1. Psychology

    Everyone maps numbers in space. But why don’t we all use the same directions?

    The debate over whether number lines are innate or learned obscures a more fundamental question: Why do we map numbers to space in the first place?

  2. Psychology

    ‘Ghost games’ spotlight the psychological effect fans have on referees

    Soccer teams won fewer games and received more fouls when playing at home during the 2019–2020 season, when many fans were absent, than before the pandemic.

  3. Psychology

    How the strange idea of ‘statistical significance’ was born

    A mathematical ritual known as null hypothesis significance testing has led researchers astray since the 1950s.

  4. Psychology

    Psychology has struggled for a century to make sense of the mind

    Research into what makes us tick has been messy and contentious, but has led to intriguing insights.

  5. Science & Society

    Moral judgments about an activity’s COVID-19 risk can lead people astray

    People use values and beliefs as a shortcut to determine how risky an activity is during the pandemic. Those biases can lead people astray.

  6. Neuroscience

    Playing brain training games regularly doesn’t boost brainpower

    Comparing brain training program users with those who don’t do the mini brain workouts, scientists found no proof that the regimens boosted brainpower.

  7. Psychology

    Small bribes may help people build healthy handwashing habits

    Getting people to wash their hands is notoriously difficult. Doling out nice soap dispensers and rewards helps people develop the habit.

  8. Neuroscience

    Surprisingly, humans recognize joyful screams faster than fearful screams

    Scientists believed we evolved to respond to alarming screams faster than non-alarming ones, but experiments show our brains may be wired differently.

  9. Psychology

    People add by default even when subtraction makes more sense

    People default to addition when solving puzzles and problems, even when subtraction works better. That could underlie some modern-day excesses.

  10. Science & Society

    Parents in Western countries report the highest levels of burnout

    The first survey comparing parental exhaustion across 42 countries links it to a culture of self-reliance.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Redefining ‘flesh-colored’ bandages makes medicine more inclusive

    Peach-colored bandages label dark-skinned patients as outside the norm, says med student Linda Oyesiku. Brown bandages expand who gets to be normal.

  12. Animals

    A rare bird sighting doesn’t lead to seeing more kinds of rare birds

    The idea that more kinds of rare birds are seen when birders flock to where one has been seen, the so-called Patagonia Picnic Table Effect, is a myth.