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Revisiting the Autism “Epidemic”

Anyone who cares about autism, and particularly the supposed spike in autism in recent years, would do well to read this very informative, cogent, and non-hysterical OpEd by Paul T….



TV causes autism? I doubt it.

autism, and this leads them to seek out a diagnosis of autism for their kids. They have the same kids, it is just that TV makes them believe that their…






Autism: A Disease of the Rich?

The higher rates of diagnosed autism among the wealthy has long been thought to be a result of higher rates of diagnosis (or “diagnostic?ascertainment bias”) – i.e., wealthier families having…





Episode 127

Can You Be Too Smart for Your Own Good? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions

Dubner and Levitt talk about circadian rhythms, gay marriage, autism, and whether “pay what you want” is everything it’s cracked up to be.

Episode 85

Is Emotional Intelligence Really So Important?

Can you quantify emotional intelligence? Who should you hire — someone smart, or someone good with people? And how did Angie do on an online emotional intelligence test?…

Episode 376

The Data-Driven Guide to Sane Parenting

Humans have been having kids forever, so why are modern parents so bewildered? The economist Emily Oster marshals the evidence on the most contentious topics — breastfeeding and sleep training,…

Episode 76

Is Gaming Good for You?

Jane McGonigal designed a game to help herself recover from a traumatic brain injury — and she thinks playing games can help us all lead our best lives….

The FREAKest Links

…the Internet, by a long shot … right? Wrong. Stockpickr.com takes a brief look at the stocks of companies working on treatment or cure of autism. (Hat tips: James Altucher)…




FREAK-est Links

The Boston Globe profiles market-design man Al Roth. Why we use food coloring. Autism treatments that work — and don’t. From the BPS Research Digest: “People who are more aware…



Are Vaccines Red or Blue?

As the long-running debate continues over whether childhood vaccines cause autism, Yale professor Dan M. Kahan (who has appeared on Freakonomics Radio) takes a look at people’s attitudes toward vaccination….




Episode 68

“No One Can Resist a Jolly, Happy Pig.”

Naturalist Sy Montgomery explains how she learned to be social from a pig, discovered octopuses have souls, and came to love a killer that will never love her back.

Episode 50

The Truth Is Out There…Isn’t It?

There’s a nasty secret about hot-button topics like global warming — knowledge is not always power.

Episode 362

Why Is This Man Running for President? (Update)

A year ago, nobody was taking Andrew Yang very seriously. Now he is America’s favorite entrepre-nerd, with a candidacy that keeps gaining momentum. This episode includes our Jan. 2019 conversation…

Episode 191

Why Doesn’t Everyone Get the Flu Vaccine?

Influenza kills, but you’d never know it by how few of us get the vaccine.

Episode 362

Why Is This Man Running for President?

In the American Dream sweepstakes, Andrew Yang was a pretty big winner. But for every winner, he came to realize, there are thousands upon thousands of losers — a “war…