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Penn Today: How psychology explains the itch for spring cleaning

Wharton Professor Katherine Milkman teases out the “fresh start effect” of temporal landmarks like the first day of spring, New Year’s Day, and other meaningful calendar dates: “A lot of my work is on health, and it turns out 40 percent of premature deaths in the U.S. are the result of behaviors people could change. Not taking medications, not being physically active, drinking too much, smoking cigarettes; those are huge numbers.  If we can get even a small number of people to make changes that would change their lives, that’s a huge deal.”

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