Extra Credit: Behind perfect Instagram photos, a student struggled against thoughts of suicide

Your weekend reading list

The EAB Daily Briefing editorial team highlights interesting higher ed stories and studies that didn't quite make this week's Briefing. What are you reading this weekend?

Dan Diamond, Executive Editor

Dan Diamond's read

A "trick for higher SAT scores" may not actually work in real life…despite getting attention from Malcolm Gladwell and other pop-science thinkers.


Kristin Tyndall, Associate Editor

Kristin Tyndall's reads

A professor shifted the perfect test score from 100 to 137—and students stopped complaining about their grades instantly. Why? Because seeing a higher number made them happier, even if it was irrational. Richard H. Thaler explains why irrational factors matter for economics and for life in this article for the New York Times'  "The Upshot" blog.

Can you end chronic homelessness—just by giving people homes? This simple insight by Sam Tsemberis has already nearly eradicated chronic homelessness in Utah and among veterans in Phoenix and New Orleans. Studies show that Tsemberis' model drastically reduces rates of addiction—and cuts the public cost of healthcare for participants almost in half.


Emily Hatton, Staff Writer

Emily Hatton's read

Depression presents many faces. In an emotional and expertly crafted piece, ESPN's Kate Fagan explores the story of Madison Holleran, a University of Pennsylvania freshman track athlete who jumped from the ninth floor of a parking garage last winter. Fagan connects with Holleran's family, friends, coaches, teammates, and recruiters to tell the story of a student who appeared unable to reconcile others' curated depictions of their "perfect" lives on social media with the unhappiness she struggled with. Suicide is the culmination of many forces, but often involves a treatable mental illness. Not only is Fagan's storytelling engaging, but the piece is one more step in breaking down stigma surrounding mental health.

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