Social and Behavioural
Explore Social and Behavioural
Professor Avril Horne – Dr Andrew John | Re-evaluating How We Assess and Manage Rivers in Response to Climate Change
Understanding and successfully managing river flows is vital for sustaining human communities, the river environment, and its ecosystems. However, the methods currently used to assess river flow needs are limited in the face of increasing pressures from an uncertain and changing climate. Academics at the University of Melbourne are rethinking the approach to these assessments. This includes work by Professor Avril Horne, Dr Andrew John and their collaborators to present a more integrated and holistic method, which provides much-needed room for learning over time, and to understand the vulnerability, robustness, and adaptability of river flow regimes.
Dr Markku Lehtonen | Understanding Trust, Mistrust, and Distrust in the Nuclear Sector
Is more trust always better? It is widely known that trust and confidence are fundamental in high-risk industries, such as nuclear energy and radioactive waste management. While public trust is definitely essential for policymaking, the upsides of mistrust and distrust are often overlooked by practitioners and social science researchers. This was recently examined in a special issue of the Journal of Risk Research, where a series of articles highlighted the ways in which mistrust and distrust can play a constructive role in the nuclear sector.
Dr David Gilkey | Assessing and Improving Workplace Safety in Metal Mining
Mining is a particularly hazardous industry, with miners often experiencing health problems, injuries and psychological issues. Dr David Gilkey, an Associate Professor of Safety, Health & Industrial Hygiene at Montana Technological University, has recently carried out a case study specifically investigating workplace safety climate in a metal mine in Montana. The study also assessed the effectiveness of a short training program to improve the metal mining company’s workplace safety leadership.
Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’
The multi-theory model – or ‘MTM’ – of health behavior change provides a theoretical framework for understanding and promoting health behaviors. Professor Manoj Sharma from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has now applied this model to understand the factors that lead people to take up meditation – or ‘dhyana’ – and to maintain this health-related behavior over time. His findings confirm the utility of the MTM in informing behavior change interventions and open up important avenues for future research.
Professor John P Miller | The Importance of Compassion and Compromise in Healthy Societies
In a recent paper, Professor John P Miller discusses the importance of mutual accommodation and compassion in preserving democracies and ensuring we can tackle some of our biggest global problems. He highlights the way in which Canada has become a more tolerant, cooperative, inclusive society by emphasising the role of compromise and compassion. Using examples from education, he shows how we can nurture these qualities in children and young adults.
Professor Lynne McCormack | Nicole L. Bennett – Gender Minimisation and Gender-based Abuse Experienced by Military Women
While the psychological impact of warzone experiences on military personnel is well-documented, the unique gendered experiences of personnel are rarely discussed. Professor Lynne McCormack at the University of Newcastle, along with clinical psychologist Nicole L. Bennett, investigated the ‘lived’ experience of women in the military through a series of interviews with female veterans. Their findings shed light on profound and detrimental dehumanising behaviours directed at the women who participated in this study, which they describe as gender minimisation, a form of sexual abuse.
Dr Abera Habte et al. | Climate Change in Ethiopia: Exploring Farmers’ Attitudes and Adaptation Strategies
Around the world, climate change is impacting the availability of food and water, affecting people’s health and livelihoods. Unfortunately, these damaging effects are more pronounced in developing countries. In a recent study, Dr Abera Habte of Wolaita Sodo University and his collaborators investigated the impacts of climate change in Southwestern Ethiopia. His team incorporated the perceptions and knowledge of local farmers into their analysis, in order to develop more effective climate adaptation strategies.
Dr Hong Lu | Exploring the Impact of the Death Penalty on a Convict’s Family
So far, very few research studies have investigated the effects of criminal convictions on the families of defendants. Dr Hong Lu, a Professor of Criminal Justice at University of Nevada, along with her co-authors, Dr Yudu Li and Dr Bin Liang, carried out a study examining how the family of Nian Bin, the defendant in a high-profile capital case in China who received four death sentences, managed the physical, emotional, financial, and legal challenges they faced after their relative’s conviction.
Dr Megan Schraedley | Reducing Political Sectarianism to Introduce Important Legislation
In the United States, public opinions have become increasingly polarised. This polarisation leads to ‘othering’, which describes how one group of people can view another group as very different from themselves and depict them in negative ways. Dr Megan Schraedley at West Chester University recently carried out a study exploring how othering arises in the context of US politics, and how it can be disrupted. Understanding how this destructive phenomenon can be disrupted could help policymakers to successfully introduce important legislation.
Dr Robert L. 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. It has the subtle but pervasive power to ensnare an entire populace toward a predetermined attitude or outlook. Deceptive communication is now commonplace in this information age. Dr Robert L. Walsh recently examined how propagandists bend language for mass deception. He argued that what makes propaganda so insidious is a vestige of our prehistoric past – the Neolithic or Tribal mind.
Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding the Determinants of Breast Cancer Screening
The multi-theory model (MTM) of health behavior change provides a theoretical framework for understanding and promoting health behaviors. Professor Manoj Sharma from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the originator of this model, has applied this model to breast cancer and undertaking mammography screening in women from groups underserved in current healthcare. His findings have important theoretical and practical implications.
Dr Alejandro Estrada and Dr Paul A. Garber | The Importance of Indigenous Peoples in Safeguarding Earth’s Primates
Non-human primates play crucial roles in sustaining natural ecosystems worldwide. However, approximately 68% of primate species are now at risk of extinction, mainly due to agriculture and the depletion of natural resources. Dr Alejandro Estrada at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Dr Paul A. Garber at the University of Illinois-Urbana, and a group of scientists from various parts of the world recently carried out a study to better understand the role that Indigenous Peoples play in the conservation of threatened primates.
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