Browse Articles

  • Review Article |

    Sagiv et al. review two decades of research into personal values. Although subjective in nature, self-reported values predict a large array of attitudes and preferences. As such, they provide invaluable insight into human behaviour.

    • Lilach Sagiv
    • , Sonia Roccas
    • , Jan Cieciuch
    •  & Shalom H. Schwartz
  • |

    Attempts to persuade people to be healthier often have limited success. Public health should focus more on marginal gains that require little or no effort, says Michael Hallsworth.

    • Michael Hallsworth
  • Letter |

    Global groundwater resources are threatened by over-extraction. An agent-based model is presented, incorporating cooperative and collective action theory that reveals tipping points in social attitudes toward conservation in three at-risk regions.

    • Juan Carlos Castilla-Rho
    • , Rodrigo Rojas
    • , Martin S. Andersen
    • , Cameron Holley
    •  & Gregoire Mariethoz
  • Comment |

    The development of autonomous weapon systems, by removing the human element of warfare, could make war crimes and atrocities a thing of the past. But if these systems are unable to respect the principles of humanitarian law, we might create a super-intelligent predator that is beyond our control.

    • James Dawes
  • Comment |

    Science, by its nature, is open to uncertainty and interpretation, but politicization — fuelled by motivated reasoning and advances in the technological environment — is leading to a new level of science scepticism among citizens and scientists themselves. What can be done to address these crises?

    • James N. Druckman
  • Editorial |

    In the face of growing economic inequality, rebalancing the wealth gap at global and national levels is key to alleviating health, educational and lifestyle inequalities — but could our respect for established hierarchies hinder a move toward fairer distribution?

  • News and Views |

    Modelling and experiments have shown that strategic information can undermine ‘altruistic’ cooperation. Using a model that varies the distribution of costs for finding out, it is now shown that information can also promote self-interested ‘strategic’ cooperation.

    • Adam Bear
    •  & David G. Rand
  • Letter |

    Gervais et al. present evidence from 13 different countries that shows intuitive moral distrust of atheists is pervasive, even among atheists themselves.

    • Will M. Gervais
    • , Dimitris Xygalatas
    • , Ryan T. McKay
    • , Michiel van Elk
    • , Emma E. Buchtel
    • , Mark Aveyard
    • , Sarah R. Schiavone
    • , Ilan Dar-Nimrod
    • , Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen
    • , Tapani Riekki
    • , Eva Kundtová Klocová
    • , Jonathan E. Ramsay
    •  & Joseph Bulbulia
  • News and Views |

    The basal ganglia are a core structure of the human brain with strong and reciprocal connections to most areas of the cerebral cortex. Analyses of human functional MRI data, collected during rest and analysed using a novel approach, support the notion that these connectivity patterns underlie differences in decision-making behaviour.

    • Bernd Weber
  • News and Views |

    How robust is the perceived association between immorality and atheism? Studies across 13 countries demonstrate that immoral behaviour is intuitively associated with atheism: people routinely assume that an immoral person is likely to be an atheist, and this effect is consistent across a wide range of societies, though with notable variation.

    • Adam B. Cohen
    •  & Jordan W. Moon
  • Comment |

    It has long been assumed that grammar is a system of abstract rules, that the world's languages follow universal patterns, and that we are born with a ‘language instinct’. But an alternative paradigm that focuses on how we learn and use language is emerging, overturning these assumptions and many more.

    • Morten H. Christiansen
    •  & Nick Chater
  • News and Views |

    Combining numerical information on-the-fly is crucial for making advantageous decisions, but precisely how humans are able to track and compare magnitudes is unclear. Experiments now suggest that when it comes to performing such tasks, not all numbers are created equal.

    • Rogier A. Kievit
  • News and Views |

    Small interventions in everyday public environments hold great potential to positively impact health behaviours. TIPPME is a framework that will provide consensus and definitional precision across intervention research into the purchase and consumption of tobacco, alcohol and food.

    • Vera Araújo-Soares
    •  & Falko F. Sniehotta
  • Comment |

    Europe has witnessed an increase in covert cultural racism that is reflected in recent political turmoil in its nation-states. Far-right movements and populists are exploiting fear about existential and ontological threats to spur the exclusion of unwanted ‘others’, such as Muslims, Roma, and refugees.

    • Catarina Kinnvall
  • Letter |

    Spitzer et al. investigate the neural and computational mechanisms involved in weighting, integrating and comparing numbers. They find systematic overweighting of larger numbers, which is reflected in stronger neural signals over the parietal cortex.

    • Bernhard Spitzer
    • , Leonhard Waschke
    •  & Christopher Summerfield
  • News and Views |

    Recent theories propose that perceptions, decisions, and behaviour rely on many rational neural observers that work to predict the value of stimuli and actions. This Bayesian framework has now advanced into new territory through a study of dopamine's influence on the integration of sensory (new) and prior (old) information in Parkinson's disease.

    • Christopher D. Fiorillo
  • Resource |

    Hollands and colleagues classify possible interventions regarding the selection, purchase and consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco. The TIPPME framework enables systematic reporting and analysis of health-related behavioural change interventions.

    • Gareth J. Hollands
    • , Giacomo Bignardi
    • , Marie Johnston
    • , Michael P. Kelly
    • , David Ogilvie
    • , Mark Petticrew
    • , Andrew Prestwich
    • , Ian Shemilt
    • , Stephen Sutton
    •  & Theresa M. Marteau