Comment

  • Comment |

    Mental health technologies, such as apps, clinical texting, social media platforms and web-based tools, have arrived. Channelling these resources to help people with serious mental illnesses, clinicians in need of support, and people in low-and middle-income countries will have the most impact on the global burden of mental illness.

    • Dror Ben-Zeev
    •  & David C. Atkins
  • Comment |

    Introduction of genetic evidence of a predisposition to violent or impulsive behaviour is on the rise in criminal trials. However, a panoply of data suggests that such evidence is ineffective at reducing judgements of culpability and punishment, and therefore its use in the legal process is likely to diminish.

    • Nicholas Scurich
    •  & Paul S. Appelbaum
  • Comment |

    Moral outrage is an ancient emotion that is now widespread on digital media and online social networks. How might these new technologies change the expression of moral outrage and its social consequences?

    • M. J. Crockett
  • Comment |

    Plastic pollution is caused exclusively by humans. It poses growing global threats to both the ocean and society, and requires urgent action. Using psychological principles can motivate and implement change by connecting symptoms and sources.

    • Sabine Pahl
    • , Kayleigh J. Wyles
    •  & Richard C. Thompson
  • Comment |

    Advances in technology and the advent of social media have led to the emergence of a new phenomenon — cyberbullying. Although there are some similarities, approaches to tackling traditional bullying are largely ineffective in combating cyberbullying, which has been linked to adverse mental health and, in extreme cases, suicide.

    • Jean-Baptiste Pingault
    •  & Tabea Schoeler
  • Comment |

    We ask a lot of our brains and they comply, carrying out petaflops of computations per second. A substantial amount of this processing power is devoted to sound processing — a process that is therefore vulnerable, but also repairable.

    • Nina Kraus
    •  & Trent Nicol
  • Comment |

    Self-driving cars offer a bright future, but only if the public can overcome the psychological challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption. We discuss three: ethical dilemmas, overreactions to accidents, and the opacity of the cars’ decision-making algorithms — and propose steps towards addressing them.

    • Azim Shariff
    • , Jean-François Bonnefon
    •  & Iyad Rahwan
  • Comment |

    We propose to change the default P-value threshold for statistical significance from 0.05 to 0.005 for claims of new discoveries.

    • Daniel J. Benjamin
    • , James O. Berger
    • , Magnus Johannesson
    • , Brian A. Nosek
    • , E.-J. Wagenmakers
    • , Richard Berk
    • , Kenneth A. Bollen
    • , Björn Brembs
    • , Lawrence Brown
    • , Colin Camerer
    • , David Cesarini
    • , Christopher D. Chambers
    • , Merlise Clyde
    • , Thomas D. Cook
    • , Paul De Boeck
    • , Zoltan Dienes
    • , Anna Dreber
    • , Kenny Easwaran
    • , Charles Efferson
    • , Ernst Fehr
    • , Fiona Fidler
    • , Andy P. Field
    • , Malcolm Forster
    • , Edward I. George
    • , Richard Gonzalez
    • , Steven Goodman
    • , Edwin Green
    • , Donald P. Green
    • , Anthony G. Greenwald
    • , Jarrod D. Hadfield
    • , Larry V. Hedges
    • , Leonhard Held
    • , Teck Hua Ho
    • , Herbert Hoijtink
    • , Daniel J. Hruschka
    • , Kosuke Imai
    • , Guido Imbens
    • , John P. A. Ioannidis
    • , Minjeong Jeon
    • , James Holland Jones
    • , Michael Kirchler
    • , David Laibson
    • , John List
    • , Roderick Little
    • , Arthur Lupia
    • , Edouard Machery
    • , Scott E. Maxwell
    • , Michael McCarthy
    • , Don A. Moore
    • , Stephen L. Morgan
    • , Marcus Munafó
    • , Shinichi Nakagawa
    • , Brendan Nyhan
    • , Timothy H. Parker
    • , Luis Pericchi
    • , Marco Perugini
    • , Jeff Rouder
    • , Judith Rousseau
    • , Victoria Savalei
    • , Felix D. Schönbrodt
    • , Thomas Sellke
    • , Betsy Sinclair
    • , Dustin Tingley
    • , Trisha Van Zandt
    • , Simine Vazire
    • , Duncan J. Watts
    • , Christopher Winship
    • , Robert L. Wolpert
    • , Yu Xie
    • , Cristobal Young
    • , Jonathan Zinman
    •  & Valen E. Johnson
  • World View |

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Comment |

    Basic income is a democratizing reform that is long overdue. A guarantee of basic security is necessary to allow people to stand as more independent. Other institutional adjustments are needed, but basic income will help other policies designed to support human development to be more effective.

    • Louise Haagh
  • Comment |

    We recommend the widespread use of a simple, inexpensive, easy-to-implement, and uniquely powerful tool to improve the transparency and reproducibility of behavioural research — video recordings.

    • Rick O. Gilmore
    •  & Karen E. Adolph
  • Comment |

    Deradicalization programmes are the cornerstone of counter-terrorism strategies in many countries, yet few have been evaluated for their effectiveness. Stakeholders must introduce standards to ensure basic elements are in place, such as programme development, staff training, advisory services, and transparency.

    • Daniel Koehler
  • Comment |

    Should human genome editing be limited to somatic cells, or should germline genome editing also be permitted? Should (apparently) permissible human genome editing be limited to therapeutic purposes, or should enhancement purposes also be permitted? Who decides, and on what basis?

    • Françoise Baylis
  • Comment |

    Brainstorming was developed over 60 years ago, along with its key concept that ‘no idea is a bad idea’. But could the opposite be true, is brainstorming stifling, rather than unleashing, our creativity? In environments in which ideas go unchallenged, there are techniques that can improve creativity by encouraging criticism.

    • David Burkus
  • Comment |

    Slavery is not a thing of the past but has simply morphed from chattel slavery into forced labour and debt bondage. While consumers are preoccupied with cheap labour and goods, and businesses aren't held accountable for their supply chains, we continue to fuel this US$150 billion profit-making industry.

    • Andrew Wallis
  • Comment |

    Language is a common underlying cause of conflict in multi-ethnic societies. Facilitated dialogue — a method of conflict mediation — is being used in countries such as Myanmar to mitigate language-based conflict, acknowledge language rights, and encourage societies to adopt a culture of dialogue.

    • Joseph Lo Bianco
  • Comment |

    New regulations for research that involves human subjects deregulate much ordinary social and behavioural science research. The new rules support greater flexibility for researchers and institutional review boards, while affording the greatest protection for research participants.

    • Susan T. Fiske
    •  & Jeanne Rivard