news 2014


Social Sciences

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Social Sciences - 17.12.2014
Bristol poverty measurement methods go global
17 December 2014 Researchers at the universities of Bristol and Cardiff have shown how the process of defining and measuring poverty in low-income countries can be made more democratic. In a paper published this month in the journal Social Indicators Research , the team's study (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council) demonstrates how methods developed to assess poverty in high-income countries can also be used successfully in low-income countries, where poverty is more deeply entrenched.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 17.12.2014
Stanford psychologists show that altruism is not simply innate
Stanford psychologists show that altruism is not simply innate
By recreating a classic experiment, Stanford psychologists find that altruistic behavior may be governed more by relationships, even brief ones, than instincts. Ever since the concept of altruism was proposed in the 19th century, psychologists have debated whether or not people are born into the world preprogrammed to be nice to others.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 16.12.2014
Targeted computer games can change behavior of psychopaths
Psychopaths generally do not feel fear and fail to consider the emotions of others, or reflect upon their behavior - traits that make them notoriously difficult to treat. However, a study published Dec. 18 in Clinical Psychological Science suggests it may be possible to teach psychopaths to consider emotion and other pieces of information when they make decisions.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 16.12.2014
Combining social media and behavioral psychology could lead to more HIV testing
Social media such as Twitter and Facebook can be valuable in the fight against HIV in the United States, where research has demonstrated they can prompt high-risk populations to request at-home testing kits for the virus that causes AIDS, suggesting a way to potentially boost testing rates. But does it lead to actual testing, and can it work outside the United States? A new study from the UCLA AIDS Institute and Center for AIDS Research published online Dec.

Social Sciences - 12.12.2014
Why reform of China’s one-child policy has had little effect in boosting fertility levels
Oxford's Rugby Union Blues have thrashed Cambridge 43-6 to record the biggest win in the 133-year history of the Varsity match.

Social Sciences - Event - 11.12.2014
As gay marriage gains voter acceptance, UCLA-Columbia study illuminates one possible reason
As gay marriage gains voter acceptance, UCLA-Columbia study illuminates one possible reason
Conventional wisdom holds that changing the views of voters on divisive issues is difficult if not impossible — and that when change does occur, it is almost always temporary. But Michael LaCour, a UCLA doctoral candidate in political science, and Donald Green, a Columbia University political science professor, have demonstrated that a single conversation can go a long way toward building lasting support for a controversial social issue.

Social Sciences - Economics - 10.12.2014
On immigration, the The Tories should stop following and start leading
Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London, delivers a warning to the Conservative Party about the likely effects of an increasingly reactive policy on immigration. A day or two before David Cameron made his long-awaited ' big speech ' on immigration, Nick Clegg warned him not to float plans that would see 'the British people..plunged into a cycle of wild overpromising and inevitable disappointment, their scepticism confirmed.' That Clegg had a point should surprise no-one.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 10.12.2014
Reproductive strategies
Reproductive strategies Study finds that the slower 'eusocial' system in nature offers high risks, high rewards I t's a cliché to say it takes a village to raise a child, but it's a cliché some creatures have taken to heart. A handful of animals, including ants, bees, termites, and some birds, are what scientists call "eusocial." That is, they live in tight-knit groups in which some individuals give up some of their reproductive capacity to care for the offspring of others.

Social Sciences - 09.12.2014
Ukip not winning over the politically disengaged
Our structure (research) Impact of our research Postgraduate research 09 Dec 2014 New research from the British Election Study has revealed that contrary to the popular view, Ukip is no more successful at winning over the politically disengaged than the other parties. Professor Jane Green from The University of Manchester and a Co-Director of the BES, says only the Greens are set to gain more in 2015 from people who didn't vote in either the 2005 and 2010 elections.

Health - Social Sciences - 09.12.2014
E-cigarettes less addictive than cigarettes
"We found that e-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than tobacco cigarettes in a large sample of long-term users," said Jonathan Foulds. HERSHEY, Pa. E-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than cigarettes for former smokers and this could help improve understanding of how various nicotine delivery devices lead to dependence, according to researchers.

