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  1. #1 What a concept!!! 
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    I came to Texas as soon as I could
    New tactics for making policy based on science

    If you want to deter crime, it seems that you'd want to lengthen prison sentences so that criminals would face steeper costs for breaking the law. In fact, a mountain of research shows that increases in prison terms have done nothing to deter crime. Criminals, like the rest of us, aren't much influenced by things they might have to experience far in the future.

    If a police officer witnesses the death of his partner, it seems that you'd want to quickly send in a grief counselor. In fact, this sort of immediate counseling freezes and fortifies memories of the trauma, making the aftershocks more damaging.

    If you want to get people to vote more, it seems you'd want to tell them what a problem low turnout is. In fact, if you want people to vote, tell them everybody else is already voting and they should join the club. Voting is mostly about social membership and personal expression.

    These are three examples of policies and practices that are based on bad psychology. The list of examples could go on and fill this page. That's because we spend trillions of dollars putting policies and practices into place, but most of these efforts are based on the crudest possible psychological guesswork.
    It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
    It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
    A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes. Gandhi
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  2. #2  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Warren, MI
    I always wondered about the wisdom of having "grief counselors" on site after every tragedy that hits a school, these days. I don't just mean the shootings-kids die in a car crash, there are grief counselors at the school the next day. I wonder if it contributes more to the children's pain than it takes away from it.

    When a kid at my school died, we usually did something to pay tribute to the kid. A kid at my middle school died of cancer, the art kids painted a mural in the gym in his memory. A kid died after getting hit by a car on the main street, and the baseball league named one of their fields after him.

    Suicides were gossiped about and occasionally addressed by teachers, but usually ignored by most of the adults. Except, of course, my mother, who usually had words of judgment regarding the parents of the unfortunate child.
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