Sarah Ostresh, Yale University

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Latest Research

  • Review Article |

    Winterton et al. review the status and challenges of intranasal oxytocin research and argue that only a combination of theory, methodology and replicability will achieve a successful reorganisation of intranasal oxytocin research.

    • Adriano Winterton
    • , Lars T. Westlye
    • , Nils Eiel Steen
    • , Ole A. Andreassen
    •  & Daniel S. Quintana
  • Article |

    Individuals are willing to punish antisocial others even at a personal cost. Marshall et al. examine the motivational basis of this behaviour from a developmental standpoint, showing that children—like adults—punish others for both retributive and consequentialist reasons.

    • Julia Marshall
    • , Daniel A. Yudkin
    •  & Molly J. Crockett
  • Article |

    Druckman et al. use a two-wave survey fielded before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to study the relationship between affective polarization and issue positions. They find an association between previous out-party animus and COVID-19 policy beliefs, and local context moderates this relationship.

    • James N. Druckman
    • , Samara Klar
    • , Yanna Krupnikov
    • , Matthew Levendusky
    •  & John Barry Ryan

News & Comment

  • Comment |

    The harassment of researchers working in the social sciences—not rarely an organized effort targeting members of marginalized groups—is most alarming. Its implications reach from severe personal consequences to the risk of scientific self-censorship. We invite readers to engage in a much-needed discourse about this worrisome phenomenon.

    • Jan-Philipp Stein
    •  & Markus Appel
  • World View |

    Doubly marginalized by race and gender, Black women expend vital energy managing stereotypes. Black women should be able to succeed in ways that affirm rather than negate their identities, argues Ebony Omotola McGee.

    • Ebony Omotola McGee
  • World View |

    The involvement of girls and women in the development of science and technology is vital to achieving sustainable development goals in Africa. Identifying the barriers preventing their participation and mapping strategies to overcome these barriers could proffer the way forward, explains Francisca N. Okeke

    • Francisca N. Okeke
  • News & Views |

    A study in Nature Human Behaviour proposes a biologically plausible algorithm producing near-optimal behaviour in uncertain and volatile environments through computational imprecision. A complementary study in the same issue shows that, depending on context, uncertainty itself guides different decisions and is differentially represented in the brain.

    • Markus Ullsperger
  • World View |

    Efforts to eliminate anti-Black racism in academia must go far beyond superficial ticking of boxes. The academic community must create conditions for authentic, not tokenistic, Black engagement, argues Tony Reames.

    • Tony G. Reames

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, Jamie Horder, 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 [1]. 1. Mace, R., Thomas, M.G., Wu, J., He, Q., Ji, T. & Tao, Yi. Nat. Hum. Behav. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0271-6 (2018)

  • 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

COVID-19 and human behaviour

GeorgePeters / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty

COVID-19 and human behaviour

Human behaviour has been critical in shaping the COVID-19 pandemic, and the actions of individuals, groups, nation states and international bodies all have a role to play in curbing its spread. This means that insights from behavioural, social and health sciences are and will continue to be invaluable throughout the course of the pandemic. In this Focus, we bring together original research and expert viewpoints from a broad spectrum of disciplines that provide insight into the causes, impacts, and mitigation of the pandemic, highlighting how research on individual and collective behaviour can contribute to an effective response.

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