Latest Research

  • Perspective |

    Consistent failure over the past few decades to reduce the high prevalence of stress-related disorders has motivated a search for alternative research strategies. Resilience refers to the phenomenon of many people maintaining mental health despite exposure to psychological or physical adversity. Instead of aiming to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, resilience research focuses on protective mechanisms that shield people against the development of such disorders and tries to exploit its insights to improve treatment and, in particular, disease prevention. To fully harness the potential of resilience research, a critical appraisal of the current state of the art — in terms of basic concepts and key methods — is needed. We highlight challenges to resilience research and make concrete conceptual and methodological proposals to improve resilience research. Most importantly, we propose to focus research on the dynamic processes of successful adaptation to stressors in prospective longitudinal studies.

    • Raffael Kalisch
    • , Dewleen G. Baker
    • , Ulrike Basten
    • , Marco P. Boks
    • , George A. Bonanno
    • , Eddie Brummelman
    • , Andrea Chmitorz
    • , Guillén Fernàndez
    • , Christian J. Fiebach
    • , Isaac Galatzer-Levy
    • , Elbert Geuze
    • , Sergiu Groppa
    • , Isabella Helmreich
    • , Talma Hendler
    • , Erno J. Hermans
    • , Tanja Jovanovic
    • , Thomas Kubiak
    • , Klaus Lieb
    • , Beat Lutz
    • , Marianne B. Müller
    • , Ryan J. Murray
    • , Caroline M. Nievergelt
    • , Andreas Reif
    • , Karin Roelofs
    • , Bart P. F. Rutten
    • , David Sander
    • , Anita Schick
    • , Oliver Tüscher
    • , Ilse Van Diest
    • , Anne-Laura van Harmelen
    • , Ilya M. Veer
    • , Eric Vermetten
    • , Christiaan H. Vinkers
    • , Tor D. Wager
    • , Henrik Walter
    • , Michèle Wessa
    • , Michael Wibral
    •  & Birgit Kleim
  • Article |

    Women often behave more prosocially than men. Soutschek et al. use pharmacology and neuroimaging to show that the neural reward system appears to be more sensitive to prosocial rewards in women than men, providing a neurobiological account for this gender difference.

    • Alexander Soutschek
    • , Christopher J. Burke
    • , Anjali Raja Beharelle
    • , Robert Schreiber
    • , Susanna C. Weber
    • , Iliana I. Karipidis
    • , Jolien ten Velden
    • , Bernd Weber
    • , Helene Haker
    • , Tobias Kalenscher
    •  & Philippe N. Tobler
  • Letter |

    Cao et al. demonstrate that people systematically rely on social base rates when making judgements about individuals, even when these base rates are statistically irrelevant. The authors show that multiple remedies are required to eliminate this bias of base rate intrusion.

    • Jack Cao
    • , Max Kleiman-Weiner
    •  & Mahzarin R. Banaji
  • Article |

    Pedroni et al. show that risk preferences vary across behavioural elicitation methods, challenging the view that risk preferences can be consistently captured by a single method.

    • Andreas Pedroni
    • , Renato Frey
    • , Adrian Bruhin
    • , Gilles Dutilh
    • , Ralph Hertwig
    •  & Jörg Rieskamp
  • Article |

    Using behavioural experiments and computational modelling, Navajas and colleagues provide a systematic characterization of individual differences in human confidence.

    • Joaquin Navajas
    • , Chandni Hindocha
    • , Hebah Foda
    • , Mehdi Keramati
    • , Peter E. Latham
    •  & Bahador Bahrami
  • Letter |

    Using the 2014 New York Police Department slowdown as a natural experiment, the authors show that civilian complaints of major crime decreased during and after reductions in proactive policing, which challenges existing research on the topic.

    • Christopher M. Sullivan
    •  & Zachary P. O’Keeffe
  • Perspective |

    Friederici et al. outline a view of the neural organization of language that is compatible with a description of language as a biologically determined computational mechanism that yields an infinite number of hierarchically structured expressions.

    • Angela D. Friederici
    • , Noam Chomsky
    • , Robert C. Berwick
    • , Andrea Moro
    •  & Johan J. Bolhuis
  • Article |

    A mega-analysis of whole-genome data from seven populations demonstrates substantial hidden heritability for educational attainment and reproductive behaviour, highlighting the importance of sample-specific gene–environment interaction in complex traits.

    • Felix C. Tropf
    • , S. Hong Lee
    • , Renske M. Verweij
    • , Gert Stulp
    • , Peter J. van der Most
    • , Ronald de Vlaming
    • , Andrew Bakshi
    • , Daniel A. Briley
    • , Charles Rahal
    • , Robert Hellpap
    • , Anastasia N. Iliadou
    • , Tõnu Esko
    • , Andres Metspalu
    • , Sarah E. Medland
    • , Nicholas G. Martin
    • , Nicola Barban
    • , Harold Snieder
    • , Matthew R. Robinson
    •  & Melinda C. Mills
  • Letter |

    There are striking similarities among creole languages. Blasi et al. show that these similarities can in fact be explained by the same processes as for non-creole languages, the difference being that creoles have more than one language in their ancestry.

    • Damián E. Blasi
    • , Susanne Maria Michaelis
    •  & Martin Haspelmath
  • Article |

    Brummitt et al. show how supply-chain disruptions can spread contagiously throughout an economy. Adaptations to frequent disruptions can lead to the emergence of a poverty trap. Implications for ‘big push’ economic development policies are discussed.

    • Charles D. Brummitt
    • , Kenan Huremović
    • , Paolo Pin
    • , Matthew H. Bonds
    •  & Fernando Vega-Redondo
  • Article |

    The study by Gómez et al. of frontline fighters and non-combatants shows that a willingness to fight and die in intergroup conflict is associated with the sacrifice of material concerns for sacred values, and the perceived spiritual strength of in-groups and adversaries.

    • Ángel Gómez
    • , Lucía López-Rodríguez
    • , Hammad Sheikh
    • , Jeremy Ginges
    • , Lydia Wilson
    • , Hoshang Waziri
    • , Alexandra Vázquez
    • , Richard Davis
    •  & Scott Atran
  • Article |

    Momennejad et al. formulate and provide evidence for the successor representation, a computational learning mechanism intermediate between the two dominant models (a fast but inflexible ‘model-free’ system and a flexible but slow ‘model-based’ one).

    • I. Momennejad
    • , E. M. Russek
    • , J. H. Cheong
    • , M. M. Botvinick
    • , N. D. Daw
    •  & S. J. Gershman
  • Letter |

    Gächter et al. use experiments and simulations to show that low levels of cooperation (the ‘tragedy of the commons’) are systematically more likely in maintaining a public good than in providing a new one, even under identical incentives.

    • Simon Gächter
    • , Felix Kölle
    •  & Simone Quercia
  • 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
  • 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