Browse Articles

  • Article |

    In a study of Google News, Fischer et al. show that, unless users explicitly search for local terms, national outlets dominate, directing attention away from local news. This divide exacerbates existing news inequalities detrimental to civic health.

    • Sean Fischer
    • , Kokil Jaidka
    •  & Yphtach Lelkes
  • Article |

    Using a cultural evolutionary model, this paper proposes that organizations producing goods and services—both ancient craft guilds and modern firms—evolved because they facilitate the accumulation of culture. Ethnographic data support the predictions.

    • Francisco Brahm
    •  & Joaquin Poblete
  • Article |

    In examining the impacts of the plain packaging tobacco law in Australia, Sun and colleagues uncover unintended negative consequences. In response to the policy, smokers switched from expensive to cheap cigarettes, and as smoking became less costly, they consumed more cigarettes.

    • David Underwood
    • , Sizhong Sun
    •  & Riccardo A. M. H. M. Welters
  • Article |

    Do human confidence judgments follow Bayesian principles? Using a task in which confidence is not reported on a scale but used to inform decisions, Lisi et al. find that behaviour is better explained by discrete confidence levels than Bayesian probability.

    • Matteo Lisi
    • , Gianluigi Mongillo
    • , Georgia Milne
    • , Tessa Dekker
    •  & Andrei Gorea
  • Article |

    Cheyette and Piantadosi present a model of numerosity perception and find that core properties of number processing can be derived as optimal information processing with memory limits.

    • Samuel J. Cheyette
    •  & Steven T. Piantadosi
  • News & Views |

    Probabilistic mixture models have contributed significantly to advancements in visual working memory research in recent decades. In a new paper, Schurgin and colleagues revisit the basic assumptions of mixture models and suggest that we cannot understand memory without first considering perception.

    • Blaire Dube
    •  & Julie D. Golomb
  • Comment |

    Twitter announced on 18 June 2019 that it would remove the precise geotagging feature in tweets. In addition to protecting the location privacy of users, this change also affects human behaviour studies based on geotagged tweets. We discuss the potential impact of Twitter’s decision and how researchers can respond to this change.

    • Yingjie Hu
    •  & Ruo-Qian Wang
  • Article |

    Schurgin et al. propose a model of visual memory, arguing against a distinction between how many items are represented and how precisely they are represented, and in favour of a view based on continuous representations in noisy channels.

    • Mark W. Schurgin
    • , John T. Wixted
    •  & Timothy F. Brady
  • Article |

    Götz et al. find that topography is related to personality across the United States (n = 3,387,014), with people in mountainous areas being less agreeable, extraverted, neurotic and conscientious but more open. East–west comparisons suggest frontier cultural heritage and ecological demands as possible mechanisms.

    • Friedrich M. Götz
    • , Stefan Stieger
    • , Samuel D. Gosling
    • , Jeff Potter
    •  & Peter J. Rentfrow
  • Article |

    When a person assumes the role of advocate, can they keep their personal beliefs separate from their role? This paper suggests not: merely accepting the role of advocate shifts people’s beliefs into alignment with their cause.

    • David E. Melnikoff
    •  & Nina Strohminger
  • Article |

    Steyvers and Schafer analysed the latent structure of learning trajectories on a cognitive training platform. The results reveal covariation in cognitive performance across tasks, offering predictive tools for cognitive performance.

    • Mark Steyvers
    •  & Robert J. Schafer
  • Article |

    Trudel et al. find that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex carries multiple decision variables, the strength and polarity of which vary according to their relevance to the context of exploration, exploitation and the transition between these states.

    • Nadescha Trudel
    • , Jacqueline Scholl
    • , Miriam C. Klein-Flügge
    • , Elsa Fouragnan
    • , Lev Tankelevitch
    • , Marco K. Wittmann
    •  & Matthew F. S. Rushworth
  • Article |

    Zhou, Pei et al. develop a more realistic information cascade model that reproduces key structures of real-world diffusion trees in distinct social platforms by combining a peer-to-peer diffusion pattern with a correction for observational bias.

    • Bin Zhou
    • , Sen Pei
    • , Lev Muchnik
    • , Xiangyi Meng
    • , Xiaoke Xu
    • , Alon Sela
    • , Shlomo Havlin
    •  & H. Eugene Stanley
  • Article |

    How We Feel is a web and mobile-phone application for collecting de-identified self-reported COVID-19-related data. These data are used to map a diverse set of symptomatic, demographic, exposure and behavioural factors relevant to the ongoing pandemic.

