Were people happier in the 1950s than they are today? Or were they more frustrated, repressed and sad?
To find out, you'd have to compare the emotions of one generation to another. British anthropologists think they may have found the answer β embedded in literature.
Several years ago, more or less on a lark, a group of researchers from England used a computer program to analyze the emotional content of books from every year of the 20th century β close to a billion words in millions of books.
Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 10:00 am
Say your one-month-old baby is spitting up and crying a lot. Your usual bag of infant-soothing tricks hasn't worked, and you're worried that there's something wrong with her.
So you head to the pediatrician, who tells you that your otherwise healthy child has gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Would receiving this medical diagnosis make you more interested in giving her drugs than if you never heard the word "disease"?
Most people (including a lot of doctors) think of a stroke as something that happens to old people. But the rate is increasing among those in their 50s, 40s and even younger.
In one recent 10-year period, the rate of strokes in Americans younger than 55 went up 84 percent among whites and 54 percent among blacks. One in 5 strokes now occurs in adults 20 to 55 years old β up from 1 in 8 in the mid-1990s.
We've heard many claims in the past decade β and much debate β about the role of vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of conditions as varied as brittle bones, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia.