Post List

Social Science posts

(Modify Search »)

  • April 13, 2011
  • 12:31 PM

Social mobility needs more than paid internships

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

The UK Government recently released Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility. The report quotes some depressing statistics about social mobility in the UK. Only one in five young people from the poorest families achieve five good GCSEs, including English and maths, compared with three quarters from the richest families. 25% of children [...]... Read more »

  • April 13, 2011
  • 10:44 AM

Ecstasy Acute Effects on Social Cognition

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

MDMA (Ecstasy) Chemical StructureAnecdotal reports suggest that some users of ecstasy (3,4-methlenedioxymethamphetamine-MDMA) experience increased feelings of empathy and are more social while under influence of the drug.  Such effects may contribute to the timing and frequency of ecstasy use and may also contribute to risk of abuse or dependence.  Understanding this phenomenon in more detail might provide clinicians with better strategies to reduce use and the associated complications........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2011
  • 06:30 AM

Are there Robots in your Backyard? Experts Give Urgent Warning about Spy Robots!

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

I can imagine what you’re thinking: In a fight between humans and robots, we would win hands-down – we can just pull their plug out! But robots have come a long way in recent years. Bill Gates recently said that we are standing at the dawn of a new era in robotics, likening this present … Continue reading »... Read more »

Lin, P., Abney, K., & Bekey, G. (2011) Robot ethics: Mapping the issues for a mechanized world. Artificial Intelligence, 175(5-6), 942-949. DOI: 10.1016/j.artint.2010.11.026  

Calo, M. (2011) Peeping Hals. Artificial Intelligence, 175(5-6), 940-941. DOI: 10.1016/j.artint.2010.11.025  

  • April 13, 2011
  • 03:00 AM

Is breast best? Or chosen by less competent women?: An examination of bias against breastfeeding mothers

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Spoiled milk: An experimental examination of bias against mothers who breastfeed From Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin  While breastfeeding babies has numerous health advantages to both mother and child, mothers who breastfeed may find that other people look down on them and do not want to work with them. This study found that mothers who [...]... Read more »

  • April 12, 2011
  • 03:10 PM

The rural-urban fringe, circa 1942

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

It’s cliché to say, “Everything that’s old is new again,” but boy if it isn’t true sometimes. I recently unearthed a monograph from 1942 about the conflict between urban and rural land uses, and a number of sections read like they were written yesterday. George Wehrwein, the author of the monograph and a well respected [...]... Read more »

Wehrwein, G. (1942) The Rural-Urban Fringe. Economic Geography, 18(3), 217. DOI: 10.2307/141123  

  • April 12, 2011
  • 01:00 PM

Assumptions on Human Behavior

by Bluegrass Blue Crab in Southern Fried Science

Sustainability is as much about personal decisions as it is about broad social movements or top-down government rules. Those personal decisions are rooted deeply in how we behave as human beings, and that is something that science is far from understanding. Adam Smith once said “we are not ready to suspect any person [...]... Read more »

  • April 12, 2011
  • 08:30 AM

Kill the communication status quo. With guns.

by David Robertson in David Robertson

Sit down, kids, and get ready for a show. You’re about to see how a dumb rap star intent on killing people, golden retriever puppies and the newest edition of Nature: Climate Change are linked. On Saturday, I gave a … Continue reading →... Read more »

Nick Pidgeon, & Baruch Fischhoff. (2011) The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks. Nature Climate change, 35-41. info:/10.1038/nclimate1080

  • April 12, 2011
  • 03:00 AM

Children affected by earthquakes and their immediate emotional needs

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

From International Social Work With the recent devastating events that have struck Japan, our thoughts turn to the heart breaking aftermath the people face.  The challenges are overwhelming for all, but hardest for the most vulnerable in society. Lessons may be learned from similar incidents across the globe, this article explores the way Iranian children [...]... Read more »

  • April 11, 2011
  • 11:33 AM

Go Ahead and Talk with Your Hands, But Know What You're Saying

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

For an upcoming opening statement or closing argument, your gestures are probably the last thing on your mind...until you actually get up to speak. Then, the commentator in your brain might be asking, "why am I gripping the sides of this lectern?" or "Is there a way I can make myself stop these meaningless chopping motions?" In this post, I want to answer the speaker's age-old question, "but what do I do with my hands?" by focusing on some recent studies on the communicative role of gestures, ........ Read more »

Cook SW, Mitchell Z, & Goldin-Meadow S. (2008) Gesturing makes learning last. Cognition, 106(2), 1047-58. PMID: 17560971  

Maricchiolo, F.; Gnisci, A.; Bonaiuto, M., . (2009) Effects of different types of hand gesturs in persuasive speech on receivers' evaluations. Language and Cognitive Processes, 24(2), 239-266. info:/

  • April 11, 2011
  • 07:10 AM

Want to be more likeable? Blink!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Robert DeNiro’s classic line in Taxi Driver demonstrates the findings of new research. Staring contests happen automatically and they are dominance contests. When eyes are locked, if you are aggressive, you stare and do not break the gaze. And you can’t help it. Researchers timed how long it took to look away from angry faces and [...]