Social Sciences - 09.12.2014
British Election Study film out now
Our structure (research) Impact of our research Postgraduate research 09 Dec 2014 The British Election Study is today launching a 12-minute film showcasing its essential task of throwing light on politics in a crucial period for British democracy. The film, T he British Election Study: Understanding British Democracy , features two of the nation's leading journalists Michael Crick and Alastair Stewart.

Social Sciences - Health - 08.12.2014
HIV treatment offers hope for disease prevention but no panacea
Related links: Dr Ingrid Young researcher profile Prof Paul Flowers researcher profile MRC/CSO SPHSU TasP research PrEP research New research findings recommend further measures should be put in place to make the best use of two new HIV prevention options. Research published by the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit offers new insights into the barriers to effective uptake and use of two new HIV prevention options that use antiretrovirals (ARVs), currently used in existing HIV treatment.

Health - Social Sciences - 03.12.2014
’Patients-in-waiting’: Even the perceived risk of disease prompts intention to act
With so much focus on risk factors for disease, we are living in an era of surveillance medicine, in which the emphasis on risk blurs the lines between health and illness, argue researchers at Yale and Syracuse universities in a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 03.12.2014
Parasites and the evolution of primate culture
Learning from others and innovation have undoubtedly helped advance civilization. But these behaviours can carry costs as well as benefits. And a new study by an international team of evolutionary biologists sheds light on how one particular cost - increased exposure to parasites - may affect cultural evolution in non-human primates.

Social Sciences - 02.12.2014
Unlike people, monkeys aren't fooled by expensive brands
Unlike people, monkeys aren’t fooled by expensive brands
In at least one respect, Capuchin monkeys are smarter than humans - they don't assume a higher price tag means better quality, according to a new Yale study appearing in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology . People consistently tend to confuse the price of a good with its quality. For instance, one study showed that people think a wine labeled with an expensive price tag tastes better than the same wine labeled with a cheaper price tag.

Health - Social Sciences - 02.12.2014
Influential UK birth cohort studies to be brought together for first time
Influential UK birth cohort studies to be brought together for first time
One outcome of the IOE and UCL merger coming into effect today will be that all five of the UK's national birth cohort studies will be housed at the same institution for the first time, forming the largest concentration of birth cohort expertise in the world. Cohort studies are a type of longitudinal research that follow the same group of people throughout their lives, charting health and social changes and untangling the reasons behind them.

Social Sciences - Economics - 01.12.2014
Twitter: homophily rules online world as well as offline, research shows
Like its famous avian logo, Twitter users tend to favour birds of a feather - something which may be bad for democracy but good for the biggest flocks of like-minded people on the social media network, a new study suggests. The study analyzed more than two million politically-committed Twitter users.

Social Sciences - Economics - 01.12.2014
Crime data research throws new light on British Muslim communities
Muslim communities may not be as victimised by violent crime, or as dissatisfied with the police as is widely suggested and believed, according to new research by a Cambridge academic. The findings suggest a growing need to move beyond misleading and potentially damaging generalisations which seek to cast British Muslim communities only as the victims of violent crime and police discrimination.

Social Sciences - Computer Science - 27.11.2014
Social media data pose pitfalls for studying behaviour
A growing number of academic researchers are mining social media data to learn about both online and offline human behaviour. In recent years, studies have claimed the ability to predict everything from summer blockbusters to fluctuations in the stock market. But mounting evidence of flaws in many of these studies points to a need for researchers to be wary of serious pitfalls that arise when working with huge social media data sets, according to computer scientists at McGill University in Montreal and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 25.11.2014
Scientific methods shed new light on evolution of kinship patterns
Scientific methods shed new light on evolution of kinship patterns
New biological methods used to trace the evolutionary history of kinship patterns shed new light on how societies developed as farming spread across the globe during the Neolithic, according to new research by a UCL-led international team. Kinship is the web of social relationships that underlie human society, with lines of descent determining how wealth, land and position are inherited across the generations.
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