risks or even deny them altogether. Self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988) offers an explanation of why people do this.

Fantasizing About Your Dream Vacation Could Lead to Poor Decision-Making

Summer vacation time is upon us. If you have been saving up for your dream vacation for years, you may want to make sure your dream spot is still the best place to go.

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