    • William E. Allen
    • , Han Altae-Tran
    • , James Briggs
    • , Xin Jin
    • , Glen McGee
    • , Andy Shi
    • , Rumya Raghavan
    • , Mireille Kamariza
    • , Nicole Nova
    • , Albert Pereta
    • , Chris Danford
    • , Amine Kamel
    • , Patrik Gothe
    • , Evrhet Milam
    • , Jean Aurambault
    • , Thorben Primke
    • , Weijie Li
    • , Josh Inkenbrandt
    • , Tuan Huynh
    • , Evan Chen
    • , Christina Lee
    • , Michael Croatto
    • , Helen Bentley
    • , Wendy Lu
    • , Robert Murray
    • , Mark Travassos
    • , Brent A. Coull
    • , John Openshaw
    • , Casey S. Greene
    • , Ophir Shalem
    • , Gary King
    • , Ryan Probasco
    • , David R. Cheng
    • , Ben Silbermann
    • , Feng Zhang
    •  & Xihong Lin
  • Correspondence |

    The world is waiting for a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. In anticipation of successful trial results, preparations are being made for an unprecedented effort to achieve universal coverage and protection. But the interim measures to mitigate COVID-19 have brought their own severe and negative aftershocks. Global lockdowns and closures of schools and protective services have shone light on the vulnerability of children. Challenges of parenting under the strain of the epidemic are near-universal, and most harsh parenting is not malicious, but triggered by stress, poverty and mental health distress. In the extreme, the situation of fragile families affected by violence and neglect has worsened1, abusers have had increased impunity and victims have been cut off from supportive teachers, social workers and friends. The looming economic fallout and uncertainty is adding yet more pressure onto such family settings, with lifetime and intergenerational consequences for the children affected. But there is a cost-effective and scalable response.

    • Benjamin Perks
    •  & Lucie D. Cluver
  • Comment |

    The impact of pandemics is magnified by the coexistence of two contradicting reactions to rare dire risks: panic and the ‘it won’t happen to me’ effect that hastens spread of the disease. We review research that clarifies the conditions that trigger the two biases, and we highlight the potential of gentle rule enforcement policies that can address these problematic conditions.

    • Ido Erev
    • , Ori Plonsky
    •  & Yefim Roth
  • Article |

    Coscia et al. use a large dataset of business travel to show that, before they become competitive in new industries, countries receive visitors from places where that industry already thrives.

    • Michele Coscia
    • , Frank M. H. Neffke
    •  & Ricardo Hausmann
  • Article |

    An agent-based model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission shows that testing, contact tracing and household quarantine could keep new COVID-19 waves under control while allowing the reopening of the economy with minimal social-distancing interventions.

    • Alberto Aleta
    • , David Martín-Corral
    • , Ana Pastore y Piontti
    • , Marco Ajelli
    • , Maria Litvinova
    • , Matteo Chinazzi
    • , Natalie E. Dean
    • , M. Elizabeth Halloran
    • , Ira M. Longini Jr
    • , Stefano Merler
    • , Alex Pentland
    • , Alessandro Vespignani
    • , Esteban Moro
    •  & Yamir Moreno
  • Article |

    Camerer et al. use standardized experiments across thousands of students to demonstrate empirical regularities in two-person bargaining and trading in markets. Bargaining outcomes lean toward equal sharing, and markets rapidly create prices that match supply and demand.

    • Po-Hsuan Lin
    • , Alexander L. Brown
    • , Taisuke Imai
    • , Joseph Tao-yi Wang
    • , Stephanie W. Wang
    •  & Colin F. Camerer
  • Perspective |

    Giurge and Whillans et al. highlight the problem of time poverty, explore the factors that drive it, discuss its personal and social consequences, and call for more research attention to this pervasive form of poverty.

    • Laura M. Giurge
    • , Ashley V. Whillans
    •  & Colin West
  • Article |

    Brazil has one of the fastest-growing COVID-19 epidemics in the world. De Souza et al. report epidemiological, demographic and clinical findings for COVID-19 cases in the country during the first 3 months of the epidemic.

