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Concept: Ronald Reagan


The present research investigates the associations between holding favorable views of potential Democratic or Republican candidates for the US presidency 2016 and seeing profoundness in bullshit statements. In this contribution, bullshit is used as a technical term which is defined as communicative expression that lacks content, logic, or truth from the perspective of natural science. We used the Bullshit Receptivity scale (BSR) to measure seeing profoundness in bullshit statements. The BSR scale contains statements that have a correct syntactic structure and seem to be sound and meaningful on first reading but are actually vacuous. Participants (N = 196; obtained via Amazon Mechanical Turk) rated the profoundness of bullshit statements (using the BSR) and provided favorability ratings of three Democratic (Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, and Bernie Sanders) and three Republican candidates for US president (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump). Participants also completed a measure of political liberalism/conservatism. Results revealed that favorable views of all three Republican candidates were positively related to judging bullshit statements as profound. The smallest correlation was found for Donald Trump. Although we observe a positive association between bullshit and support for the three Democrat candidates, this relationship is both substantively small and statistically insignificant. The general measure of political liberalism/conservatism was also related to judging bullshit statements as profound in that individuals who were more politically conservative had a higher tendency to see profoundness in bullshit statements. Of note, these results were not due to a general tendency among conservatives to see profoundness in everything: Favorable views of Republican candidates and conservatism were not significantly related to profoundness ratings of mundane statements. In contrast, this was the case for Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley. Overall, small-to-medium sized correlations were found, indicating that far from all conservatives see profoundness in bullshit statements.

Concepts: President of the United States, Conservatism, Democratic Party, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Liberalism, Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton


As Zika virus continues to spread, decisions regarding resource allocations to control the outbreak underscore the need for a tool to weigh policies according to their cost and the health burden they could avert. For example, to combat the current Zika outbreak the US President requested the allocation of $1.8 billion from Congress in February 2016.

Concepts: President of the United States, United States Congress, United States Constitution, Ronald Reagan, Resource allocation, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton


People often avoid information and situations that have the potential to contradict previously held beliefs and attitudes (i.e., situations that arouse cognitive dissonance). According to the motivated social cognition model of political ideology, conservatives tend to have stronger epistemic needs to attain certainty and closure than liberals. This implies that there may be differences in how liberals and conservatives respond to dissonance-arousing situations. In two experiments, we investigated the possibility that conservatives would be more strongly motivated to avoid dissonance-arousing tasks than liberals. Indeed, U.S. residents who preferred more conservative presidents (George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan) complied less than Americans who preferred more liberal presidents (Barack Obama and Bill Clinton) with the request to write a counter-attitudinal essay about who made a “better president.” This difference was not observed under circumstances of low perceived choice or when the topic of the counter-attitudinal essay was non-political (i.e., when it pertained to computer or beverage preferences). The results of these experiments provide initial evidence of ideological differences in dissonance avoidance. Future work would do well to determine whether such differences are specific to political issues or topics that are personally important. Implications for political behavior are discussed.

Concepts: President of the United States, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Republican Party, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton


To compare the delivery of end of life care given to US Medicare beneficiaries in hospital by internal medicine physicians with Republican versus Democrat political affiliations.

Concepts: Observational study, United States, Physician, Residency, Lyndon B. Johnson, Democratic Party, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush


Twenty-five years ago, on July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), designed to meet four goals for people with disabilities: equal opportunity, full participation in the community, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. This landmark civil rights law aimed to prevent employment discrimination and give equal access to public and private services for all people with disabilities. At the signing ceremony, Bush exclaimed, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” Since the passage of the ADA, there have been extensive gains in access to public services, the built environment (e.g., crosswalks . . .

