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  • News

    Are researchers asking the right questions to prevent mass shootings?

    Two decades ago, two students opened fire at Colorado’s Columbine High School, killing 12 of their classmates and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves. In the aftermath, psychologist James Garbarino interviewed one of the shooters’ parents and brother, in hopes of understanding why a troubled young man would carry out such carnage.

    But Garbarino came up empty. “It’s very...

    08/09/2019 - 08:00 Psychology
  • News

    Monkeys can use basic logic to decipher the order of items in a list

    Monkeys can keep strings of information in order by using a simple kind of logical thought.

    Rhesus macaque monkeys learned the order of items in a list with repeated exposure to pairs of items plucked from the list, say psychologist Greg Jensen of Columbia University and colleagues. The animals drew basic logical conclusions about pairs of listed items, akin to assuming that if A comes...

    07/31/2019 - 14:03 Psychology, Animals
  • News

    Bad moods could be contagious among ravens

    Here’s a downer: Pessimism seems contagious among ravens. But positivity? Not so much.

    When ravens saw fellow birds’ responses to a disliked food, but not the food itself, their interest in their own food options waned, researchers report May 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study suggests that the birds pick up on and even share negative emotions, the...

    05/20/2019 - 17:37 Animals, Psychology
  • News

    Why war’s emotional wounds run deeper for some kids and not others

    After her husband’s death in Syria’s civil war, Amouna Sharekh Housh gathered her eight children and headed for safety in the neighboring country of Lebanon. At the Lebanese border, Islamic State militants demanded that Housh hand her children over to them. She refused, even when an ISIS soldier put a gun against the head of her then 9-year-old son, Manar. After passing through that hellish...

    04/28/2019 - 08:00 Mental Health, Psychology
  • Editor's Note

    Seeing very far away and hitting closer to home

    The big science news of this issue, and so far this year, is the first-ever view of a black hole, announced at 9:07 a.m. April 10 by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, an international effort that linked radio telescopes around the globe to create a planet-sized “camera.” This issue of Science News went to press that very afternoon, and we had a marvelous time making sure the...
    04/23/2019 - 06:30 Astronomy, Physics, Psychology
  • Feature

    When anxiety happens as early as preschool, treatments can help

    When Molly was 10 months old, her parents took her to a Halloween party with other young families. While the other babies explored their surroundings, Molly sat and watched. She’s always been cautious, says Molly’s mom, Rachel. Early on, though, the little girl’s shyness didn’t raise red flags.

    By the time Molly turned 4, however, life was getting harder — for everyone. Even though she...

    04/21/2019 - 06:00 Psychology, Mental Health, Neuroscience, Clinical Trials
  • News

    What we know and don’t know about how mass trauma affects mental health

    In March, three people connected to mass school shootings died by suicide, raising questions about the lingering effects of such trauma on a person’s mental health.

    Two teenagers who survived the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., took their own lives within days of each other. The father of a child killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School...

    04/03/2019 - 11:26 Psychology, Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Mama’s Last Hug’ showcases the emotional lives of animals

    Mama’s Last HugFrans de WaalW.W. Norton & Co, $27.95

    During the last few weeks of her life, Mama, an elderly chimpanzee at a zoo in the Netherlands, received a special visitor. As Mama lay curled up on a mound of straw, biologist Jan van Hooff entered her enclosure. Van Hooff, who had known Mama for more than 40 years, knelt down and stroked the arm of the listless chimp. When...

    02/26/2019 - 06:00 Animals, Psychology
  • News

    STEM professors’ beliefs on intelligence may widen the racial achievement gap

    WASHINGTON — Beliefs among some university professors that intelligence is fixed, rather than capable of growth, contribute to a racial achievement gap in STEM courses, a new study suggests.

    Those professors may subtly communicate stereotypes about blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans allegedly being less intelligent than Asians and whites, say psychologist Elizabeth Canning of Indiana...

    02/15/2019 - 14:00 Psychology
  • News

    Why it’s key to identify preschoolers with anxiety and depression

    The task was designed to scare the kids. One by one, adults guided children, ranging in age from 3 to 7, into a dimly lit room containing a mysterious covered mound. To build anticipation, the adults intoned, “I have something in here to show you,” or “Let’s be quiet so it doesn’t wake up.” The adult then uncovered the mound — revealed to be a terrarium — and pulled out a realistic looking...

    02/03/2019 - 07:00 Human Development, Mental Health, Psychology