1. This week in results I can barely believe, gentrification appears to decrease the chances that longtime residents will leave. I’m slightly less skeptical given that the researcher himself didn’t anticipate getting these results–he expected the opposite. (h/t Scott)
Lance Freeman, the director of the Urban Planning program at Columbia University, says that’s what he believed was happening, too. He launched a study, first in Harlem and then nationally, calculating how many people were pushed out of their homes when wealthy people moved in.
“My intuition would be that people were being displaced,” Freeman explains, “so they’re going to be moving more quickly. I was really aiming to quantify how much displacement was occurring.”
Except that’s not what he found.
“To my surprise,” Freeman says, “it seemed to suggest that people in neighborhoods classified as gentrifying were moving less frequently.”
Freeman’s work found that low-income residents were no more likely to move out of their homes when a neighborhood gentrifies than when it doesn’t.
3. Mental health issues in hospitals and emergency rooms are a growing problem.
Nationally, more than 6.4 million visits to emergency rooms in 2010, or about 5 percent of total visits, involved patients whose primary diagnosis was a mental health condition or substance abuse. That is up 28 percent from just four years earlier, according to the latest figures available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, Md.
By one federal estimate, spending by general hospitals to care for these patients is expected to nearly double to $38.5 billion in 2014, from $20.3 billion in 2003.
The problem has been building for decades as mental health systems have been largely decentralized, pushing oversight and responsibility for psychiatric care into overwhelmed communities and, often, to hospitals, like WakeMed.
In North Carolina, the problem is becoming particularly acute. A recent study said that the number of mental patients entering emergency rooms in the state was double the nation’s average in 2010.
More than 10 years after overhauling its own state mental health system, North Carolina is grappling with the consequences of a lost number of beds and a reduction in funding amid a growing outcry that the state’s mentally ill need more help.
4. So, uh, how does being a hitman work? Oh good, someone did quantitative research on that.
The results of their detailed search of British cases that matched this description in the period between 1974 and 2013 only turned up 27 contracted hits or attempted hits “committed by a total of 36 hitmen” (there was only a single “hitwoman”), but the researchers used the sample to tease out the details and profiles of typical killers-for-hire.
The main thrust of the paper, which will be published in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, is that hitmen do not operate with the drama, professionalism, or glamour that mob films and spy novels afford them. In actuality, the majority of killers select jejune settings for their crimes, have occasionally bumbling performances, and are often hired by contractors with lame motivations.
5. I once had a professor who offhandedly said “hah, he probably just cherrypicked whichever results looked pretty” when a student expressed shock at the results of some priming research from John Bargh.
(The example of priming I hear most often cited in popular conversation is that giving a stranger a cup of hot coffee, rather than iced, will make them think more positively of you.)
Not five minutes later, the professor praised Bargh for being the leading researcher in this growing new field. The ridiculousness of being known for squashing data into conclusions and being one of the most well known social psychologists didn’t seem to register.
That story makes this article investigating Bargh’s work even more compelling. (And because aaaah, what, Donellan has a blog?! </psychnerdery> I’m going to particularly note this in-blog link on Bargh as well.)
ETA: as I was scheduling this post, there was an update. It’s like a soap opera!*
6. Hunh. Discussing relationship movies decreased divorce rates. In retrospect, I suppose this makes sense. Instead of some awkward feeling counseling session, the movie couple can serve as a proxy. As long as everyone pretends they’re talking about Jack and Rose you can debate issues like differing family backgrounds or drawing one another naked. (link via Julia)
*Really, who can resist making bad shower puns? Not I.