Related posts:Women are soft (and sweet) and men are hard (and tough)
Quick trial tips: Blinking, babies and on the left!
In the face of the unexpected: Be........ Read more »

Terburg D, Hooiveld N, Aarts H, Kenemans JL, & van Honk J. (2011) Eye Tracking Unconscious Face-to-Face Confrontations: Dominance Motives Prolong Gaze to Masked Angry Faces. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 22(3), 314-9. PMID: 21303993  

  • April 10, 2011
  • 03:29 PM

Gay Cavemen & Buried Shamans

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

This past week, British newspapers carried sensational headlines about an archaeological find in Prague: “First Homosexual Caveman Found” (The Telegraph) and “Oldest Gay in the Village: 5,000 Year Old is ‘Outed’ By the Way He Was Buried” (Daily Mail). Although the assemblage in question has not been published in a journal, the archaeologists called a [...]... Read more »

Grosman, L., Munro, N., & Belfer-Cohen, A. (2008) A 12,000-year-old Shaman burial from the southern Levant (Israel). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(46), 17665-17669. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0806030105  

  • April 10, 2011
  • 04:40 AM

Is Love Enough? Science Shows 6 Ways Kate and Wills can have a lasting Royal Marriage!

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Are you getting excited about the Royal Wedding yet? (Even if you’re not, Brits have an extra day off work to look forward to!) In a world with frighteningly high divorce rates, and facing a life in the limelight, is there really any hope that the royal marriage can survive a lifetime? Well here are some [...]... Read more »

  • April 9, 2011
  • 12:11 PM

Disorder promotes stereotyping

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Xenophobic exclusion has been ubiquitous throughout history. However, the explanation of such a phenomenon has been little understood. Interesting research conducted by Stapel and Lindenberg published in the latest Science has brought us closer to some answers. They found that people who are in a disordered environment (e.g. unclean subway station) exhibit greater discriminatory behavior (e.g. decision to sit further away from a black person compared to a white person). The author........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2011
  • 02:36 AM

Liberals Are Conflicted and Conservatives Are Afraid

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

This sums up the basic conclusion of a new study on political orientation and brain structure by Ryota Kanai, Tom Feilden, Colin Firth and Geraint Rees in the journal Current Biology. Yes, that Colin Firth...Colin Firth's Speech during the 2011 Academy Awards. Firth won Best Actor for The King's Speech.Why are Colin Firth and Tom Feilden, both listed with BBC Radio 4 affiliations, authors on this paper? Let's go back to Tuesday, 28 December 2010 and two pieces that appeared on the BBC website.Po........ Read more »

Ryota Kanai, Tom Feilden, Colin Firth, Geraint Rees. (2011) Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults. Current Biology. info:/10.1016/j.cub.2011.03.017

  • April 8, 2011
  • 07:04 PM

Impulsive? Reduce your risk – go to Alcoholics Anonymous

by PeaPod in Binge Inking

Impulsivity (or the tendency to act first and think later) is a common trait in people with alcohol and drug dependence. In a paper published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers posed the question: would going to AA and professional treatment reduce impulsive behaviour in individuals with alcohol use disorders? Here's what they found...... Read more »

  • April 8, 2011
  • 11:14 AM

The great (big) American lawn

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Spring is descending on the United States. Buds on trees and shrubs are swelling, and brittle brown grass is beginning to show green signs of life. As people put away their snow shovels and dust off their lawn mowers, it’s also a good time to take stock of the American lawn, which plays a starring [...]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2011
  • 10:15 AM

Canada’s Children’s Fitness Tax Credit – The Rich Get Richer?

by Travis Saunders, MSc, CEP in Obesity Panacea

As many of our readers will know Canada is in the midst of an election campaign and the major parties are putting out a number of policy ideas on a daily basis. One idea proposed by Conservative leader Stephen Harper was to expand the Canadian Children’s Fitness Tax Credit (CFTC).  As it currently stands, the CFTC offers a $500 non-refundable tax credit that parents can receive by enrolling their child in an approved physical activity program.  If I understand it correctly, this means th........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2011
  • 10:02 AM

Colour terms and national flags

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Today, I wondered whether the number of basic colour terms a language has is reflected in the number of colours on its country’s flag. The idea being that a country’s flag contains colours that are important to its society, and therefore a country with more social tools for discussing colour (colour words) will be more likely to put more colours on its flag. It was a long shot, but here’s what I found:... Read more »

  • April 8, 2011
  • 07:10 AM

Stereotype fears and the lovely scent of vanilla

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Tammy sang it and we keep track of it just for you. Yes. Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Especially when we are reminded of the fact we are women. Internationally based researchers studied the impact of stereotype fears [especially when it comes to science, technology, engineering and math] on women’s intent to purchase [...]

Related posts:Redux: Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman (with appreciation to Tammy Wynette, Linda Ronstadt and Anne Reed)
“I didn’t know truth had a gender........ Read more »

KYOUNGMI LEE, HAKKYUN KIM, & KATHLEEN D. VOHS. (2011) Stereotype Threat in the Marketplace: Consumer Anxiety and Purchase Intentions. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(August). info:/

  • April 7, 2011
  • 10:01 AM

Re-Defining Science Communication: Emerging Best Practices that Empower the Public

by Matthew C. Nisbet in Age of Engagement

Over the past few years, scholars and scientists have been re-examining both the goals and the nature of science communication initiatives.  In a guest post today, Melanie Gade reviews much of this recent discussion and innovation.  Gade is a graduate student in this semesters course on "Science ...Read More... Read more »

Nisbet, M., Hixon, M., Moore, K., & Nelson, M. (2010) Four cultures: new synergies for engaging society on climate change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(6), 329-331. DOI: 10.1890/1540-9295-8.6.329  

Groffman, P., Stylinski, C., Nisbet, M., Duarte, C., Jordan, R., Burgin, A., Previtali, M., & Coloso, J. (2010) Restarting the conversation: challenges at the interface between ecology and society. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(6), 284-291. DOI: 10.1890/090160  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit