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Society

Society

FSI researchers work to understand continuity and change in societies as they confront their problems and opportunities. This includes the implications of migration and human trafficking. What happens to a society when young girls exit the sex trade? How do groups moving between locations impact societies, economies, self-identity and citizenship? What are the ethnic challenges faced by an increasingly diverse European Union? From a policy perspective, scholars also work to investigate the consequences of security-related measures for society and its values.

The Europe Center reflects much of FSI’s agenda of investigating societies, serving as a forum for experts to research the cultures, religions and people of Europe. The Center sponsors several seminars and lectures, as well as visiting scholars.

Societal research also addresses issues of demography and aging, such as the social and economic challenges of providing health care for an aging population. How do older adults make decisions, and what societal tools need to be in place to ensure the resulting decisions are well-informed? FSI regularly brings in international scholars to look at these issues. They discuss how adults care for their older parents in rural China as well as the economic aspects of aging populations in China and India.

Recent Projects

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Supporting decision making for sustainable weight loss

This project explores fundamental questions about habit formation and the role of nudges and other behavioral economic devices.
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Age related changes in the brain systems underlying intertemporal choice

Despite the fact that physical health and cognitive abilities decline with age, emotion regulation remains stable or improves across the adult lifespan.
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Do No Harm: Psychological Costs and Benefits of Genetic Testing and supplement

Recent evidence from one CADMA supported project (Gotlib/Chen) suggests that individuals with two short alleles in promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene are more biologically reactive...
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Age related changes in fronto-striatal connections underlying intertemporal choice

Previous research has produced highly conflicting results on differences in intertemporal preferences with age.
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Can health coaches improve decision making for elderly with cancer?

Background: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and disproportionately affects elderly patient populations.
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Elder-care, Gender, and Son Preference: The Role of Cultural Transmission and Diffusion During the Process of Rural-urban Migration in China

A research report, “A survey of rural-urban migrants in Shenzhen, China”, based on findings from this project, was submitted to the Shenzhen government in December of 2005.  Since then, the Santa...
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Migration, Poverty Alleviation and Wellbeing of the Elderly: Population Modeling for Rural Western China

September 2017

The researchers developed models for the time course of the economic demography of remote Chinese villages that takes into account the migration, and sometimes return, of the villagers, the...
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Socioeconomic Gradients in Health Among the Elderly in China

September 2017

This project studied the patterns of health and health care disparities across elderly and non-elderly in China, including the impact of earlier educational and public health interventions on...
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Demographic Impact of HIV on Africa's Elderly

September 2017

The overall goal of this project was to estimate the relationship between the HIV epidemic in Africa and mortality patterns of Africa's elderly.  The lead investigator audited Professor Shripad...
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Health Implication of Urbanization, Migration and Obesity in India

September 2017

Urbanization and obesity-related chronic diseases are cited as threats to the future health of India's older citizens.
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Combining Measures of Senescence with Genomic Data for Isolated African Populations.

September 2017

 This seed grant aimed to verify the ages of elderly individuals in a sample of Khomani San “Bushmen” from South Africa.
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Helping Older Adults to Initiate Exercise Habits

September 2017

The aims of this seed were to 1) assemble a longitudinal dataset by collecting information on individuals’ exercise patterns in the post-commitment contract period, as data on their demographics,...
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Intergenerational Support and the Experience of the Elderly at the End of Life: An Extension of a Longitudinal Study in Rural China

September 2017

This study adopted a life course perspective in order to determine what  motivates and sustains intergenerational support, and how this support  influences older adults’ experience at the end of...
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Effect of Social Isolation and Loneliness on Health Care Utilization

The researchers assessed the effect of social isolation and loneliness on healthcare utilization (costs and frequency of care) using longitudinal survey data from the Health and Retirement Survey ...
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Chronic Disease, Disability, and Medical Costs among Older Adults in India

The researchers conducted a series of studies using nationally-representative data from the recent WHO Study on Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE) to identify the relationship between NCD-related...
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How and Why US Counties and UK Registration Areas Differ in the Distribution of Age at Death

This project aimed to assemble a US mortality data series with county-level identifiers and assembled data on covariates at the county level (education, income, health care).
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Stress, Genes, and Decision-Making in Older Adults

Immunosenescence, the age-related decline of the immune system, may be affected by environmental or psychological stressors which, combined with endocrinosenescence, may accelerate the decline of...
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Exploration-Exploitation and Age

Decisions are made for two general purposes. A choice is determined either to obtain a desired outcome or to gather new information about other (perhaps more desirable) novel actions.
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Exploring the Effectiveness of Duty-based Arguments for Retirement Saving

Most Americans fail to save enough money to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living after they retire-presumably because they steeply discount the value of future outcomes relative to...
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Choosing not to choose: Ambiguity aversion in younger and older adults

"Ambiguity aversion" occurs when people prefer making no choice at all to making an ambiguous risky choice, even if the ambiguous choice holds higher expected value.
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Age, Affect Valuation, and Health-Related Decision-Making

What accounts for differences in "ideal affect," or the affective states that people value and ideally want to feel?
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Benefits and Costs of Health Insurance Choice among Older Adults: The Case of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

The perceptions of policy makers regarding the ability and desire of Medicare beneficiaries to make choices regarding their health insurance coverage has shaped the development of the Medicare...
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Causes and Consequences of Indoor Air Pollution: An Experimental Investigation in Bangladesh

Project background:The leading killer of children worldwide in 2004 was acute respiratory infections, accounting for 22 percent of all communicable child deaths.
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Increasing Physical Activity Among the Elderly: A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Pedometers

This study was the first to synthesize quantitatively the literature on the effectiveness of pedometers to change physical activity and health outcomes among the elderly.  Preliminary results were...
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People

Jay Bhattacharya Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, Medicine (CHP/PCOR)
Paul H. Wise Senior Fellow Professor, Pediatrics (CHP/PCOR)
Michele Barry Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, Medicine
Henry T. Greely Professor, Law
John Morton Associate Professor, Surgery
W. Richard Scott Professor, Sociology, Emeritus
Glenn M. Chertow Professor, Medicine
Wei Yu Adjunct Affiliate, CHP/PCOR
Maria Polyakova Assistant Professor, HRP
Victor R. Fuchs Professor, Economics, Emeritus
Marcus W. Feldman Professor, Biology
Marie C. Haverfield VA HSR&D Fellow, CHP/PCOR