Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gawande on the structure of medicine

The New Yorker's website contains a commencement address by Atul Gawande, he of the two-counties-in-Texas fame. And yes, you'll still feel like a communist when you read what he writes. In a Mayo Clinic kind of way, mind you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A change in the VA's PTSD compensation rules

Last week the Times reported new VA rules governing eligibility for disability benefit based on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And a Room-for-Debate blog covered some discussion of the issues.

One of the challenges in understanding compensation programs for veterans is that data are harder to come by than they are for the entire civilian population. There's a vibrant literature on the effects of Social Security's Disability Insurance, by John Bound and others for example. But veteran subsamples in surveys tend to be small, and relatively few questions about VA compensation or utilization are asked.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cheating, technology, and behavior

Yesterday the Times reported on cheating practices, prevalence, and technology in the Internet age. On its second page, the article reviewed a recent NBER working paper on cheating, in which the authors conducted an experiment using a Blackboard-based tutorial on plagiarism as the intervention.

Their results revealed that plagiarism, as detected by the ubiquitous TurnItIn database, was more prevalent among students with lower SAT scores. The authors also found that the intervention worked to reduce plagiarism, implying that students may lack knowledge regarding academic integrity.

Update: a Times Room-for-Debate forum on this topic.

Update 2, another Times article.

Update 3, a post by Stanley Fish on (the lack of?) a cogent moral argument against plagiarism.

Update 4, Stanley Fish again on metaphysics.