Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

UnDisciplined: The Demographic Sociologist And The Social Psychologist

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about why we don't do the things we know we should do. Why, for instance, don't we get as much sleep as we're supposed to? And why do we often withhold information from our doctors? 

We'll be joined by two researchers whose work is helping answer these questions: 

Connor Sheehan, a researcher in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, who over the years has studied health and disability in U.S. military veterans, the impact of parental health on children in Mexico, and the interrelationship of poverty and obesity. His most recent study in the journal Sleep dives into the world of, well, sleep.

Angie Fagerlin, a professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Her training is in experimental psychology and her research focuses on testing methods that might improve communication between medical providers and patients. 

Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including Inheritance with geneticist Sharon Moalem and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His forthcoming book, Superlative, will look at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways.