Social sciences

  • Article |

    Data collected from crisis helplines during the COVID-19 pandemic show that pandemic-related issues replaced rather than exacerbated underlying anxieties, and demonstrate that helpline data are useful indicators of public mental health.

    • Marius Brülhart
    • , Valentin Klotzbücher
    •  & Stephanie K. Reich
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Principles from the field of fair division are used to develop selection algorithms for citizens’ assemblies that produce panels that are representative of the population while simultaneously selecting individuals with near-equal probabilities.

    • Bailey Flanigan
    • , Paul Gölz
    •  & Ariel D. Procaccia
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Two randomized controlled trials demonstrate the ability of text-based behavioural ‘nudges’ to improve the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, especially when designed to make participants feel ownership over their vaccine dose.

    • Hengchen Dai
    • , Silvia Saccardo
    •  & Daniel M. Croymans
  • Article |

    To enable net-negative CO2 emissions, the repayment of previously accrued carbon debt by establishing the responsibility for the net removal of CO2 by carbon-emitting parties through carbon removal obligations is necessary.

    • Johannes Bednar
    • , Michael Obersteiner
    •  & Jim W. Hall
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective discusses the challenges for social science practices imposed by the ubiquity of algorithms and large-scale measurement and what should—and should not—be measured in societies pervaded by algorithms.

    • Claudia Wagner
    • , Markus Strohmaier
    •  & Tina Eliassi-Rad
  • Article |

    Observational and experimental studies of people seeking to improve objects, ideas or situations demonstrate that people default to searching for solutions that add new components rather than for solutions that remove existing components.

    • Gabrielle S. Adams
    • , Benjamin A. Converse
    •  & Leidy E. Klotz
  • Review Article |

    This Review proposes an interdisciplinary framework for researching climate–society interactions that focuses on the mechanisms through which climate change has influenced societies, and the uncertainties of discerning this influence across different spatiotemporal scales.

    • Dagomar Degroot
    • , Kevin Anchukaitis
    •  & Natale Zappia
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Analyses of a global database reveal that in many developing countries progress in learning remains limited despite increasing enrolment in primary and secondary education, and uncover links between human capital and economic development.

    • Noam Angrist
    • , Simeon Djankov
    •  & Harry A. Patrinos
  • Article |

    An analysis of the search behaviour of recruiters on a Swiss online recruitment platform shows that jobseekers from minority ethnic groups are less likely to be contacted by recruiters, and also provides evidence of gender-based discrimination.

    • Dominik Hangartner
    • , Daniel Kopp
    •  & Michael Siegenthaler
  • Article |

    Estimates of global total biomass (the mass of all living things) and anthopogenic mass (the mass embedded in inanimate objects made by humans) over time show that we are roughly at the timepoint when anthropogenic mass exceeds total biomass.

    • Emily Elhacham
    • , Liad Ben-Uri
    •  & Ron Milo
  • Article |

    A model shows that human mobility is organized within hierarchical containers that coincide with familiar scales and that a power-law distribution emerges when movements between different containers are combined.

    • Laura Alessandretti
    • , Ulf Aslak
    •  & Sune Lehmann
  • Perspective |

    The authors review how the presence of organized crime in the fisheries sector hinders progress towards the development of a sustainable ocean economy and highlight practical opportunities to address this problem at both the local and the global level.

    • Emma Witbooi
    • , Kamal-Deen Ali
    •  & Omar Salas
  • Article |

    An epidemiological model that integrates fine-grained mobility networks illuminates mobility-related mechanisms that contribute to higher infection rates among disadvantaged socioeconomic and racial groups, and finds that restricting maximum occupancy at locations is especially effective for curbing infections.

    • Serina Chang
    • , Emma Pierson
    •  & Jure Leskovec
  • Article |

    Analyses of COVID-19 infection rates show that non-pharmaceutical interventions achieved large, beneficial and measurable health outcomes in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States; these results may inform decisions on whether or when these interventions should be deployed, intensified or lifted.

    • Solomon Hsiang
    • , Daniel Allen
    •  & Tiffany Wu
  • Article |

    The results obtained by seventy different teams analysing the same functional magnetic resonance imaging dataset show substantial variation, highlighting the influence of analytical choices and the importance of sharing workflows publicly and performing multiple analyses.

