Social Sciences

Man behind bars

Rewarding good behavior of prisoners is a benefit to society, Stanford expert says

Stanford law Professor A. Mitchell Polinsky found that rewarding good behavior of prisoners, with reduced sentences or parole, decreases costs for society without increasing crime.

Andrew Bacevich / Courtesy Boston University

Military historian to deliver the 2015 Tanner Lectures at Stanford

This year's Tanner Lectures on Human Values will be headlined by Andrew J. Bacevich, who will discuss the origins, conduct and consequences of U.S. military involvement in the Greater Middle East.

Lecturer Denise Pope

Stanford scholar suggests ways to craft more effective homework assignments

Stanford education expert Denise Pope says that the quality of a homework assignment  can have a significant impact on student achievement and health.  

Iraqi woman casts ballot in 2005 parliamentary election / Shane S. Keller

Democracy still holds promise globally, though in retreat for now, Stanford expert says

Stanford scholar Larry Diamond says that it was probably inevitable that freedom and democracy would level off after roughly 30 years of nearly continuous expansion.

Toddler with father

Distinctive contexts critical to how children learn words, Stanford study reveals

Stanford psychologist Michael Frank says that children learn words best when they are used in a context that's understandable. Using words in fun, coherent activities is more important than just talking more to children.

Boy holding a 'help' sign surrounded by many other refugees. / Photo: Alexandre Rotenberg, Shutterstock

Legal, ethical response needed from US, Europe on Mideast refugee crisis, Stanford expert says

Stanford law Professor James Cavallaro said Europe should follow established international law on Middle East refugees and create new approaches that respond to the crisis in a humanitarian way.

Homestake Mine / Rachel Harris

Stanford scientists see how the brain makes environmental decisions

Brain scans reveal that negative emotional responses can powerfully drive decisions to protect environmental resources.

African American and white students in a classroom / Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Neighborhoods influence use of African American Vernacular English, Stanford research shows

Among African American youth, moving from a poor neighborhood to one with less poverty results in a lower use of African American Vernacular English, new Stanford research shows.

binder labeled 'pension funds' with calculator on desk / docstockmedia/Shutterstock

States and cities face scrutiny for optimistic investment assumptions as stock market dips, Stanford scholar says

Researcher David Crane says tax revenue is being diverted from services when pensions fall short of projections.

Family members of Fort Hood shooting victims at Nov. 10, 2009, memorial / AP Photo/Donna McWilliam

U.S. national security faces challenges from insider threats and organizational rigidity, Stanford scholar says

Amy Zegart says insider threats are rooted in organizational inflexibility. She examines lessons learned from 2009 Fort Hood terrorist attack.

Young boy using a woodworking tool with man supervising. Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

A summer job makes a difference in classroom learning, Stanford scholar says

Stanford researcher Jacob Leos-Urbel found that summer jobs for young people have positive impacts on academic performance, especially for students who work jobs across multiple summers.

Stanford FEED Collaborative

Stanford FEED Collaborative applies design thinking to food system

Sustainability promoted from local farms through distributors to consumers.

Social media symbols

Stanford scholar finds social media reveals much about the human condition

Graduate School of Business' Michal Kosinski says our most intimate traits and core personality can be deciphered through our digital footprints. In fact, social media over the long run reveals information closer to our true selves than what we present in brief face-to-face interactions.

audience of congressional staffers attending 2015 Cyber Boot Camp / Rod Searcey

Cybersecurity boot camp draws congressional staffers to Stanford

A bipartisan group of Capitol Hill staffers were in Silicon Valley last week to gain an immersion into the complex world of cybersecurity. The range of experts they heard from included tech industry leaders, scholars representing a range of disciplines and former government officials.

plant sprouting from a bowl of coins / Singkham/Shutterstock

A smile boosts the chances of getting a microloan, say Stanford psychologists

Applicants for microloans are more likely to win approval if the photograph they send along with the application evokes a positive emotional response.