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  • News

    Gun owner or not, Americans agree on many ways to limit gun violence

    Despite a public debate that grows more fractious with every school shooting — from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., to Parkland, Fla., and the latest deadly attack May 18 in Santa Fe, Texas — Americans actually agree on gun policy to a surprising extent.  

    According to a new survey of more than 2,100 people, majorities of both gun owners and nonowners support 15 potential gun...

    05/21/2018 - 13:23 Psychology, Science & Society
  • News

    The window for learning a language may stay open surprisingly long

    Language learning isn’t kid stuff anymore. In fact, it never was, a provocative new study concludes.

    A crucial period for learning the rules and structure of a language lasts up to around age 17 or 18, say psychologist Joshua Hartshorne of MIT and colleagues.

    Previous research had suggested that grammar-learning ability flourished in early childhood before hitting a dead end around...

    05/11/2018 - 11:02 Language, Psychology
  • News

    In China, coffee shop habits show cultural differences tied to farming

    Deeply ingrained cultural differences in everyday behavior between natives of northern and southern China bubble up while sipping coffee in Starbucks and other cafés.

    How close people sit and whether they dodge or move chairs blocking aisles reveals whether their cultural roots go back to rice farming in southern China or wheat farming in northern China, researchers report April 25 in...

    04/25/2018 - 14:22 Psychology
  • News

    Why science still can’t pinpoint a mass shooter in the making

    Immediately after a 19-year-old shot and killed 17 people and wounded 17 others at a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day, people leaped to explain what had caused the latest mass slaughter.

    By now, it’s a familiar drill: Too many readily available guns. Too much untreated mental illness. Too much warped masculinity. Don’t forget those shoot-’em-up video games and movies. Add (or...

    03/23/2018 - 11:46 Science & Society, Psychology, Mental Health
  • Reviews & Previews

    How biology breaks the ‘cerebral mystique’

    The Biological MindAlan JasanoffBasic Books, $30

    At a small eatery in Seville, Spain, Alan Jasanoff had his first experience with brains — wrapped in eggs and served with potatoes. At the time, he was more interested in finding a good, affordable meal than contemplating the sheer awesomeness of the organ he was eating. Years later, Jasanoff began studying the brain as part of his...

    03/12/2018 - 07:00 Neuroscience, History of Science, Psychology
  • Editor's Note

    Discussing what matters when facts are not enough

    Scientists and journalists live for facts. Our methods may be very different, but we share a deep belief that by questioning, observing and verifying, we can gain a truer sense of how the world works.

    So when people question the scientific consensus on issues such as climate change, vaccine effectiveness or the safety of genetically modified organisms (SN: 2/6/16, p. 22), it’s no...

    03/09/2018 - 10:20 Science & Society, Psychology