Concepts: President of the United States, Supreme Court of the United States, Democratic Party, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton


Prior studies suggest that exposure to the natural environment may be important for optimal mental health. The present study examines the association between block-level greenness (vegetative presence) and mental health outcomes, in a population-based sample of 249,405 U.S. Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 years living in Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA, whose location did not change from 2010 to 2011. Multilevel analyses examined relationships between greenness, as measured by mean Normalized Difference Vegetation Index from satellite imagery at the Census block level, and each of two mental health outcomes; Alzheimer’s disease and depression, respectively, after statistically adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and neighborhood income level of the individuals. Higher block-level greenness was linked to better mental health outcomes: There was a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (by 18%) and depression (by 28%) for beneficiaries living in blocks that were 1 SD above the mean for greenness, as compared to blocks that were 1 SD below the mean. Planned post-hoc analyses revealed that higher levels of greenness were associated with even greater mental health benefits in low-income neighborhoods: An increase in greenness from 1 SD below to 1 SD above the mean was associated with 37% lower odds of depression in low-income neighborhoods, compared to 27% and 21% lower odds of depression in medium- and high-income neighborhoods, respectively. Greenness may be effective in promoting mental health in older adults, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, possibly as a result of the increased opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, or stress mitigation.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Health insurance, Clinical trial, Health disparities, Dementia, Mean, Ronald Reagan


Changes in some lexical features of language have been associated with the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Here we describe a method to extract key features from discourse transcripts, which we evaluated on non-scripted news conferences from President Ronald Reagan, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994, and President George Herbert Walker Bush, who has no known diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Key word counts previously associated with cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease were extracted and regression analyses were conducted. President Reagan showed a significant reduction in the number of unique words over time and a significant increase in conversational fillers and non-specific nouns over time. There was no significant trend in these features for President Bush.

Concepts: President of the United States, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Republican Party, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, United States presidential election, 1984


Theories suggest that political ideology relates to cooperation, with conservatives being more likely to pursue selfish outcomes, and liberals more likely to pursue egalitarian outcomes. In study 1, we examine how political ideology and political party affiliation (Republican vs. Democrat) predict cooperation with a partner who self-identifies as Republican or Democrat in two samples before (n= 362) and after (n= 366) the 2012 US presidential election. Liberals show slightly more concern for their partners' outcomes compared to conservatives (study 1), and in study 2 this relation is supported by a meta-analysis (r= .15). However, in study 1, political ideology did not relate to cooperation in general. Both Republicans and Democrats extend more cooperation to their in-group relative to the out-group, and this is explained by expectations of cooperation from in-group versus out-group members. We discuss the relation between political ideology and cooperation within and between groups.

Concepts: President of the United States, Democratic Party, Ronald Reagan, Republican Party, United States presidential election, 2008, Political party, Barbara Boxer, Political parties in the United States


There is a formidable historical arc to health care policy: Every modern US president has sought to expand coverage. Democrats eagerly placed the issue on the agenda. Republicans vociferously opposed Democratic proposals but countered with creative ways to expand coverage on their own terms. Democrats eventually absorbed elements of the latest Republican plan-which Republicans, in turn, attacked, and the cycle began anew. The dynamic interaction between the parties slowly, often haphazardly, expanded health insurance as each sought to extend coverage in its own way. We speculate about whether the recent Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act constitute a sharp break with the past, perhaps because opposition to government, exacerbated by racial anxieties, has changed the Republican calculus. Alternatively, there are still some reasons to conclude that the arc of health policy continues to bend toward increasing coverage.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, President of the United States, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, United States House of Representatives


On April 1, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, averting the 24% across-the-board reduction in Medicare’s physician fees mandated by the sustainable growth rate formula (SGR) used to set those fees each year.(1) This action provides relief to physicians, who would have faced a substantial reduction in Medicare revenues, and to beneficiaries, who would have faced potential disruption of access to needed care. That relief, however, is only temporary - this was the 17th time since 2002 that Congress has temporarily overridden SGR-mandated cuts - and the move represents a missed . . .

Concepts: President of the United States, Barack Obama, Iraq War, Illinois, Democratic Party, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton