Lauren Cassani Davis
Lauren Cassani Davis
Lauren Cassani Davis is a former editorial fellow at The Atlantic.
  • Rebecca Clarke

    What It’s Like to Be a Doctor for Sport Horses

    "Our hospital is no different than a human hospital, really. It’s just a little bit bigger."

  • Eric Gaillard / Reuters

    The Economic Case for Worldwide Vegetarianism

    Not curbing its taste for meat could cost the U.S. almost $200 billion each year—and the global economy up to $1.6 trillion.

  • Kieran Doherty / Reuters

    Horses Can Read Human Facial Expressions

    And they don't always like what they see.

  • Jason Lee / Reuters

    The Power of Thinking Like a Preschooler

    Adults often have trouble understanding young children’s needs and inner lives—but paying closer attention to the way they experience the world can be valuable.

  • Kazuyoshi Nomachi / Corbis

    Do Emotions and Morality Mix?

    A philosopher explains how feelings influence right and wrong.

  • Denis Balibouse / Reuters

    How Do Americans Weigh Privacy Versus National Security?

    A new poll shows people still think the collection of their personal data is a bad thing—but they’re marginally more willing to support increased national-security surveillance.

  • Keith Bedford / Reuters

    Do Americans Believe Hard Work Still Matters?

    Yes, but they're more skeptical about whether going to college helps them achieve their goals.

  • The Gendered Language Students Use to Describe Professors

    In her latest piece, Olga cites a fascinating (and disappointing, for those who take our two X chromosomes with a dash of wit) piece of data: College students are more likely to use the word “funny” to describe their male professors than female ones.

    You can clearly see the trend using this addictive interactive, created by Ben Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University. Schmidt compiled 14 million student reviews from the popular evaluation site RateMyProfessor.com. His tool allows you to quickly visualize the students’ use of any word or phrase, split by professors’ gender and by academic discipline. (He’s been interrogating the data in a number of other interesting ways and discussing its limitations on his blog.)

    What other words are used unevenly across genders?

  • Gary Houlder / Corbis

    The Unexpected Charm of Facebook's Friendship Anniversaries

    The social network that cheapened friendship takes a tiny step toward celebrating it.

  • Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters

    Is It Harmful to Use Music as a Coping Mechanism?

    Putting on headphones to regulate emotions may not always be beneficial.

  • Thoreau: An Editor's Nightmare

    Philosopher, poet, and pond-dweller Henry David Thoreau occupies an esteemed place in America’s imagination and reading lists. But earlier this week, The New Yorker’s Kathryn Schulz wrote a scathing takedown of the writer, calling him “self-obsessed: narcissistic, fanatical about self-control,” sparking debate across the Internet. So far, my favorite characterization of Thoreau is “a genuine American weirdo,” written by Jedediah Purdy in a rebuttal to Schultz. One reader wrote in response: “I like some Thoreau. Lots of authors are dicks, just like artists of many types. Doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy their work.” Another reader:

    I love Thoreau. What is piggish about living simply and deliberately, not taking more than you need, respecting individual rights, being anti-slavery and practicing Civil Disobedience? I think a lot of it comes down to extroverts being generally put off by anyone who dares to be an introvert.

    Email your thoughts here. The Atlantic has a unique stake in this debate, since Thoreau was one of the earliest contributors to the magazine, publishing a number of essays here in the last years of his life. And if that experience is anything to go by, you probably wouldn’t have wanted to be his editor.

  • gvictoria / Shutterstock

    Would You Pull the Trolley Switch? Does it Matter?

    The lifespan of a thought experiment

  • Jelena Aloskina / Shutterstock

    The Flight From Conversation

    The psychologist Sherry Turkle argues that replacing face-to-face communication with smartphones is diminishing people’s capacity for empathy.

  • Don Kasak / Flickr

    Backyard Politics in New Hampshire

    What I learned—as a political outsider—visiting a low-key campaign event for John Kasich.

  • Hmm vs. Mmm vs. Mhmm

    When texting or using instant messaging, I often write “mmm” as shorthand for a sound of agreement (imagine me nodding, sagely, thinking “yes,” “totally,” “I’m on your wavelength”).

    To my horror, a colleague recently told me that she’s been interpreting my “mmms” as ominous. While I thought I was being supportive (mmm implying “mhmm”), she thought I’d felt unsure (mmm implying “hmm”) because of a friend she has who used “mmm” this way a lot. It made me wonder, how many other people are misinterpreting my gestures of approval? And how many displays of caution have I brazenly pushed through, thinking the other person was on board?

    To me this is an interesting example of the deeply personal relationship we all have with language.

  • Mindful Schools

    When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom

    Many educators are introducing meditation into the classroom as a means of improving kids’ attention and emotional regulation.

  • echiner1 / Flickr

    When Philosophy Becomes Therapy

    Alain de Botton's self-help books for those who style themselves as intellectuals are making their way to the United States.

  • William Deresiewicz

    The Ivy League, Mental Illness, and the Meaning of Life

    William Deresiewicz explains how an elite education can lead to a cycle of grandiosity and depression.

  • openclipart

    Study: Practice Doesn't Always Make Perfect Memories

    New research suggests that repetition—while strengthening some aspects of memory—may interfere with our ability to remember nuanced, specific details.