Social and Behavioural

Explore Social and Behavioural

Professor Tanja Börzel | How Identity Politics Shapes European Union Integration

Professor Tanja Börzel | How Identity Politics Shapes European Union Integration

The war in Ukraine has tested the resilience and unity of the European Union in unprecedented ways. As with some past European crises, EU member states have shown a willingness to unify and cooperate. However, unlike during other crises, this hasn’t resulted in strengthened EU regulatory or fiscal powers. In recent research, Professor Tanja Börzel at Freie Universität Berlin explores why this is the case.

read more
Dr John Kershner | Understanding the Causes and Brain Mechanisms Behind Dyslexia

Dr John Kershner | Understanding the Causes and Brain Mechanisms Behind Dyslexia

Individuals with dyslexia encounter difficulties in learning to read, despite possessing a normal level of intelligence and having access to qualified teachers and educational materials. However, the causes of dyslexia remain disputed. One suggestion is that dyslexia may be related to stress, either experienced by the afflicted individual at a young age, or through inheriting stress-related biological changes from their parents. Dr John Kershner, a neuropsychologist at the University of Toronto, has conducted extensive research on this alternative hypothesis and provides compelling evidence to support this emerging concept.

read more
Professor Uma Lele | Exploring How India Can Ensure Sustainable Growth and Resilience with Broad Participation into the Future

Professor Uma Lele | Exploring How India Can Ensure Sustainable Growth and Resilience with Broad Participation into the Future

India has seen impressive economic and institutional growth in recent years, but the country isn’t yet meeting its full potential. In a world that is increasingly volatile and uncertain, how can India overcome its challenges and ensure resilience into the future? In her recent work, Professor Uma Lele explores various ways that India can achieve this.

read more
Professor Ann Nevile | What Evidence Do Policymakers Need to Make Robust Decisions?

Professor Ann Nevile | What Evidence Do Policymakers Need to Make Robust Decisions?

Policy decisions are influenced by many factors, from the ideology of the policymaker and their advisors to political expediency. Most would also agree that key political decisions should be evidence-based. However, this is easier said than done. Understanding what evidence policymakers need, and how they should evaluate this, is key for more robust decision-making.

read more
Dr Abayomi Sanusi | Can Faith Institutions Encourage People to Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure?

Dr Abayomi Sanusi | Can Faith Institutions Encourage People to Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common and potentially dangerous condition that increases the risk of many severe medical issues, including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Dr Abayomi Sanusi, a researcher at the University of York, recently carried out a study exploring how faith-based institutions could encourage their community members to adopt healthy behaviours that can reduce hypertension.

read more
Dr Eva Straus | Exploring the Professional Lives of Remote Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr Eva Straus | Exploring the Professional Lives of Remote Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people across the globe changed the way they worked, to comply with social distancing measures. Many people worked from home, and attended meetings virtually using videoconferencing platforms. Dr Eva Straus, Dr Lars Uhlig, Professor Jana Kühnel, and Professor Christian Korunka at the University of Vienna recently carried out a diary-based study exploring the wellbeing, perceived productivity, and professional engagement of remote workers during the pandemic.

read more
Ria Nishikawara | Exploring How to Improve Healthcare for Patients with Fibromyalgia

Ria Nishikawara | Exploring How to Improve Healthcare for Patients with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a relatively common and yet poorly understood condition characterised by chronic diffuse pain and stiffness, chronic fatigue, poor sleep and cognitive difficulties. Ria Nishikawara at the University of British Columbia and her collaborators Dr Izabela Schultz, Dr Lee Butterfield, and John Murray, carried out a study exploring the unique healthcare experiences of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Their aim was to determine what patients found most helpful and how the available services could be improved.

read more
Dr David Mather | A Promising Approach to Prevent Children from Developing Dyslexia

Dr David Mather | A Promising Approach to Prevent Children from Developing Dyslexia

Studies suggest that children who rely more on vision from their left eye could be more likely to develop dyslexia if they learn to write using pathways in the right brain hemisphere. Dr David Mather, a researcher at the University of Victoria, recently published a paper reviewing these findings. He outlines a proposed approach to teaching writing skills that could prevent these children from developing dyslexia. This approach involves teaching children to write when they are 7 or 8 years old, when the human brain is better at mapping and memorising entire words.

read more
Multiverse of Madness: A Social-Ecological Tipping Point Analysis

Multiverse of Madness: A Social-Ecological Tipping Point Analysis

Humans have driven dramatic environmental changes – most of which have a negative impact on us and other species. Today, we can only understand ecological systems by integrating the impacts of human activities, driven by our social systems. These social-ecological systems are dynamic, consisting of feedback loops and several interacting sub-systems – such as forests and agricultural production. The resilience of these systems is dependent on diversity – be it ecological or social. Beyond a certain point, a sub-system may cross a tipping point that changes the state of the whole system, potentially irreversibly, ushering in a new social-ecological state, which is typically less favourable than the former state. In recent research, an international team of experts has developed an advanced analytical framework to examine the tipping points within the social-ecological multiverse of the Southwestern Amazon.

read more
Professor Nancy Rader | Teaching Infants New Words With ‘Show Gestures’

Professor Nancy Rader | Teaching Infants New Words With ‘Show Gestures’

Before an infant can learn the link between a word and an object by following a pointing gesture, Professor Nancy Rader’s team has found that infants can learn this association through ‘show gestures’. Show gestures entail bringing an object towards the child and rotating it, while synchronizing the movements with speech. While the effect of show gestures decreases with age during childhood, Rader and her colleagues have found that non-verbal children on the autism spectrum are very sensitive to this information, performing as well in learning words as age-matched typically-developing children.

read more
Axel Marx | Oliver Westerwinter – Understanding How the EU Interacts with Global Governance Institutions

Axel Marx | Oliver Westerwinter – Understanding How the EU Interacts with Global Governance Institutions

The importance of the EU in global governance has been well researched. However, systematic analysis of the way it interacts with other international organisations has been side-lined. To address this gap, Axel Marx the University of Leuven and Oliver Westerwinter at the University of St. Gallen introduce a special issue of the Journal of European Integration. The research published in this issue explores how the EU interacts with different types of global governance institutions.

read more
Dr Tony Ward | Why Do Many Migrants Retrace their Steps? Clues from 19th Century Australia

Dr Tony Ward | Why Do Many Migrants Retrace their Steps? Clues from 19th Century Australia

Migrants travel hopefully, dreaming of better lives. Some are successful, some less so. Many in both groups ultimately decide to return to their home country. Dr Tony Ward, a University of Melbourne historian, is himself a migrant, and descended from a family that returned from Australia. He sought out other stories of return migration from Australia to the UK in the 19th Century. His studies shed light on more general questions. How many migrants return? Which migrants are more likely to make the trip home? And why?

read more
Dr Nina Gmeiner | 21st Century Trends in Property Regimes: Progressive Commons

Dr Nina Gmeiner | 21st Century Trends in Property Regimes: Progressive Commons

The ownership of goods, including both material objects and immaterial goods such as intellectual property, is defined by property regimes. Property regimes are sets of rules that define ownership. They determine who can own goods, legitimate ways of acquiring and using them, and duties associated with owning them. Two important categories of property regimes are private property and common property regimes. Private property regimes focus on ownership by a single person or entity, while common property regimes involve ownership by several people or entities. Nina Gmeiner and her colleagues from the research project RightSeeds explored the recent emergence of a class of property regimes known as progressive commons.

read more
Professor Samantha Punch | Benefits of Bridge: The Partnership Mindsport

Professor Samantha Punch | Benefits of Bridge: The Partnership Mindsport

Bridge is a popular card game played socially and competitively by millions of people throughout the world. Each game consists of four players divided into two pairs, or ‘partnerships’. They compete against each other to win ‘tricks’ through cooperation, strategic thinking and logical deduction. Professor Samantha Punch at the University of Stirling leads ‘Bridge: A MindSport for All’. This research-led project explores the benefits of bridge amongst the circuit of international players.

read more
Dr Robert Walsh | Propaganda and Mass Deception Depend Upon the Tribal Mind

Dr Robert Walsh | Propaganda and Mass Deception Depend Upon the Tribal Mind

Propaganda is the systemic use of language with the intent to brainwash rather than to persuade. Deceptive communication designed to mislead the masses is commonplace in the Information Age. Dr Robert Walsh of Sisseton Wahpeton College in South Dakota recently examined how propagandists bend language for mass deception. He argued that what makes propaganda insidious is a vestige of our prehistoric past – the Neolithic or Tribal Mind.

