• COVID-19

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has wreaked death and destruction in the country, with wide-ranging impacts on the global world order. This focus highlights the experiences of Ukrainian scientists – at home and abroad – and provides insights into the many impacts of the war, including food insecurity, sanctions, disinformation, cyberwarfare, mental health, and the refugee crisis.

  • Pencils of many different colours

    Lack of diversity, equity and inclusion is harmful both for individual scientists and the scientific enterprise as a whole. The contributions in this collection highlight problems and propose solutions on how to make science more equitable, inclusive and diverse for the benefit of all.

  • Vaccine vials on a pie chart that's uneven

    Equitable distribution of resources to fight COVID-19 is a global challenge. In this collection of research and opinion articles, researchers, public health officials, intellectual property experts, leaders of international organizations, and activists explain how global inequities in COVID-19 vaccine allocation continue fuelling the pandemic, and discuss ways to address these disparities.

Nature Human Behaviour is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • In a preregistered experiment, participants were randomly assigned to receive information about the endorsement of Joe Biden by the scientific journal Nature during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results suggest that this endorsement affected polarized trust in scientific expertise and caused large reductions in stated trust in Nature among Trump supporters.

    • Floyd Jiuyun Zhang
    Article Open Access
  • How can we help people tell truth and lies apart? Verschuere et al. find that a simple heuristic that instructs people to use only the level of detail in a message, and nothing else, increases deception detection rates.

    • Bruno Verschuere
    • Chu-Chien Lin
    • Ewout Meijer
  • Partners are often similar in traits, such as their education and political views, but it is unclear what exactly causes this similarity. Using Mendelian randomization and data on 50,000 partner pairs, the authors show that similarity in different traits can be explained by partner choice, confounding factors and convergence over time.

    • Jennifer Sjaarda
    • Zoltán Kutalik
    Article Open Access
  • Examining real-world data that tested different headlines for the same news story on real news readers, Robertson et al. find that people are more likely to click on a headline when it contains negative words compared to positive words.

    • Claire E. Robertson
    • Nicolas Pröllochs
    • Stefan Feuerriegel
    Registered Report Open Access
  • Using data on roughly half a million cases and 10,000 judges from Pakistan and India, Mehmood et al. estimate the impact of the Ramadan fasting ritual on criminal sentencing decisions. They find that fasting increases judicial leniency and reduces reversals of decisions in higher courts.

    • Sultan Mehmood
    • Avner Seror
    • Daniel L. Chen
    • Behavioural science is increasingly used in the public and private sectors, but it has been subject to several criticisms. This Perspective proposes a manifesto for behavioural science, addressing these criticisms and describing a way forward for the field.

      • Michael Hallsworth
    • Polygenic indices (PGIs) are increasingly advocated as screening tools for personalized medicine and education. We find, however, that rankings of individuals in PGI distributions for cardiovascular disease and education created with different construction methods and discovery samples are highly unstable. Hence, current PGIs lack the desired precision to be used routinely for personalized intervention.

      Research Briefing
    • With the world expansion of education, mothers have an increasingly important role in shaping the educational status of their children, particularly for daughters and in contexts with a high prevalence of mothers who are paired with a less-educated father.

      Research Briefing
    • Human language processing is poorly matched by artificial intelligence algorithms. We analysed fMRI brain recordings of 304 participants while they listened to short stories and compared brain activations to artificial intelligence algorithms. Unlike such algorithms, we found that the human brain operates with a hierarchy of predictions that anticipate incoming words and phrases.

      Research Briefing
    • Are people unwilling or unable to engage with information that runs against the views of their party? Tappin et al. push against this notion with a survey experiment that shows the public responds to counter-partisan policy arguments by changing their minds about these issues, even when they also see where party leaders stand on them.

      • Erik Peterson
      News & Views
Coronaviruses floating in a city.

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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