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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…





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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.


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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,…

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….




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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.

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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…

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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.

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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…