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July 17, 2015 How much can someone's face affect the sentence he receives in court? A lot, according to a study that asked people to rate the trustworthiness of convicted murderers based on their mugshots.
April 24, 2015 Negative feedback is supposed to be good for us, but it sure doesn't feel so good. Shifting the context by thinking more broadly helps blunt the sting, a study found. So does embracing change.
April 16, 2015 If you're wondering how to get more people to contribute to your online charity drive, consider a photo of you smiling. Even better if you're an attractive woman. Biology is to blame, researchers say.
Residents of ShantiNiketan, a retirement community near Orlando, Fla., walk in a Hindu religious procession.
Courtesy of ShantiNiketan Inc.
February 6, 2015 Iggy Ignatius bet that immigrants from India would long to live with other Indians in his Florida condos. He was right. Psychologists say intimations of mortality make us want to be with our own kind.
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Think of human relationships as entanglements. How do they bind you; how do they reveal who you really are?
Daniel Horowitz for NPR
January 30, 2015 Human relationships are entanglements, and those connections often aren't clear to us at all. When Maria Bamford impersonated her mom, she realized what she loved about her — and about herself.
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By measuring activity in different parts of the brain, neuroscientsts can get a sense of how some people will respond to treatments.
John Lund/Getty Images
January 7, 2015 Brain imaging can help researchers tell if people are more likely to be able to quit smoking or have trouble with reading. But those tests aren't yet ready for the doctor's office or classroom.
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December 9, 2014 Invisibilia, a glimpse into a world you can't see...
A sign in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's capital, warns residents that "the Ebola threat is real."
Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images
September 27, 2014 There's a long tradition of denial, superstition and wishful thinking when it comes to health. Ebola is no exception. It's all too human to let fear interfere with facts.
September 22, 2014 Angela Stimpson donated a kidney to a complete stranger. Why did she do it? Researchers found that the brains of Stimpson and other altruists are sensitive to fear and distress in a stranger's face.
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Psychologists say spanking and other forms of corporal punishment don't get children to change their behavior for the better.
Science Photo Library/Corbis
September 19, 2014 Most parents say they have used corporal punishment. But there's abundant evidence that it doesn't improve behavior over time. Changing how parents talk to children does work, but it takes practice.
I'm trying to create circumstances for better parenting, and to pat myself on the back when I pull it off.
June 23, 2014 Knowing how to be a good parent and actually being a good parent are two very different things. Tania Lombrozo takes a look at the science and the reality of raising children.
Does she really think you're funny, or is she just being polite?
Jon Feingersh/Getty/Getty Images/Blend Images RM
May 15, 2014 Plenty of primates laugh, but only humans fake it. So what are we getting out of that phony chuckle? Perhaps an unfair advantage at work and in social situations, researchers say.
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April 13, 2014 In a recent essay, David Graeber develops a playful panpsychism according to which play is the organizing principle of reality. Alva Noë suggests, more darkly, that it is work that organizes us all.
Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan, left) found out the hard way that moving up into the A-list clique doesn't protect you in the movie Mean Girls.
The Kobal Collection
April 1, 2014 You'd think that the popular kids don't get picked on, but as a teenager's social status rises, they're more apt to be bullied. Increased social combat may be to blame.
March 21, 2014 When girls act differently from boys, both biological and cultural factors may be at work. But which is primary, and can research on chimpanzees shed light on the answer?
What is it about bars that brings out bad behavior?
March 7, 2014 The study finding that men who prey on women in bars don't have to be drunk to behave badly really hit a nerve. So did the notion that if women drink, they're more likely to be targeted.
When researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College scanned teenage brains, they found that the area that regulates emotional responses has to work harder to keep impulses in check.
Courtesty Kristina Caudle/Developmental Neuroscience
November 12, 2013 Criminal lawyers increasingly turn to brain science to explain their clients' actions. It's a tactic that's kept defendants out of jail. But neuroscientists say scans can be easily misused or misinterpreted. Now judges must decide whether the evolving science is being used in a sensible way.
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Play now, pay later: consistency matters when it comes to kids and sleep.
October 15, 2013 Random bedtimes have more influence on a child's behavior than going to bed late, a British study finds. That was true at home and at school. Researchers say that failing to hit the hay at the same time every day may mess up circadian rhythms and brain development. Fortunately, the ill effects are reversible.
Eye contact may prove persuasive only if a person's already on your side, a study finds.
October 2, 2013 People are told that if you want to get a point across, look your audience straight in the eyes. But that works only if the person already agrees with you, a study finds. When people don't share the speaker's opinion, looking them in the eye may actually make them less likely to change their minds.
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