Posts Tagged ‘public sentiment’

Are We Set to Emerge from a Dark Age in 2022?

January 2, 2022 — Perhaps this is a familiar pattern – a mixture of good news and bad news. The bad news is likely not really news. Many people are comparing our difficult circumstances of this past year to the so-called dark ages. But the good news is that it isn’t hard to see signs we are set to […]

Following the Science into 2022

December 29, 2021 — Following the science is a catchphrase in wide circulation throughout this past year with good reason. Scientists have been warning us about a number of threats to humanity and, at times, we seem to have dismissed those threats. Of course, COVID-19 and climate change are two very prominent examples that come to mind. But many […]

Inspiring Hope Without Lying to Ourselves and Others

December 19, 2021 — Our roller coaster ride is not over. Not by a long shot. Back in July, optimism about putting the COVID pandemic behind us was high. A record number of people told Gallup they felt they were thriving. The swing from a 12-year low was remarkable. But now it seems a more truthful assessment is that […]

Public Policy Based on Anger and Fear

August 8, 2021 — Anger is circulating freely these days. It’s nothing new. But harnessing anger and its close cousin – fear – is a skill social media algorithms seem to have mastered. Thus, politicians see an opportunity and anger grows. Punitive public policy scores points with constituents stoked by anger and fear. It seldom solves problems, though. In […]

Science, Sentiment, and 38,368 Guideline Comments

June 18, 2021 — What happens when a careful consideration of science collides with strong sentiment in 38,368 dietary guideline comments? The short answer is public policy. Without a doubt, it’s messy. Simply wading through all those comments is a huge task. A new paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tries to make sense of them, using […]

The Vital Link Between Trust, Science, and Healing

January 19, 2021 — It’s hard to miss that we’re having a crisis of trust. That’s because it’s playing out very loudly in American politics. You might have heard about the riot in Washington, DC – a horrid spectacle fueled by mistrust. But the crisis of trust reaches much further than politics. In fact, trust is essential for science […]

How Are We Feeling About Ambiguity, Facts, and Obesity?

November 4, 2020 — Many of us are struggling to hold onto a quaint belief in facts. But we’re also learning to deal with ambiguity. Simply because we don’t have all the facts. So we all, to varying degrees, rely on feelings to guide us. Welcome to the world of obesity, where we cope with an imperfect knowledge of […]

How’s Our Pursuit of Happiness Coming Along?

September 19, 2020 — It’s hard to doubt that we’re living in challenging times. If you need evidence, take a look at data on happiness. Since 1972, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago has been tracking the happiness of Americans. This year, in the midst of a pandemic, we’ve hit an all-time low. In […]

Feasting on Outrage, Skimping on Sleep

September 15, 2020 — Outrage is a hot commodity these days. Cable news networks are serving up all we can take. Social media amplifies it. Advertisers reward it. And all over the world, it seems that people can’t get enough. The old advertising maxim was that sex sells. But now, outrage is giving sex a run for its money. […]

How Are We Feeling About Obesity?

September 11, 2020 — The Obesity Action Coalition is in the midst of a big project to reduce weight bias and stigma. It’s a tough subject that brings strong emotions into play. So research to mark our starting point has to measure how we’re feeling about obesity. And it turns out that the words people use can tell us […]