    • Rotem Botvinik-Nezer
    • , Felix Holzmeister
    •  & Tom Schonberg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Great progress toward the education-related SDG targets has been made; however, global estimates of within-country distributions of education reveal gender disparities and high levels of total inequality in many parts of the world.

    • Joseph Friedman
    • , Hunter York
    •  & Emmanuela Gakidou
  • Article
    | Open Access

    High-resolution subnational mapping of child growth failure indicators for 105 low- and middle-income countries between 2000 and 2017 shows that, despite considerable progress, substantial geographical inequalities still exist in some countries.

    • Damaris K. Kinyoki
    • , Aaron E. Osgood-Zimmerman
    •  & Simon I. Hay
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Analyses of the proportions of individuals who have completed key levels of schooling across all low- and middle-income countries from 2000 to 2017 reveal inequalities across countries as well as within populations.

    • Nicholas Graetz
    • , Lauren Woyczynski
    •  & Simon I. Hay
  • Article |

    In contrast to a previous study in which only bankers showed increased dishonesty when reminded of their profession, this study found that such reminders induced some dishonesty in bankers, although the effect was not significant, and that this effect was not unique to bankers.

    • Zoe Rahwan
    • , Erez Yoeli
    •  & Barbara Fasolo
  • Letter |

    In a voter game, information gerrymandering can sway the outcome of the vote towards one party, even when both parties have equal sizes and each player has the same influence; and this effect can be exaggerated by strategically placed zealots or automated bots.

    • Alexander J. Stewart
    • , Mohsen Mosleh
    •  & Joshua B. Plotkin
  • Letter |

    The dynamics of interactions between hate-orientated networks on different online platforms is characterized, and a mathematical model predicts that policing on one online platform can make matters worse and generate ‘darker’ parts of the Internet.

    • N. F. Johnson
    • , R. Leahy
    •  & S. Wuchty
  • Letter |

    A framework that includes inequality shows that extreme inequality prevents cooperation, but overall welfare is maximized when endowments and productivities are aligned such that more-productive individuals receive higher endowments.

    • Oliver P. Hauser
    • , Christian Hilbe
    •  & Martin A. Nowak
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A US national experiment showed that a short, online, self-administered growth mindset intervention can increase adolescents’ grades and advanced course-taking, and identified the types of school that were poised to benefit the most.

    • David S. Yeager
    • , Paul Hanselman
    •  & Carol S. Dweck
  • Review Article |

    A Review of advances in memory-editing techniques in humans suggests that these techniques are advancing beyond science fiction and could hold promise for translation into clinical practice.

    • Elizabeth A. Phelps
    •  & Stefan G. Hofmann
  • Letter
    | Open Access

    The prevalence of improved housing (with improved drinking water and sanitation, sufficient living area and durable construction) in urban and rural sub-Saharan Africa doubled between 2000 and 2015.

    • Lucy S. Tusting
    • , Donal Bisanzio
    •  & Samir Bhatt
  • Letter |

    Analyses of the output produced by large versus small teams of researchers and innovators demonstrate that their work differs systematically in the extent to which it disrupts or develops existing science and technology.

    • Lingfei Wu
    • , Dashun Wang
    •  & James A. Evans
  • Article |

    Responses from more than two million people to an internet-based survey of attitudes towards moral dilemmas that might be faced by autonomous vehicles shed light on similarities and variations in ethical preferences among different populations.

    • Edmond Awad
    • , Sohan Dsouza
    •  & Iyad Rahwan
  • Letter |

    Phylogenies reconstructed using 12 hepatitis B virus genomes, which were recovered from ancient human genome data, reveal a complex history of hepatitis B evolution that is not evident when using only modern samples.

    • Barbara Mühlemann
    • , Terry C. Jones
    •  & Eske Willerslev
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Local-level analyses show that, despite marked progress in educational attainment from 2000 to 2015 across Africa, substantial differences persist between locations and sexes that have widened in many countries.

    • Nicholas Graetz
    • , Joseph Friedman
    •  & Simon I. Hay
  • Perspective |

    The recognition of adolescence as a distinctive period for biological embedding of culture, and mass education, are features of the globalization of cultures that are driven by transformations in labour, livelihood and lifestyle.

    • Carol M. Worthman
    •  & Kathy Trang