    • William Marciel de Souza
    • , Lewis Fletcher Buss
    • , Darlan da Silva Candido
    • , Jean-Paul Carrera
    • , Sabrina Li
    • , Alexander E. Zarebski
    • , Rafael Henrique Moraes Pereira
    • , Carlos A. Prete Jr
    • , Andreza Aruska de Souza-Santos
    • , Kris V. Parag
    • , Maria Carolina T. D. Belotti
    • , Maria F. Vincenti-Gonzalez
    • , Janey Messina
    • , Flavia Cristina da Silva Sales
    • , Pamela dos Santos Andrade
    • , Vítor Heloiz Nascimento
    • , Fabio Ghilardi
    • , Leandro Abade
    • , Bernardo Gutierrez
    • , Moritz U. G. Kraemer
    • , Carlos K. V. Braga
    • , Renato Santana Aguiar
    • , Neal Alexander
    • , Philippe Mayaud
    • , Oliver J. Brady
    • , Izabel Marcilio
    • , Nelson Gouveia
    • , Guangdi Li
    • , Adriana Tami
    • , Silvano Barbosa de Oliveira
    • , Victor Bertollo Gomes Porto
    • , Fabiana Ganem
    • , Walquiria Aparecida Ferreira de Almeida
    • , Francieli Fontana Sutile Tardetti Fantinato
    • , Eduardo Marques Macário
    • , Wanderson Kleber de Oliveira
    • , Mauricio L. Nogueira
    • , Oliver G. Pybus
    • , Chieh-Hsi Wu
    • , Julio Croda
    • , Ester C. Sabino
    •  & Nuno Rodrigues Faria
  • World View |

    Black early-career researchers suffer racism, discrimination and significant barriers to professional development. Mya Roberson makes key suggestions on how non-Black scientists can support Black early-career researchers.

    • Mya L. Roberson
  • Resource |

    Specification curve analysis enables large numbers of alternative empirical analyses to be performed on the same data, showcasing how analytical decisions influence results and allowing joint inference over all analyses.

    • Uri Simonsohn
    • , Joseph P. Simmons
    •  & Leif D. Nelson
  • News & Views |

    Electrical stimulation of the human cortex, undertaken for brain surgery, triggers percepts and feelings. A new study documents an ordering principle to these effects: the farther removed from sensory input or motor output structures, the less likely it is that a region contributes to consciousness.

    • Christof Koch
  • Editorial |

    In cases of direct replications or direct critiques of earlier work, feedback from the original authors can have an important role to play in the evaluation process, but such feedback is by definition not impartial. Our signed comments policy allows such feedback to be incorporated in the consideration process, without impacting the objectivity of peer review and editorial evaluation.

  • Comment |

    COVID-19 has not affected all scientists equally. A survey of principal investigators indicates that female scientists, those in the ‘bench sciences’ and, especially, scientists with young children experienced a substantial decline in time devoted to research. This could have important short- and longer-term effects on their careers, which institution leaders and funders need to address carefully.

    • Kyle R. Myers
    • , Wei Yang Tham
    • , Yian Yin
    • , Nina Cohodes
    • , Jerry G. Thursby
    • , Marie C. Thursby
    • , Peter Schiffer
    • , Joseph T. Walsh
    • , Karim R. Lakhani
    •  & Dashun Wang
  • Comment |

    Bias and racism in the biomedical community thwart scientific advancement, reduce the pipeline of diverse clinicians and scientists, and contribute to racial and ethnic health disparities. We advocate for proactive antiracism approaches to eliminate barriers impacting people of colour, promote equity and achieve a more effective biomedical community.

    • Uraina S. Clark
    •  & Yasmin L. Hurd
  • Article |

    Intracranial brain stimulation in humans elicits a large variety of perceptual, motor and cognitive effects. Fox et al. show strong links between the distribution and content of these responses and the brain’s intrinsic network architecture.

    • Kieran C. R. Fox
    • , Lin Shi
    • , Sori Baek
    • , Omri Raccah
    • , Brett L. Foster
    • , Srijani Saha
    • , Daniel S. Margulies
    • , Aaron Kucyi
    •  & Josef Parvizi
  • Article |

    By synthesizing information on archaeological sites, palaeoclimate reconstructions and ancient DNA, Betti et al. show that the Neolithic expansion in Europe was not a continuous process of diffusion, but a series of climate-driven episodes of varying speeds.

    • Lia Betti
    • , Robert M. Beyer
    • , Eppie R. Jones
    • , Anders Eriksson
    • , Francesca Tassi
    • , Veronika Siska
    • , Michela Leonardi
    • , Pierpaolo Maisano Delser
    • , Lily K. Bentley
    • , Philip R. Nigst
    • , Jay T. Stock
    • , Ron Pinhasi
    •  & Andrea Manica
  • Article |

    A new study presenting two variations of the influential two-stage decision task shows that detailed task instructions lead participants to make model-based choices and that a simple model-free/model-based dichotomy does not describe behaviour well.

    • Carolina Feher da Silva
    •  & Todd A. Hare
  • Comment |

    Do purchasable randomised reward mechanisms in video games (loot boxes) constitute gambling? Opinions often rest on whether virtual items obtained from loot boxes have real-world value. Using market data from real transactions, we show that virtual items have real-world monetary value and therefore could be regulated under existing gambling legislation.

