News & Views - June, 2001 Issue (page
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SOURCE OF IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR FOUND?
(May 24, 2001) Reuters reported a study published in the journal, Science, identifying a “hot spot” on the brain
which “may be the key to impulsive behavior involved in the critical choice between instant gratification and delayed reward.”
Researchers stated this has important implications regarding drug addiction, ADHD, and anti-social behavior, “all of which are linked
to the impulse for instant gratification.”
PLACEBOS LESS EFFECTIVE?
(May 23, 2001) Placebos, viewed as occasionally effective “on their own thanks to the power of the mind,” are overrated,
according to a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, reported by Reuters. An analysis of 114 medical studies
published over a 53-year period concluded, “placebos are no more effective than no treatment at all.” The only exception was
in relieving pain; their effectiveness perhaps because pain is so subjective.
MORE TEST SCORE ERRORS
(May 25, 2001) The New York Times reported testing errors have
affected public school students in more than 20 states in the last three years;” also reporting a second problem for the Graduate
Management Admission Test, administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which also administers the familiar SAT and various
graduate school admissions exams.
PROGRAM REDUCES TEEN PREGNANCY
(May 30, 2001) The New York Times reports 1/3 fewer pregnancies
and births than the control group in a three-year program created by Dr. Michael Carrera at the Children’s Aid Society. The program
offers tutoring, SAT preparation, job skills, medical and dental care, sports and creative arts in addition to traditional sex education.
Doug Kirby, author of a research report on teenage-pregnancy programs newly released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy,
a nonprofit, nonpartisan group in Washington, states “sex and H.I.V. education do not hasten sexual activity and education about abstinence
and contraception are compatible, and not in conflict with each other.” He also said several studies indicate “service learning” programs
that include voluntary community service projects can reduce teenage pregnancy.