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Michael T Sanders

Michael T Sanders

Articles

  • May 12, 2021

    Book Review: How to Change – Katy Milkman

    I’ll begin this review with a disclosure. Katherine (Katy) Milkman, the Wharton Professor, Co-Director (with Angela Duckworth) of the Behavior Change for Good Programme, and author of the book I’m about to review, is my hero. I read her papers with enthusiasm, subscribe to her podcast, Choiceology, and when recording my own (abortive) behavioral science…
  • March 25, 2021

    Competition could be key to a successful health kick

    This piece is part of a series in which Michael Sanders describes the findings of papers that have been languishing without being released, as he publishes them over the next several months. “You don’t have to run faster than the bear to get away. You just have to run faster than the guy next to…
  • March 3, 2021

    Does the choice matter in increasing our donations?

    This piece is part of a series in which Michael Sanders describes the findings of papers that have been languishing without being released, as he publishes them over the next several months. Fundraising is a hard and often thankless task – often vilified by people who think fundraisers are too aggressive, or that the money…
  • February 17, 2021

    When do we try to work with others, and when do we go it alone?

    This piece is part of a series in which Michael Sanders describes the findings of papers that have been languishing without being released, as he publishes them over the next several months. Frodo: I will take it! [All continue to argue] I will take it! [All fall silent] I will take the Ring to Mordor.…
  • February 3, 2021

    Being hungry makes for bad grades

    There are very substantial gaps between the attainment of the most and least affluent students, across the developed world. It was for this reason that the Education Endowment Foundation was established in 2011 with a mission to use evidence to reduce the attainment gap. In the interim, they have begun more than 200 randomised controlled…
  • January 25, 2021

    Beware the lure of big effects

    A few weeks ago, XKCD, a “webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language”, posted a comic showing infection rates over time for a vaccinated cohort compared to a control group. The graph (which is hand-drawn, as is the comic’s style), serves to highlight the message that the vaccines that have been developed so far to…
  • January 18, 2021

    Minimum wages are a great success story for evidence – we cannot stop now

    Ahead of his inauguration on Wednesday, President-Elect Joe Biden has announced his intention to create a $15 minimum wage across America – a substantial move to support the working poor of America. What does a minimum wage do? The answer, of course, is many things. It’s a big intervention into a complex system. Let’s think…
  • December 22, 2020

    Book Review: Time Smart – by Ashley Whillans

    If you ever feel like you’ve not got enough time, that you struggle to prioritise, and that the things you think of as “important but not urgent” never get done, the good news is that you’re not alone – this feeling of time poverty is endemic, and many of us suffer from it.  The field…
  • December 16, 2020

    When doing good makes us do bad

    This piece is part of a series in which Michael Sanders describes the findings of papers that have been languishing without being released, as he publishes them over the next several months. Have you have eaten a large dessert at a restaurant, as a reward for having been virtuous and foregone a starter? Have you…
  • December 2, 2020

    Is a picture worth 1,000 words?

    This piece is part of a series in which Michael Sanders describes the findings of papers that have been languishing without being released, as he publishes them over the next several months. In some ways, 2020 is the least bad year in history so far for us to experience a global pandemic. As well as…
  • November 18, 2020

    Book Review: How to Make the World Add Up – Tim Harford

    Tim Harford is one of Britain’s best social scientific communicators. For almost two decades, his books have put into simple terms complex phenomena, and brought otherwise esoteric research in economics, psychology and beyond into the domain of the lay reader. On More or Less, Radio 4’s programme about the statistics around us in everyday life,…
  • November 11, 2020

    Unpublished research must see the light of day

    This is the first in a series of short pieces about open science, in which Michael Sanders describes the findings of a series of papers that have been languishing without being released, as he releases them over the next several months. “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke…