Social Sciences

religious camp meeting ca. 1829 / H. Bridport/Wikimedia

Stanford scholar reveals how fears of damnation undergird American history

Drawing on 18th-and 19th-century writings, religious studies scholar Kathryn Gin Lum shows how the concept of "hell" influenced religion, politics and social reform.  

Black student

Teachers more likely to label black students as troublemakers, Stanford research shows

Stanford psychologists Jennifer Eberhardt and Jason Okonofua experimentally examined the psychological processes involved when teachers discipline black students more harshly than white students.

Stanford students planting trees

Sense of youthful purpose driven by action, passion, says Stanford researcher

Stanford education Professor William Damon says that research shows that while young people can sometimes struggle with a sense of purpose, they are likely to find it in concrete and action-oriented goals.

People gathered near remnants of the Berlin Wall / Paolo Bona/Shutterstock

Political disruptions generated economic collapses in post-communist states, Stanford scholar says

New Stanford research on socialist countries' transitions to market systems in the 1990s found that the longer the decline of that country's communist system before regime change and the greater the uncertainty over state ownership of assets, the more likely the country fell into a long decline.

Joe Bankman

Stanford law professor creates new way to help students deal with the stress of it all

Law school and anxiety seem to go together for many students, but Stanford law Professor Joe Bankman wants to help students dial down the pressure using techniques he has learned while studying for another degree – in clinical psychology.

Officials from countries participating in Iran nuclear talks standing in front of their flags/ Photo: Glen Johnson

Through negotiations, U.S. must convince Iran not to build a nuclear bomb, says Stanford expert

Stanford scholar Siegfried Hecker believes that Iran has already developed the option to build a nuclear bomb. Washington must convince Tehran not to exercise that option. Recent negotiations have a good chance to do so, he says.

doctor with patient in hospital / Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Emotional fit important between a patient's desired feelings and physician, Stanford research shows

Stanford psychologists offer new evidence on why people prefer certain physicians over others, and how emotion plays a role in shaping patient health behavior.

hand poised to fill out tax form / Steve Heap/Shutterstock

Social psychology insights could reduce tax evasion, Stanford scholars say

Stanford tax expert Joseph Bankman suggests that a redesign of tax forms and the online filing experience based on social psychology insights would encourage more people to file truthful returns.

An oil rig in Mississippi / Photo: Natalie Maynor, Creative Commons

The global oil price drop may last for the next couple decades, Stanford economist says

Stanford economist Frank Wolak says the drop in oil prices and demand reflects heightened energy production in North America, better technologies and the declining market power of the OPEC countries.

Mark Udall / U.S. Senate Photo Studio

Security Conundrum lecture series to end with view from Congress and the courts

Mark Udall, the former U.S. senator who has fought government spying on U.S. citizens, will speak on campus April 2, as part of Stanford's Security Conundrum lecture series.

hand drawing an organization chart / Gajus/Shutterstock

Stanford research shows that moral stigma spreads down from the top in organizations

Stanford research shows that in social hierarchies, moral stigma spreads down more than up.

woman writing 'respect' on a wall / max sattana/Shutterstock

Stanford research: Disrespect toward people based on group affiliation may cause anti-social behavior

Stanford researchers found that when people feel disrespected because of their gender or race, they are more likely to engage in anti-social behaviors like stealing and cheating.

Flowers with a card expressing sympathy / Photo: Shuttersock

Stanford research: People from different cultures express sympathy differently

Stanford psychologist Jeanne Tsai found that Americans tend to focus on the positive in expressions of sympathy while Germans focus on the negative. The research showed that how much people wanted to avoid negative emotion influenced their expressions of sympathy more than how negative they actually felt.

Israeli man with his daughter voting in Tel Aviv on March 17, 2015 / AP Photo/Oded Balilty

Israeli election results reflect deep divisions in that society, say Stanford scholars

Stanford faculty experts say that security concerns were the dominant factor in the outcome of Israel's election this week. Political and religious fault lines in Israeli society contributed to the tone and results of the campaign.

People working online

Trust erodes over time in the online world, Stanford experts say

New Stanford research shows that technology facilitated interpersonal trust among users of an online travel site, but establishing deeper ties became harder as users acquired more and more reviews.