Popular Science articles about Psychology & Sociology

What makes centipedes move with such agility? Researchers at Kyoto University have used simulations and robotics to find the answer -- and a surprising truth.

Here's why run-down schools trigger low test scores

Social scientists have known for several years that kids enrolled in run-down schools miss more classes and have lower test scores than students at well-maintained schools. But they haven't been...

Reading Harry Potter lowers Americans' opinions of Donald Trump

This is professor Diana Mutz, the Samuel A. Stouffer Professor of Political Science and Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and in the Department of Political Science at the University of PennsylvaniaHarry may not be a full-on patronus against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's appeal, but reading Potter stories does appear to be a shield charm against Trump's message.

Chimpanzees: Travel fosters tool use

Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park.Chimpanzees travelling far and for longer time periods use tools more frequently to obtain food. This conclusion results from an analysis of seven years of field experiments conducted at the...

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Black bear links real objects to computer images

This is black bear Migwan.American black bears may be able to recognize things they know in real life, such as pieces of food or humans, when looking at a photograph of the same thing....

How Tom Brady won fans by dodging 'Deflategate' questions

Sometimes, saying "I don't know" may be the best way for sports stars and other celebrities to gain favor with the public when faced with tough questions.

A recipe for friendship: Similar food

How do you build rapport with a new employer or someone on a first date? It turns out that there may be a simple strategy that's often overlooked: eat the...

What does a healthy aging cat look like?

The hair coat of older cats may take on a clumped and spiked appearance associated with a reduction in grooming activity.Just as improved diet and medical care have resulted in increased life expectancy in humans, advances in nutrition and veterinary care have increased the life span of pet cats. The...

Linguists team up with primatologists to crack the meaning of monkey calls

It has long been known that monkeys convey information through alarm calls, but now a combined team of linguists and primatologists has laid the groundwork for a systematic 'primate linguistics.'

Dishonesty is aggressively punished in the world of paper wasps

Is honesty really the best policy? Isn't it more beneficial to cheat, if you can get away with it?

Findings show gender, not race, a factor in college engineering dropouts

Lisa Flores and her team found no differences in retention between Latino and white engineering students, but did show differences between men and women. Their study could help shape methods needed to retain students in engineering fields.According to recent studies, in colleges and universities up to 60 percent of students drop out or transfer from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and more than 50...

Does social status affect generosity?

A study led by Michigan State University scholar Nicholas Hays suggests prominent people who don't feel their status is earned are more generous.High-ranking people don't always turn out to be selfish jerks. It all depends on whether they feel worthy of their prominent social position, new research indicates.

Map provides detailed picture of how the brain is organized

A detailed new map by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis lays out the landscape of the cerebral cortex -- the outermost layer of the brain and the dominant structure involved in sensory perception and attention, as well as distinctly human functions such as language, tool use and abstract thinking.The age of exploration has long passed, but there is at least one area still largely uncharted: the human brain. Now, a detailed new map by researchers at Washington University...

Does hormone therapy after menopause affect memory?

Contrary to popular belief, taking estrogen after menopause may not affect the memory and thinking abilities of healthy women no matter when the treatment is started. The research is published...

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Scientists show newborn ducklings can acquire notions of 'same' and 'different'

Scientists from the University of Oxford have shown that newly hatched ducklings can readily acquire the concepts of 'same' and 'different' - an ability previously known only in highly intelligent...

Calculus I factors women out of STEM degrees

It's no secret that Calculus I is a major hurdle in the quest for a science degree. But, according to a new paper by Colorado State University researchers, the class...

Why Clinton and Trump backers don't mix

A study led by Michigan State University's William Chopik may help explain why Americans continue segregating into "red" and "blue" states.Living around people with opposing political viewpoints affects your ability to form close relationships and accept other perspectives - and may even change your personality, finds a national study led...

People with student loan debt oppose Obama's tuition-free college plan, study finds

University of Illinois graduate students, from left, Shubhanshu Mishra and Derek A. Houston and alumnus Daniel A. Collier analyzed the content and civility of comments posted on four prominent websites in response to President Obama's announcement of his proposed program, America's College Promise. Co-authors on the study were Nicholas D. Hartlep and Brandon O. Hensley, an education professor and recent alumnus, respectively, both of Illinois State University.A recent analysis of online conversations about President Obama's proposed plan for tuition-free community colleges, America's College Promise, indicates that a significant number of people oppose the plan because it...

Children's purchasing behavior 'significantly impacted' by social media and mobile apps

Study examines impact on children of in-game adverts in advergames, mobile apps and social media games

The story of how a touch screen helped a paralyzed chimp walk again

This is Reo sitting up by grasping ropes after lying on his back for 14 months following the onset of acute tetraparesis.The case of Reo, a male chimpanzee that learned to walk again after being paralyzed due to illness, shows how much can be done to rehabilitate animals injured in captivity....

Grade-school students teach a robot to help themselves learn geometry

Quinn provides feedback to the learners through an easily recognizable facial emotion set.  Here Quinn smiles to indicate approval.Computer technology has become integral to the learning process. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, at the end of the last decade, some 97 percent of U.S. teachers...

Skype data of 500 million people reveals the real patterns of social adoption

Snowball sample of the Skype social network (gray links), showing multiple innovators as green nodes, induced small vulnerable trees as red nodes and links, and the triggered connected stable cluster as blue nodes and links.Global patterns of adoption spreading are induced by local adoption cascades initiated by multiple spontaneous adopters arriving at a constant rate, amplified by a large number of adoptions induced by...

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