Confusion over effects
No one knows whether chronic marijuana smoking causes emotional troubles or is a symptom of them.... This dearth of evidence has a number of explanations: serious lingering reactions, if they exist, occur after prolonged use, rarely after a single dose; marijuana has no known medical use, unlike LSD, so scientists have had little reason to study the drug…. Also,...
Here’s some heartbreaking news for people pinning their hopes on online matchmaking sites: It’s virtually impossible to forecast a love connection.
Maybe that’s not so shocking to survivors of the dating wars. But now science is weighing in. Extensive background data on two individuals — comparable to that collected by digital dating services — can’t predict whether that pair will...
Sure, students in the classroom have to remember facts, but they also have to apply them. Some research efforts to enhance learning zero in on methods to strengthen memory and recall, while others bolster students’ abilities to stay on task, think more fluidly and mentally track and juggle information.
But there’s a catch. The science behind student learning is so far based on carefully...
Islamic militants and their fiercest opponents fight and die for intensely spiritual reasons, a new report finds.
Islamic State (also known as ISIS) soldiers and Kurds who have fiercely battled them sacrifice themselves for sacred, nonnegotiable values, says a team led by anthropologist Scott Atran of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. These soldiers’ will to fight also depends on...
A string of state-directed, targeted mass killings left a bloody stain on the 20th century. A genocide more recent than the Holocaust is providing new insights into why some people join in such atrocities.
Adolf Hitler’s many accomplices in his campaign to exterminate Jews throughout Europe have justifiably attracted the attention of historians and social scientists. But a 100-day spasm...
Children of Nso farmers in Cameroon know how to master the marshmallow test, which has tempted away the self-control of Western kids for decades.
In a direct comparison on this delayed gratification task, Cameroonian youngsters leave middle-class German children in the dust when challenged to resist a reachable treat while waiting for another goodie, a new study finds.
Of 76 Nso 4-...
People may think they act independently. But we catch social behaviors faster than colds. Whether or not we vote, try a new food or wear clear plastic pants will have something to do with whether other people are doing it. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to prove exactly how contagious a particular behavior is, or which behaviors will actually spread.
A new study shows that among runners...
In a famous series of experiments conducted in the 1970s, social psychologist Henri Tajfel asked how little it would take to persuade one group of people to discriminate against another. The answer was almost nothing. Having assigned boys to two groups based largely on random criteria, he asked them to play a game. Each boy had to decide how many pennies to give to members of his own group and...
Kids can have virtual out-of-body experiences as early as age 6. Oddly enough, the ability to inhabit a virtual avatar signals a budding sense that one’s self is located in one’s own body, researchers say.
Grade-schoolers were stroked on their backs with a stick while viewing virtual versions of themselves undergoing the same touch. Just after the session ended, the children often...
Science & the Public
Here’s one good reason why people often take medications and use health products that don’t live up to expectations or just don’t work — digital word of mouth.
The reviews can be glowing. Take this scuttlebutt about a cholesterol treatment: “I have been using this product for 2 years. Within the first 3 – 4 months my cholesterol was down 30 points. Just got cholesterol tested last week:...