Behavioural Sciences

Justice and community: The rationality of learning by doing

Professor Robson addresses fundamental questions of social progress and how societies can experiment with different political and social systems without unduly disregarding tradition. This experimentation enables individuals and groups to learn how to better secure justice and improve society more generally. However, it also requires overcoming constraints associated with rationality, which prevent people and communities from taking the necessary risks […]

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Behavioural Sciences

Considering environmental impact in happiness rankings

Most, if not all, people want to live a happy life, so surely a measure of a country’s success as a nation is how happy its citizens are? Most international success indices rank countries according to how they perform against various measures and include happiness as a key value, but fail to include the cost, especially to others. Emeritus Professor […]

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Behavioural Sciences

Building a psychological toolbox: Actively using neuroplastic methods to develop lasting inner strengths

Social-emotional learning (SEL) makes use of the brain’s neuroplasticity to convert passing experiences into durable psychological resources embedded in altered neural structure or function. But most SEL is passive and inefficient, with limited gains for many people, in part due to the brain’s ingrained negativity bias. Dr Rick Hanson is a leading clinician in the field of emotional intelligence. He […]

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Behavioural Sciences

Rethinking leadership in complex adaptive systems

Leadership is a cornerstone of business school syllabi, but it is usually focused on organisational leadership. But what about the leadership needed to deal with global issues that cross geographic, legislative, geopolitical, socio-economic, and structural boundaries, and demand the interplay between state, corporate and non-governmental actors? Professor Margaret F Sloan of James Madison University, in Virginia, US, considers such issues […]

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Behavioural Sciences

License-plate-based driving restrictions: Do they really backfire?

Driving restriction policies that limit the number of days drivers can use their vehicles within cities based on the last digit of their license plates are popular in some cities. Research into their effectiveness in reducing air pollution and congestion, however, yields mixed results. Dr Erick Guerra and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, have published the first […]

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Behavioural Sciences

When children’s storytelling says so much more

We take for granted that our children tell stories. But what if they can’t? Oral storytelling is a bridge to literacy, yet many children do not develop this skill naturally. Research has shown that narrative skill at school entry predicts writing and reading comprehension up to ten years later. Narrative intervention is a form of language therapy and a classroom […]

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Behavioural Sciences

Finding a pathway from grief to peace

There is way too much overwhelming grief and loss today as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, wars, and more. We need to find new vital pathways to transform the deep sadness of grief and loss into peace and hope. Kathryn Rossi, a clinical psychologist specialising in the use of therapeutic hypnosis and mind-body healing, shares the process she discovered […]

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Behavioural Sciences

Dual-brain psychology is an innovative theory and treatment for drug addiction

Dr Fredric Schiffer is an experienced psychiatrist, working in private practice and affiliated with Harvard Medical School. He has spent the last 30 years developing a psychological theory which suggests that our brain hemispheres experience feelings differently, particularly when processing past trauma. Dr Schiffer has used this dual-brain theory to develop a treatment for opioid use disorder. In combination with […]

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Behavioural Sciences

Positive adult relationships reduce adolescent suicide risk

One in ten adolescents in the US attempt to end their lives each year, leading to tragedy for these individuals and those around them. Lynne Fullerton, Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, and her research collaborators, have invested years studying the factors which predispose adolescents towards suicide. This research provides clear indicators of important points […]

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Behavioural Sciences

Traditional kava-drinking, cognition, and driver fitness

Kava, or ‘the plant of the gods’, grows widely across tropical Moananuiākea (the Pacific). Used in traditional medicine, its roots are also ground and steeped in water to make a drink with relaxant effects. Kava has deep cultural significance, but because it is customarily consumed in large quantities over several hours, concerns have been raised about its effects on driver […]

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