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Latest Research

  • Perspective |

    Many decisions in life involve deliberating about trade-offs between sooner and later outcomes. Bulley and Schacter argue that the mechanisms of prospection and metacognition are integral to deliberation in intertemporal choice.

    • Adam Bulley
    •  & Daniel L. Schacter
  • Article |

    Small, portable artworks have been missing from the archaeological record of the earliest Homo sapiens of Southeast Asia–Australasia. New excavations in Sulawesi have uncovered stone engravings of the natural world dating back to 26–14 ka.

    • Michelle C. Langley
    • , Budianto Hakim
    • , Adhi Agus Oktaviana
    • , Basran Burhan
    • , Iwan Sumantri
    • , Priyatno Hadi Sulistyarto
    • , Rustan Lebe
    • , David McGahan
    •  & Adam Brumm
  • Article |

    Hunter movements have implications for how to control emerging wildlife diseases. In northern Europe, hunter residential densities are more closely linked to human than prey density, hunters are largely migratory, and they aggregate with increasing regional prey densities.

    • Atle Mysterud
    • , Inger M. Rivrud
    • , Vegard Gundersen
    • , Christer M. Rolandsen
    •  & Hildegunn Viljugrein
  • Article |

    Guess, Nyhan and Reifler find that untrustworthy websites made up a small share of people’s information diets before the 2016 US election and were largely consumed by a subset of Americans with strong preferences for pro-attitudinal information.

    • Andrew M. Guess
    • , Brendan Nyhan
    •  & Jason Reifler
  • Article |

    Sznycer and Patrick show that laypeople can intuitively recreate core aspects of criminal laws drawn from ancient, culturally foreign legal codes and argue that this is consistent with the theory that criminal laws originate in the human brain.

    • Daniel Sznycer
    •  & Carlton Patrick

News & Comment

  • World View |

    The human tendency to impose a single interpretation in ambiguous situations carries huge dangers in addressing COVID-19. We need to search actively for multiple interpretations, and governments need to choose policies that are robust if their preferred theory turns out to be wrong, argues Nick Chater.

    • Nick Chater
  • World View |

    In the current absence of medical treatment and vaccination, the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic can only be brought under control by massive and rapid behaviour change. To achieve this we need to systematically monitor and understand how different individuals perceive risk and what prompts them to act upon it, argues Cornelia Betsch.

    • Cornelia Betsch
  • World View |

    The global practice of monetizing ecosystems to further national economic development has laid fertile ground for the COVID-19 pandemic and others like it, writes Cobus van Staden.

    • Cobus van Staden
  • Editorial |

    Over the past decades, the availability of new methods and digitization has dramatically changed how scientific data are recorded, stored and analysed. This has enabled researchers to pull together the data underlying single research efforts into larger standardized datasets for reuse. The publication of these datasets - in the Resource format in our pages - represents a contribution of exceptional value to the scientific community.

About the Journal

  • Nature Human Behaviour publishes research of outstanding significance into any aspect of human behaviour: its psychological, biological, and social bases, as well as its origins, development, and disorders. The journal aims to enhance the visibility of research into human behaviour, strengthening its societal reach and impact.

  • We publish a range of content types including original research articles, Reviews, Perspectives, Comments, World Views, News & Views, Correspondences, and Research Highlights that elaborate on significant advances in the field and cover topical issues.

  • Nature Human Behaviour is staffed by a dedicated team of professional editors, with relevant research backgrounds. It is led by Stavroula Kousta, formerly the Editor of Trends in Cognitive Sciences and Senior Editor at PLOS Biology, and also includes Aisha Bradshaw, Charlotte Payne, and Anne-Marike Schiffer.

  • In addition to our in-house editors, Nature Human Behaviour has an external advisory panel to assist journal development in science and policy.

  • Contact information for editorial staff, submissions, the press office, institutional access and advertising at Nature Human Behaviour

Videos

  • Witchcraft beliefs are and have been widespread in human societies, but what impact do they have on social interactions and what cultural evolutionary function might they serve? Field experiments and network data show that the witchcraft label ‘Zhu’ influences labour-sharing and reproductive choices in a large network of southwest Chinese villages. Zhu is not an indicator of prosociality, but may function to spite or damage rivals.

  • An illustration of neurofeedback training guided by an animated scenario [1]. Real-time modulations in the amygdala electrical fingerprint signal are reflected by audiovisual changes in the unrest level of a virtual 3D scenario (a typical hospital waiting room), manifested as the ratio between characters sitting down and those loudly protesting at the counter. The video shows an example both for down- and up-regulation training; in the current study [1], only down-regulation training was conducted. The participant consented to appear in the video. 1. Keynan, J. N. et al. Nat Hum. Behav. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-018-0484-3 (2018)

  • Cultural products have a life of their own: academic papers get cited and songs get downloaded. While scholars have studied these patterns, we know little about how to model the decay of attention. In this study Candia and colleagues model the attention received by cultural products, including scientific papers, patents, songs, movies, and biographies, and show that all these decay following a universal bi-exponential function, which may be due to the differing functions of communicative and cultural collective memory [1]. [1]Candia, C., Jara-Figueroa, C., Rodriguez-Sickert, C., Barabási, A.-L. & Hidalgo, C. A. Nat. Hum. Behav. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-018-04... (2018).

Focus

PhDs under publication pressure

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PhDs under publication pressure

Regardless of country and discipline, publications are an expectation – if not a requirement – to obtain a PhD. In this Focus issue, PhD students, academics and external stakeholders describe how this focus on publications leads to both, detrimental consequences but also benefits, for individuals and the scientific community. The 28 varied contributions include clear calls for future improvements of the system of support, training, and assessment of PhD students. The discussion is amplified with more contributions on the Behavioural and Social Science community forum (https://socialsciences.nature.com/channels/2140-is-it-publish-or-perish).

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