    • Aaron Drummond
    • , James D. Sauer
    • , Lauren C. Hall
    • , David Zendle
    •  & Malcolm R. Loudon
  • Perspective |

    Thirty-two experts propose ten considerations for managing the de-escalation of COVID-19 containment measures while still maintaining public adherence to social and physical distancing.

    • Katrine Bach Habersaat
    • , Cornelia Betsch
    • , Margie Danchin
    • , Cass R. Sunstein
    • , Robert Böhm
    • , Armin Falk
    • , Noel T. Brewer
    • , Saad B. Omer
    • , Martha Scherzer
    • , Sunita Sah
    • , Edward F. Fischer
    • , Andrea E. Scheel
    • , Daisy Fancourt
    • , Shinobu Kitayama
    • , Eve Dubé
    • , Julie Leask
    • , Mohan Dutta
    • , Noni E. MacDonald
    • , Anna Temkina
    • , Andreas Lieberoth
    • , Mark Jackson
    • , Stephan Lewandowsky
    • , Holly Seale
    • , Nils Fietje
    • , Philipp Schmid
    • , Michele Gelfand
    • , Lars Korn
    • , Sarah Eitze
    • , Lisa Felgendreff
    • , Philipp Sprengholz
    • , Cristiana Salvi
    •  & Robb Butler
  • Author Correction |

    • Christophe Boesch
    • , Ammie K. Kalan
    • , Roger Mundry
    • , Mimi Arandjelovic
    • , Simone Pika
    • , Paula Dieguez
    • , Emmanuel Ayuk Ayimisin
    • , Amanda Barciela
    • , Charlotte Coupland
    • , Villard Ebot Egbe
    • , Manasseh Eno-Nku
    • , J. Michael Fay
    • , David Fine
    • , R. Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar
    • , Veerle Hermans
    • , Parag Kadam
    • , Mohamed Kambi
    • , Manuel Llana
    • , Giovanna Maretti
    • , David Morgan
    • , Mizuki Murai
    • , Emily Neil
    • , Sonia Nicholl
    • , Lucy Jayne Ormsby
    • , Robinson Orume
    • , Liliana Pacheco
    • , Alex Piel
    • , Crickette Sanz
    • , Lilah Sciaky
    • , Fiona A. Stewart
    • , Nikki Tagg
    • , Erin G. Wessling
    • , Jacob Willie
    •  & Hjalmar S. Kühl
  • Comment |

    The scientific community’s response to COVID-19 has resulted in a large volume of research moving through the publication pipeline at extraordinary speed, with a median time from receipt to acceptance of 6 days for journal articles. Although the nature of this emergency warrants accelerated publishing, measures are required to safeguard the integrity of scientific evidence.

    • Adam Palayew
    • , Ole Norgaard
    • , Kelly Safreed-Harmon
    • , Tue Helms Andersen
    • , Lauge Neimann Rasmussen
    •  & Jeffrey V. Lazarus
  • Author Correction |

    • Tabea Hässler
    • , Johannes Ullrich
    • , Michelle Bernardino
    • , Nurit Shnabel
    • , Colette Van Laar
    • , Daniel Valdenegro
    • , Simone Sebben
    • , Linda R. Tropp
    • , Emilio Paolo Visintin
    • , Roberto González
    • , Ruth K. Ditlmann
    • , Dominic Abrams
    • , Hema Preya Selvanathan
    • , Marija Brankovic
    • , Stephen Wright
    • , Jorina von Zimmermann
    • , Michael Pasek
    • , Anna Lisa Aydin
    • , Iris Žeželj
    • , Adrienne Pereira
    • , Nóra Anna Lantos
    • , Mario Sainz
    • , Andreas Glenz
    • , Hana Oberpfalzerová
    • , Michal Bilewicz
    • , Anna Kende
    • , Olga Kuzawinska
    • , Sabine Otten
    • , Edona Maloku
    • , Masi Noor
    • , Pelin Gul
    • , Jessica Pistella
    • , Roberto Baiocco
    • , Margareta Jelic
    • , Evgeny Osin
    • , Orly Bareket
    • , Dinka Corkalo Biruski
    • , Jonathan E. Cook
    • , Maneeza Dawood
    • , Lisa Droogendyk
    • , Angélica Herrera Loyo
    • , Kaltrina Kelmendi
    •  & Luiza Mugnol Ugarte
  • Resource |

    The COVID-19 Government Response Event Dataset (CoronaNet v.1.0) compiles real time, publicly available (https://coronanet-project.org) data on policy announcements made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic across the world.

    • Cindy Cheng
    • , Joan Barceló
    • , Allison Spencer Hartnett
    • , Robert Kubinec
    •  & Luca Messerschmidt