Social Sciences

illustration of heads with 'wheels turning' / VLADGRIN/Shutterstock

Simple isn't better when talking about science, Stanford philosopher suggests

Taking a philosophical approach to the assumptions that surround the study of human behavior, Stanford philosophy Professor Helen Longino suggests that no single research method is capable of answering the question of nature vs. nurture.


Woman scratching her head to demonstrate body language / Photo: MediaX at Stanford

Stanford scientists identify body language tied to creativity, learning

Your body language hints at your emotional state. Communication Department scholars find that observing subtle changes in your torso and head movements can predict creative output or learning ability.  Video


Natasha Mmonatau at Summer Institute for General Management class / L.A. Cicero

Inspiring Stanford humanities majors to consider business careers

This summer was the first time that Stanford provided funding – with support from the Office of the President – to help Stanford students majoring in the humanities and the arts take part in the Summer Institute for General Management at the Graduate School of Business.


Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson / Milgrom courtesy of Milgrom; Wilson courtesy of Stanford GSB

Stanford economists among Golden Goose winners

Stanford economists Robert Wilson and Paul Milgrom have been chosen for the 2014 Golden Goose Award. The award honors scientists whose research was funded by the federal government and has benefited society in important but sometimes unexpected ways. Wilson and Milgrom introduced the initial design for sales of radio spectrum licenses in the United States.


students in math class / Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock

Extra time in math class does not a mathematician make, says Stanford researcher

Eric Taylor, a PhD student at Stanford University's Center for Education Policy Analysis, found that students who spent more of the school day in math class had higher math scores, but the gains did not last for long.


George Spindler portrait / Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Walker

George Spindler, Stanford professor emeritus of anthropology and education, has died at 94

George Spindler and his wife, Louise, worked as a team in their research, writing and teaching. Together, they revolutionized the teaching of anthropology and founded the field of anthropology of education.


Tanya Luhrmann

Hallucinatory 'voices' shaped by local culture, Stanford anthropologist says

Anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann found that voice-hearing experiences of people with serious psychotic disorders are shaped by local culture – in the U.S., the voices are harsh and threatening; in Africa and India, they are more benign and playful.


Students working together / L.A. Cicero

Stanford scholar takes a philosophical approach to human behavior

By analyzing how people cooperate and make plans, philosophy Professor Michael Bratman creates a framework for understanding human sociality that has implications in fields ranging from psychology to artificial intelligence.


inmate and jailer at Madera County Jail / Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

California's prison realignment plan needs adjustments, Stanford law professor says

New research from Stanford Law Professor Joan Petersilia shows realignment's record so far is mixed. But she sees many roads to improvement.


Shiite militia in Iraq

ISIS terrorist group is a potential threat to U.S., Stanford scholar says

Stanford terrorism expert Martha Crenshaw says the terrorist group known as ISIS poses a danger to the United States in the future if it grows more powerful.


Pittsburgh, PA

America's cities are increasingly segregated by education, Stanford economist says

Rebecca Diamond's research found that college-educated workers are increasingly attracted to "high skill cities" where the wages are higher and the quality of living better.


Joseph Felter

Insurgents attack aid programs to undermine the government, Stanford scholar says

Research by Joseph Felter shows that insurgents try to derail government-delivered aid programs in poor areas because they fear successful programs will boost the government's credibility.


solar cells in Africa

Stanford Woods Institute celebrates decade of solutions

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment was established in 2004 to serve as a hub of interdisciplinary environmental research. Its forward-thinking natural and social scientists, engineers and others pursue practical solutions for people and the planet.


Jeffrey Fisher at Supreme Court / AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

Supreme Court's cellphone decision brings court into 21st century, says Stanford law professor

Stanford law Professor Jeffrey Fisher says the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Riley v. California recognizes the privacy aspect of digital information in an increasingly technological age.


Naoto Kan

Japan's political leadership helped save country from worst-case Fukushima disaster, Stanford researcher says

Research associate Kenji Kushida argues that Japan's top political leadership during the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis actually handled the situation more effectively than originally thought.