read more
Debra Klages | Post-traumatic Growth in Health Professionals Who are Mothers of Adult Children with Schizophrenia

Debra Klages | Post-traumatic Growth in Health Professionals Who are Mothers of Adult Children with Schizophrenia

For young people with schizophrenia, their first experience of psychosis is often highly traumatic. Because of the close, nurturing relationships mothers typically have with their children, they too can experience trauma while witnessing their children’s disturbing psychotic episodes. As a result, mothers of adult children with schizophrenia often experience negative impacts on their physical and psychological health. Debra Klages takes a unique perspective by shedding light on how the traumatic experiences of health professionals with dual roles as mothers can lead to personal and professional growth and resilience.

read more
Professor Zygmunt Pizlo | How Fundamentals in Physics Can Explain Perception and Cognition

Professor Zygmunt Pizlo | How Fundamentals in Physics Can Explain Perception and Cognition

Psychophysics is the formal study of perception – our sensory experience of the world. Professor Zygmunt Pizlo at the University of California-Irvine explains that while symmetry is fundamental in both physics and mathematics, it is also fundamental to our understanding of vision. He believes there is much to gain in expanding the existing boundaries of psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience by embracing established fundamentals in physics.

read more
The Multi-theory Model of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’ | Professor Manoj Sharma

The Multi-theory Model of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’ | Professor Manoj Sharma

Meditation is the regular, purposeful practice of becoming aware of one’s bodily sensations, thoughts, or other points of focus. Professor Manoj Sharma, a global health promotion leader and Chair of the Social and Behavioral Health department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wished to test whether a health behavioral model that he developed could explain why adults begin and maintain a meditation practice. While this multi-theory model – or ‘MTM’ – has been applied to many health-related behaviors, two domains are core to the model: initiation of a health behavior and sustenance of this behavior.

read more
Professor Kieran Kilcawley | Using Flavour Chemistry to Identify Biomarkers Behind the Sensory Perception of Irish Grass-fed Beef and Lamb

Professor Kieran Kilcawley | Using Flavour Chemistry to Identify Biomarkers Behind the Sensory Perception of Irish Grass-fed Beef and Lamb

For many consumers, the origin of the food they buy is of great importance. For instance, Irish beef and lamb is often seen as superior quality meat, as the animals are typically reared outdoors on a diet of predominately fresh grass. However, are Irish beef and lamb actually any different to meats produced elsewhere, from animals reared indoors in less sustainable production systems? Professor Kieran Kilcawley and his team at the Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, in conjunction with University College Dublin, are investigating the ‘flavour chemistry’ of beef and lamb. Their aim is to determine whether there are fundamental differences in the chemical properties of meat due to the animal’s diet and origin.

read more
Dr William Durkan | Exploring How the Geography of Voter Turnout Impacts Election Results

Dr William Durkan | Exploring How the Geography of Voter Turnout Impacts Election Results

Voter turnout plays a key role in the functioning of democracies. If only a minority of citizens vote, the elected government might not accurately represent the views of the population. In contrast, when voter turnout is high, a country’s government has a strong mandate to make decisions on its citizens’ behalf. The geographical distributions of voters and voter turnout also significantly affect the outcome of elections. Dr William Durkan of Maynooth University in Ireland recently explored the changing geographies of voter turnout in US presidential elections from 2012 to 2020, using the state of Michigan as a case study.

read more
Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Psychiatric assistance dogs trained to help with mental health symptoms have become increasingly popular as a complementary intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sarah Leighton and her colleagues from Purdue University and the University of Arizona in the USA are exploring the effectiveness of psychiatric assistance dog partnerships for military veterans with PTSD.

read more
Do European Citizens Accept EU and National Policies Equally?

Do European Citizens Accept EU and National Policies Equally?

Following the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, a related economic emergency known as the Euro Crisis spread throughout Europe. To counter this crisis, the EU imposed a series of austerity measures in the worst-hit countries, which fuelled outrage across Europe. However, it is unclear whether citizens were more outraged about these policies because they had been implemented by EU institutions rather than national governments. Professor Sonia Alonso and Professor Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca recently set out to understand whether the willingness of citizens to accept unpopular policies varies depending on whether they were introduced by their national governments or by EU institutions.

read more

Increase The Impact Of Your Research!

Explore partnership opportunities

Stay Up To Date With SciPod

Subscribe to receive our latest SciPods straight to your mailbox

 

Follow Us On: