Social Sciences

Toddler throwing a ball to a researcher/Photo: Chia-wa Yeh

Stanford psychologists show that altruism is not simply innate

By recreating a classic experiment, Stanford psychologists find that altruistic behavior may be governed more by relationships, even brief ones, than instincts.

Disabled veterans waiting in a line / Photo: AP/Gerald Herbert

Military veterans losing ground on jobs as disability enrollment increases, Stanford research shows

Research by Stanford economist Mark Duggan shows that the rise in disability coverage for military veterans may be hurting them in making employment gains.

Reclining Buddha

Spirituality shaped through cultural understandings, Stanford anthropologist says

Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann compared the religious experiences of Buddhists in Thailand and evangelical Christians in the United States.

Closeup of a judge's gavel/Photo: Shutterstock

Grand jury system flawed in Ferguson case but still valuable for investigations, Stanford law professor says

The prosecutor in the Ferguson police death case may have distorted the grand jury process to address problems in the case, says Stanford law professor Robert Weisberg.

Ashton Carter / Rod Searcey

Obama names Stanford's Ashton Carter as secretary of defense

If confirmed by the Senate, Ashton Carter, a Stanford visiting scholar with deep experience in international defense issues, will become the U.S. secretary of defense.

Proposition 30 supporters

California offers budgetary lessons for U.S. government, Stanford professor says

Stanford law Professor Joseph Bankman argues that California's budgetary actions offer a blueprint for resolving the federal budget stalemate.

L.A. teacher Brandon Cabezas

Los Angeles schools embrace different vision of history, with lessons from Stanford group

A Graduate School of Education team is coaching hundreds of L.A. teachers to encourage students to think like a historian.

Businessman holding symbol of Japanese yen

Too early to judge Japan's economic strategy, Stanford economist says

Though some signs point to Japan falling into recession, Stanford economist Takeo Hoshi disagrees and says it is premature to judge the effectiveness of Japan's new approach to its economy.

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Laws may be ineffective if they don't reflect social norms, Stanford scholar says

Stanford economist Matthew O. Jackson says that laws that ignore social norms may backfire, whether the issue is taxes in 2014 or deadly duels in France in 1626.

gun / Vartanov Anatoly/Shutterstock

Right-to-carry gun laws linked to increase in violent crime, Stanford research shows

Stanford research reaffirms that right-to-carry gun laws are connected with an increase in violent crime. This debunks – with the latest empirical evidence – earlier claims that more guns actually lead to less crime.

High school girls talking / iStock

Stanford researcher explores why cliques thrive in some high schools more than others

Schools that offer students more choice are more likely to be rank-ordered, cliquish and segregated by race, age, gender and social status.

women at a rally for immigration reform / Richard Thornton/Shutterstock

Immigrants represented by attorneys far more likely to win deportation cases, Stanford law clinic study finds

A new research report shows that a detainee with legal representation is three times more likely to avoid deportation than someone thrown into the legal system on his or her own.

Child working on vocabulary

Parents can help toddlers with slow language skills catch up, Stanford psychologist says

Early results from a program designed by Stanford psychologists show that educating parents on how to talk with their toddlers can improve the kids' language development.  

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The banking industry needs more effective regulatory reform, says Stanford expert

Stanford finance Professor Anat Admati says requiring financial institutions to use significantly more equity funding can yield big benefits to society.

jack o' lanterns / L.A. Cicero

Halloween encourages imagination, re-enchantment with the world, Stanford anthropologist says

Tanya Luhrmann says that Halloween's most remarkable feature is that it suggests just how safe the supernatural has become.