Summary of Human Nature, Observed

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

Human Nature, Observed summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans

Rating

8 Overall

8 Importance

8 Innovation

8 Style


Recommendation

Since 1972, more than 1,000 New Zealanders have donated their time and data to the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, helping researchers disentangle the influences that touch a human life. Violence, mental disorders, poor health and early aging: Have the forces that predispose people to these fates been jogging invisibly beside them since the beginning? If so, can they outrun the demons that inhabit their DNA? getAbstract recommends this article to legislators, those who make public policy and anyone who wants a better understanding of human health, behavior and destiny.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Dunedin research results have influenced legislation;
  • How some people’s life achievements already seem to be limited by age 3; and
  • Why, according to one researcher, watching study participants “obliges compassion.”
 

About the Author

Douglas Starr is the co-director of the Graduate Program in Science Journalism at Boston University. He has covered science, medicine and crime in diverse publications and several books, including The Killer of Little Shepherds.

 

Summary

Researchers have followed the lives of Dunedin study participants for over 40 years.

Phil Silva began following the lives of 1,037 children born between April, 1972 and March, 1973 at the Queen Mary Maternity Centre at Dunedin Hospital in New Zealand. Thus began the long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. Retaining longitudinal study participants can be difficult, but the Dunedin study has managed to track an astounding 95% of their original participants over more than 40 years. Researchers have conducted interviews, collected DNA, assessed mental health and cognition, and gauged physical fitness in diverse settings, even in prisons and hospital rooms. The research follows two hard and fast rules: Strict confidentiality must be maintained, and there...


More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Who Needs Democracy When You Have Data?
8
The Fear Factor
8
The Lucky Years
8
Health Divides
9
Living with Robots
8
BEHAVE
8

Related Channels

Comment on this summary