Latest Research

  • Letter |

    By analysing data from more than 4,500 9- to 10-year-olds, Dick et al. found no evidence that bilingual children have an advantage in executive functions, the cognitive abilities that are central to the voluntary control of thoughts and behaviours.

    • Anthony Steven Dick
    • , Nelcida L. Garcia
    • , Shannon M. Pruden
    • , Wesley K. Thompson
    • , Samuel W. Hawes
    • , Matthew T. Sutherland
    • , Michael C. Riedel
    • , Angela R. Laird
    •  & Raul Gonzalez
  • Article |

    How does the number of connections a person has online influence how news spreads? Wang et al. show that users with few connections can sometimes spread news more effectively than well-connected users, resulting in long, dendrite-like diffusion paths and a non-Gaussian distribution of node distances.

    • Xiaochen Wang
    • , Yueheng Lan
    •  & Jinghua Xiao
  • Letter |

    Fung et al. show that participants’ trait anxiety is associated with earlier escape decisions when facing slowly approaching threats. Anxiety correlates with task-driven blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in the cognitive fear circuits.

    • Bowen J. Fung
    • , Song Qi
    • , Demis Hassabis
    • , Nathaniel Daw
    •  & Dean Mobbs
  • Letter |

    Attention and working memory both fluctuate over time. Here deBettencourt et al. demonstrate that fluctuations in attention and memory in distinct tasks are synchronous, providing additional evidence for the tight integration of these cognitive processes.

    • Megan T. deBettencourt
    • , Paul A. Keene
    • , Edward Awh
    •  & Edward K. Vogel
  • Letter |

    Using data from Michigan, Harding et al. find no evidence that prison sentences have an effect on arrests or convictions for violent crimes after release. Imprisonment modestly reduced violence if the analysis included imprisonment’s incapacitation effects.

    • David J. Harding
    • , Jeffrey D. Morenoff
    • , Anh P. Nguyen
    • , Shawn D. Bushway
    •  & Ingrid A. Binswanger
  • Perspective |

    Why do people engage in collective decisions? El Zein, Bahrami & Hertwig argue that—through sharing responsibility—joint decisions protect individuals from possible negative consequences of difficult decisions by reducing regret and stress and helping avoid punishment.

    • Marwa El Zein
    • , Bahador Bahrami
    •  & Ralph Hertwig
  • Perspective |

    How do people seek to reduce uncertainty in social interactions? FeldmanHall & Shenhav propose a three-part model: first through more automatic impression formation, then more effortful perspective-taking, and finally by seeking and learning about additional information that can update their predictions

    • Oriel FeldmanHall
    •  & Amitai Shenhav
  • Letter |

    Kobayashi et al. show that when options are defined by multiple attributes, people are curious about individual attributes regardless of the uncertainty of the total outcome, revealing a distinct type of anticipatory utility that shapes curiosity.

    • Kenji Kobayashi
    • , Silvio Ravaioli
    • , Adrien Baranès
    • , Michael Woodford
    •  & Jacqueline Gottlieb
  • Article |

    Simple choices are biased by looking behaviour. This work investigates individual differences in this gaze bias across four datasets and shows that gaze biases are variable and that their strength reliably predicts differences in individuals’ choices.

    • Armin W. Thomas
    • , Felix Molter
    • , Ian Krajbich
    • , Hauke R. Heekeren
    •  & Peter N. C. Mohr
  • Letter |

    Research into emotion dynamics and well-being has, over the years, used an increasing number of dynamic measures to capture emotional change. Dejonckheere et al. show that these measures add little to the information conveyed by mean affect and its variance.

    • Egon Dejonckheere
    • , Merijn Mestdagh
    • , Marlies Houben
    • , Isa Rutten
    • , Laura Sels
    • , Peter Kuppens
    •  & Francis Tuerlinckx
  • Article |

    Zusai and Wu show that a modelling framework that treats subpopulations as the basic unit of analysis and uses a potential game approach provides a tractable way to study the evolutionary dynamics of behaviours and migration in connected populations.

    • Jiabin Wu
    •  & Dai Zusai
  • Letter |

    Data from a cohort of US and UK adolescents reveal that genetic and neighbourhood risks for early pregnancy and educational attainment are correlated, but find a weak or no correlation between risks for obesity or schizophrenia.

    • Daniel W. Belsky
    • , Avshalom Caspi
    • , Louise Arseneault
    • , David L. Corcoran
    • , Benjamin W. Domingue
    • , Kathleen Mullan Harris
    • , Renate M. Houts
    • , Jonathan S. Mill
    • , Terrie E. Moffitt
    • , Joseph Prinz
    • , Karen Sugden
    • , Jasmin Wertz
    • , Benjamin Williams
    •  & Candice L. Odgers
  • Letter |

    Neidorf et al. analyse the style of all surviving Old English poetry. They find quantitative evidence that a single author composed Beowulf and that the poem Andreas was written by Cynewulf—two longstanding questions of English literary history.

    • Leonard Neidorf
    • , Madison S. Krieger
    • , Michelle Yakubek
    • , Pramit Chaudhuri
    •  & Joseph P. Dexter
  • Resource |

    Behaviour-change theories need to be more precisely specified. Five of the major theories can be formally represented using a system involving construct labels, construct definitions and defined binary relationships between constructs.

