Mythbusters

In this series academics shoot down popular myths on complex topics.

Klik hier om deze serie in het Nederlands te lezen: www.observantonline.nl/rijkderfabelen

Myth: A religious marriage is merely symbolic

Myth: A religious marriage is merely symbolic

When a marriage no longer works, you break up. Divorce proceedings are started and if all goes well, both partners can go on to live their own lives. At least, that is how it works with a civil marriage. But for those who have vowed ever-lasting fide...

Myth: the innocent always have a good alibi

Myth: the innocent always have a good alibi

If you have done nothing wrong, you needn't worry when the police come knocking on your door. That is what most people think. But just imagine: you are on your summer holidays, you go from one party to the other. The days are stringing into an en...

Myth: “Governments need to cut back in times of economic crisis and spend in good times”

Myth: “Governments need to cut back in times of economic crisis and spend in good times”

Governments need to cut back in times of economic crisis and spend in good times, so the thinking goes. On the contrary, says economics professor Tom van Veen. “When things are going well with the economy, people spend money and companies want ...

Myth: Profits and sustainability don’t go together

Myth: Profits and sustainability don’t go together

‘Principles cost money’, professor of Finance Rob Bauer thought in 2001 when he started his research on the performance of sustainable investment portfolios. Taking account of the environment and working conditions for employees is bad fo...

Myth: If you sit in a draught you will get sick

Myth: If you sit in a draught you will get sick

His grandparents, parents, everyone in Geert-Jan Dinant's family became ‘alarmed’ if a whiff of wind brushed passed their legs. Windows and doors that were causing the draught were immediately shut. This was not good, because you coul...

Myth: It’s easy to change the behaviour of a group

Myth: It’s easy to change the behaviour of a group

Making sure employees switch off the lights before they leave the office, convincing all youngsters to only have safe sex, and making people choose the healthiest products. Organisations and governments regularly feel that they should change the beha...

Myth: The mayor is the boss of the city

Myth: The mayor is the boss of the city

Somewhere deep down most people do know: the city council is the highest administrative body of a city. The council members set out the main policy lines and supervise their implementation by the Mayor and Aldermen. But it often doesn't feel that...

Myth: A valid patient questionnaire is always useful

Myth: A valid patient questionnaire is always useful

Anyone who has recently visited a hospital, his or her GP, or a physiotherapist will be familiar with it: the request to fill out a questionnaire. “It is a trend in health care, the patient-reported outcome measure, to the extent that it has ev...

Myth: Muscle tissue decreases as you get older

Myth: Muscle tissue decreases as you get older

People who enter professor Luc van Loon's room will see a large square, height-adjustable table, surrounded by four desk bicycles. The professor's desk is adjustable too, (“do you have a moment,” he grins as he tells the name of h...

Myth: Poor people have themselves to blame for their unhealthy lifestyles

Myth: Poor people have themselves to blame for their unhealthy lifestyles

The figures are as plain as day: individuals with lower incomes live seven years shorter than people with good salaries. During that shorter life, they are also laid up sick for a large portion of that time; they suffer from disorders and limitations...

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