Social and Behavioural
Explore Social and Behavioural
Digital communication technologies, such as email, social media and messaging apps, radically changed how humans interact with each other. However, most research on how digital networks emerge and evolve is based on the flawed assumption that online and offline social networks operate very similarly. Professor Kevin Lewis at the University of California, San Diego, recently published a paper that challenges this assumption, by exploring the differences in how online and offline social networks are established and develop over time.
Non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, accounts for approximately 85% of lung cancer cases worldwide. Although NSCLC typically progresses at a slower rate than other types of lung cancer, by the time it is diagnosed it has often spread beyond the lungs, making it harder to treat. About a quarter of NSCLC cases are driven by so-called ‘oncogenes’. Such oncogene-driven cancers develop due to the extreme and uncontrolled expression of a gene that transforms normal cells into tumour cells.
Debra Klages | Post-traumatic Growth in Health Professionals Who are Mothers of Adult Children with Schizophrenia
For young people with schizophrenia, their first experience of psychosis is often highly traumatic. Because of the close, nurturing relationships mothers typically have with their children, they too can experience trauma while witnessing their children’s disturbing psychotic episodes. As a result, mothers of adult children with schizophrenia often experience negative impacts on their physical and psychological health. Debra Klages takes a unique perspective by shedding light on how the traumatic experiences of health professionals with dual roles as mothers can lead to personal and professional growth and resilience.
Psychophysics is the formal study of perception – our sensory experience of the world. Professor Zygmunt Pizlo at the University of California-Irvine explains that while symmetry is fundamental in both physics and mathematics, it is also fundamental to our understanding of vision. He believes there is much to gain in expanding the existing boundaries of psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience by embracing established fundamentals in physics.
The Multi-theory Model of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’ | Professor Manoj Sharma
Meditation is the regular, purposeful practice of becoming aware of one’s bodily sensations, thoughts, or other points of focus. Professor Manoj Sharma, a global health promotion leader and Chair of the Social and Behavioral Health department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wished to test whether a health behavioral model that he developed could explain why adults begin and maintain a meditation practice. While this multi-theory model – or ‘MTM’ – has been applied to many health-related behaviors, two domains are core to the model: initiation of a health behavior and sustenance of this behavior.
Professor Kieran Kilcawley | Using Flavour Chemistry to Identify Biomarkers Behind the Sensory Perception of Irish Grass-fed Beef and Lamb
For many consumers, the origin of the food they buy is of great importance. For instance, Irish beef and lamb is often seen as superior quality meat, as the animals are typically reared outdoors on a diet of predominately fresh grass. However, are Irish beef and lamb actually any different to meats produced elsewhere, from animals reared indoors in less sustainable production systems? Professor Kieran Kilcawley and his team at the Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, in conjunction with University College Dublin, are investigating the ‘flavour chemistry’ of beef and lamb. Their aim is to determine whether there are fundamental differences in the chemical properties of meat due to the animal’s diet and origin.
Voter turnout plays a key role in the functioning of democracies. If only a minority of citizens vote, the elected government might not accurately represent the views of the population. In contrast, when voter turnout is high, a country’s government has a strong mandate to make decisions on its citizens’ behalf. The geographical distributions of voters and voter turnout also significantly affect the outcome of elections. Dr William Durkan of Maynooth University in Ireland recently explored the changing geographies of voter turnout in US presidential elections from 2012 to 2020, using the state of Michigan as a case study.
Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
Psychiatric assistance dogs trained to help with mental health symptoms have become increasingly popular as a complementary intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sarah Leighton and her colleagues from Purdue University and the University of Arizona in the USA are exploring the effectiveness of psychiatric assistance dog partnerships for military veterans with PTSD.
Following the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, a related economic emergency known as the Euro Crisis spread throughout Europe. To counter this crisis, the EU imposed a series of austerity measures in the worst-hit countries, which fuelled outrage across Europe. However, it is unclear whether citizens were more outraged about these policies because they had been implemented by EU institutions rather than national governments. Professor Sonia Alonso and Professor Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca recently set out to understand whether the willingness of citizens to accept unpopular policies varies depending on whether they were introduced by their national governments or by EU institutions.
Dr Darren Sharpe, University of East London – Cultivating Young People’s Empowerment and Participation in Society
Young people are central to a country’s growth and development, as they bring fresh perspectives and innovation. However, the path towards gaining full inclusion in society can be arduous for many youths, particularly those from marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds.
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