    • Robert West
    • , Cristina A. Godinho
    • , Lauren Connell Bohlen
    • , Rachel N. Carey
    • , Janna Hastings
    • , Carmen E. Lefevre
    •  & Susan Michie
  • Article |

    Grotzinger et al. develop a multivariate method for analysing the joint genetic architectures of complex traits: genomic structural equation modelling. They provide several applications of the method, including a joint analysis of five psychiatric traits.

    • Andrew D. Grotzinger
    • , Mijke Rhemtulla
    • , Ronald de Vlaming
    • , Stuart J. Ritchie
    • , Travis T. Mallard
    • , W. David Hill
    • , Hill F. Ip
    • , Riccardo E. Marioni
    • , Andrew M. McIntosh
    • , Ian J. Deary
    • , Philipp D. Koellinger
    • , K. Paige Harden
    • , Michel G. Nivard
    •  & Elliot M. Tucker-Drob
  • Letter |

    Matoba et al. examine genetic components of smoking behaviours in the Japanese population, identifying seven novel loci and 11 diseases that share genetic bases with smoking behaviours.

    • Nana Matoba
    • , Masato Akiyama
    • , Kazuyoshi Ishigaki
    • , Masahiro Kanai
    • , Atsushi Takahashi
    • , Yukihide Momozawa
    • , Shiro Ikegawa
    • , Masashi Ikeda
    • , Nakao Iwata
    • , Makoto Hirata
    • , Koichi Matsuda
    • , Michiaki Kubo
    • , Yukinori Okada
    •  & Yoichiro Kamatani
  • Article |

    People integrate information over time to make decisions, but they don’t do so optimally. Keung et al. show how distinct aspects of the pupil signal relate to distinct suboptimalities in perceptual decision-making.

    • Waitsang Keung
    • , Todd A. Hagen
    •  & Robert C. Wilson
  • Article |

    While performing a visuospatial task, humans show the tendency to inhale at task onset. Neural processing of the task differs depending on whether participants inhaled or exhaled at task onset, a difference that correlates with performance.

    • Ofer Perl
    • , Aharon Ravia
    • , Mica Rubinson
    • , Ami Eisen
    • , Timna Soroka
    • , Nofar Mor
    • , Lavi Secundo
    •  & Noam Sobel
  • Article |

    Holbein et al. report an observational study, a natural experiment and a randomized experiment showing that insufficient sleep reduces prosocial behaviours such as voter turnout, donating to charity and signing petitions.

    • John B. Holbein
    • , Jerome P. Schafer
    •  & David L. Dickinson
  • Article |

    Flinker and colleagues describe a framework for auditory cortical asymmetries that capitalizes on spectrotemporal modulation space. Data from psychophysics, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electrocorticography (ECoG) inform a signal processing-based view on lateralization.

    • Adeen Flinker
    • , Werner K. Doyle
    • , Ashesh D. Mehta
    • , Orrin Devinsky
    •  & David Poeppel
  • Letter |

    This article explores the effect of ideological polarization on team performance. By analysing millions of edits to Wikipedia, the authors reveal that politically diverse editor teams produce higher-quality articles than homogeneous or moderate teams, and they identify the mechanisms responsible for producing these superior articles.

    • Feng Shi
    • , Misha Teplitskiy
    • , Eamon Duede
    •  & James A. Evans
  • Letter |

    van Ede et al. show that focusing on a visual representation held in memory biases gaze towards its memorized location. This suggests that gaze control and attentional focusing within memorized space rely on the same system.

    • Freek van Ede
    • , Sammi R. Chekroud
    •  & Anna C. Nobre
  • Article |

    Amasino et al. show that when humans decide between earlier or later monetary pay-outs of smaller or larger amounts, patient choices result from processing the information about amount and time successively, focussing first on amounts to be gained.

    • Dianna R. Amasino
    • , Nicolette J. Sullivan
    • , Rachel E. Kranton
    •  & Scott A. Huettel
  • Letter |

    Evacuees who intermarry and remain in the host society gain socioeconomic benefits but suffer reduced fertility. This suggests that integration involves trade-offs between within-group ‘bonding’ social networks and between-group ‘bridging’ networks

    • Robert Lynch
    • , Virpi Lummaa
    • , Karthik Panchanathan
    • , Kevin Middleton
    • , Anna Rotkirch
    • , Mirkka Danielsbacka
    • , David O’Brien
    •  & John Loehr
  • Letter |

    What conditions produce a willingness to sacrifice our own self-interest for others? McGrath and Gerber find that collaboration increases willingness to sacrifice, distinct from considerations of accountability, in-group favouritism or disparity.

    • Mary C. McGrath
    •  & Alan S. Gerber
  • Letter |

    How good are people at choosing between exploration and exploitation? In a task that captures the essence of such decisions, Song et al. found systematic deviations from optimality that were associated with the sequence of decisions participants can make.

    • Mingyu Song
    • , Zahy Bnaya
    •  & Wei Ji Ma
  • Perspective |

    Muthukrishna & Henrich argue that solving the replication crisis in psychology partly requires well-specified, overarching theoretical frameworks. They outline how dual inheritance theory provides one such example that could be adopted by the field.

    • Michael Muthukrishna
    •  & Joseph Henrich
  • Letter |

    Bocanegra and colleagues present a new variation of the Raven intelligence test, an established measure of cognitive function; better performance on this new version, which allows problem-solving to be externalized, is associated with students’ success in exams.

    • Bruno R. Bocanegra
    • , Fenna H. Poletiek
    • , Bouchra Ftitache
    •  & Andy Clark