I am guilty. Growing up, my parents had a hard and fast rule – you can’t swim for an hour after eating. This rule was likewise dutifully enforced by my grandparents. I remember many times abandoning a partially built sand castle to ask my grandfather if an hour had passed. As he took his watch out of the beach bag, I waited in anticipation of his answer. More often than not, an hour had not yet passed. But eventually, there would come a time that there would be a wide smile as he looked at the watch and I knew the waiting was over. With his hand in mine, we would head to the water.
I am guilty. As an adult I stayed true to the rule of not swimming until at least an hour after eating. This was not terribly inconvenient as most of my swims at the gym were either first thing in the morning or on the way home from work. I later passed the one hour rule on to my son and vigilantly enforced it. When other parents would tell me that there was no reason to wait an hour, I flatly rejected the view. There was no way my grandparents and parents could be wrong.
I am guilty of what professionals who study human behavior call belief perseverance, a type of cognitive bias. Belief perseverance is the tendency to maintain a belief even after receiving contradictory information. A related concept, confirmation bias, is the inclination to seek only information that supports our previous belief and reject information that is contrary to these. So, is it true than that you can’t teach an old dog or human new tricks? The simple answer is you can, but it will not be easy!
This Weekend Reading Series begins with News Splash, with some of the latest healthcare news on costs, diabetes, long COVID-19, scams, and more. Next, check out Making Waves exploring an innovative approach to address medical debt and troubling reports on drug use, organ transplants and doctor behavior. Do not miss Against the Tide with articles on decision making and other topics that may challenge your current beliefs. Last, but not least, check out It’s In the Water and my personal favorite Do Dogs Really Cry Tears of Joy When Reunited With Their Owners? And yes, the dog in the article looks like my beloved Watson!
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. News Splash
- Health prices rising much faster in the private sector than Medicare (Axios)
- New data shows long Covid is keeping as many as 4 million people out of work (Brookings)
- Significant boost in rates of type 2 diabetes among children duringCOVID-19 pandemic (Science Daily)
- Flawed calculation fuels falsehood on Pfizer vaccine and pregnancies (Associated Press)
- Free COVID test scam targets people on Medicare (FTC)
2. Making Waves
- Transplant agency is criticized for donor organs arriving late, damaged or diseased (NPR)
- Young adults are using marijuana and hallucinogens at the highest rates on record (NPR)
- After Wiping Out $6.7 Billion in Medical Debt, This Nonprofit Is Just Getting Started (Kaiser Health News)
- Physicians’ Bad Behavior Seen at Work, Online by Colleagues: Survey (Medscape)
3. Against the Tide
- The Cognitive Shortcut That Clouds Decision-Making (MIT Sloan Management Review)
- What Are the Real Warning Signs of a Mass Shooting? While some mass shootings are committed by people with diagnosed mental illnesses, a life crisis is a better predictor of violence, researchers say. (The New York Times)
- Locked-in Syndrome and the Misplaced Presumption of Misery. Despite near total paralysis, surveys suggest most LIS patients are happy. Researchers want that more widely understood. (Undark)
- Opinion: What if the focus on calories and energy balance is simply wrong? (Washington Post)
4. It’s in the Water
- Do Dogs Really Cry Tears of Joy When Reunited With Their Owners? (Smithsonian Magazine)
- The Stealth Swimmers Whose WWII Scouting Laid the Groundwork for the Navy SEALs (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Titanic Survivors – Interview with Frank Prentice
- A Taxonomy of Carbonated Waters (Slate)
Enjoy the weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]