Moving America Forward

An Ambitious 20-Year Study Aims to Explain Human Behaviors and More Must-Reads

October 21, 2016
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An Ambitious 20-Year Study Aims to Explain Human Behaviors and More Must-Reads
The "red cube" is an ultra-secure core database, imagined as part of The Kavli HUMAN project at NYU. Photo by Tom Page / Flickr
Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.

 

This Audacious Study Will Track 10,000 New Yorkers’ Every Move for 20 Years, Vox
Doctors, sociologists and psychologists utilize longitudinal studies to analyze how we change over time, but their research presents a segmented view of human behavior. A groundbreaking project at New York University, recording everything that happens in 4,000 households over 20 years, will take a more interdisciplinary approach to its data. By the study’s end, we might see, for example, how sleep affects relationships or how genetics dictates what we buy.

The Janitor Felt Invisible to Georgetown Students — Until One Changed His Life, Washington Post
As students rush to class, it can be easy to forget who maintains a college’s pristine façade: the gardeners who tend the quad or the chefs who prepare the dining-hall fare. At Georgetown, one student’s friendship with a janitor led him to create a Facebook page featuring profiles of university staff, from window-washers to repairmen. The stories they shared were so popular, students raised thousands of dollars to help out a few of them, including funding a janitor’s dream to open his own jerk-chicken restaurant and buying a cashier a round-trip ticket to his native South Sudan to visit the family he hasn’t seen in 45 years.

How Did Walmart Get Cleaner Stores and Higher Sales? The New York Times
For years, Walmart executives looking to bolster the bottom line hacked away at labor costs. The results showed: dirty bathrooms, near-empty shelves and nonexistent customer service depressed sales. How did the retail giant make a turnaround? Last year, they upped wages and invested in training. Sales reversed course and climbed upward, showing that employees are only a monetary drain when they are treated that way.

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