In 1982, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Anne E. Becker was still an undergraduate at Radcliffe when she traveled to Fiji for a summer of anthropology fieldwork. What struck her about this South Pacific island nation — and has in many research trips since — was “the absolute preoccupation with food and eating,” she said. “Family and social life really revolve around food. … It’s all about food, all the time.”
Researchers found that if just three outlets write about a particular major national policy topic, discussion of that topic across social media rises by more than 62 percent.
Harvard psychologists have found that the centuries-old “one-drop rule” assigning minority status to mixed-race individuals appears to live on in our modern-day perception and categorization of people like Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, and Halle Berry.
Harvard psychology chair Mahzarin Banaji is working with a research fellow to launch a new project called “Outsmarting Human Minds.”
New HBS research examines whether we are less inhibited when posting on temporary social media and how others perceive the posts.
Using videos of four sports in 44 countries, researchers found that men are far more likely to engage in friendly physical contact — handshakes, back pats and even hugs — following competition than women are.
During a construction explosion in 1848, an iron bar pierced the brain of foreman Phineas Gage. He survived, and his experiences opened a window into trauma and recovery.
Harvard experts say that changing the language of addiction is key to fighting the stigma attached to it.
Despite sarcasm’s nasty reputation, new research finds that it can boost creativity and problem-solving in the workplace.
Though it has been embraced by everyone from advocates for arts education to parents hoping to encourage their kids to stick with piano lessons, two new studies conducted by Harvard researchers show no effect of music training on the cognitive abilities of young children.
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Research led by scientists at Harvard and University College London has shown that Native Americans arrived in three waves of migration, not one, as is commonly held and that at least one group returned home to Asia.
Experts discuss findings from a new Harvard T.H. Chan School survey about how workers say their jobs affect their health, and what companies can and should be doing to help.
In recent decades, women have made progress in pay and parity with men in such professions as medicine and law. But when it comes to running things at the highest levels, it’s generally still a man’s world.
A new study suggests that two adjacent brain regions allow humans to use a sort of conceptual algebra to construct thoughts.
In “Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan,” Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, explores a range of fascinating subjects, including how emotions influence decisions and the often-thorny matter of understanding the perspectives of others. Blending social science and real-world examples, Gino’s book also highlights the science of gratitude.
Students threw paper airplanes in class for inspiration, not trouble, in a workshop led by a record-setting designer.
“You are what you eat.” Can these pithy words explain the evolution of the human species?Yes, says Richard Wrangham of Harvard University, who argues ...
Researchers have shown, for the first time, that chimpanzees learn certain grooming behaviors from their mothers. Once learned, chimps continued to perform the behavior long after the deaths of their mothers.
The nation’s prison and jail inmate population struggles with high rates of serious illness and poor access to care, according to the first nationwide ...
Just over a century ago, one of the world’s leading mathematicians posed this question to a number of his colleagues: What are the most important ...
When Bill Gates came to Harvard as a student, he was known for his myriad interests and unconventional study habits. And then there was his endless fascination with computers, Walter Isaacson writes.
An undergraduate deciphers the meaning of Incan knots, giving long-dead native South American people a chance to speak.
Psychologists at Harvard University have developed a new method to study extrasensory perception that, they argue, can resolve the century-old debate over ...
Researchers used Google Street View to conduct a study of gentrification in Chicago.
A study suggests that while psychopaths do feel regret, however, it doesn’t affect their choices.
New research from faculty at Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School finds that a majority of college freshmen believe others have more friends than they do, when they often don’t.
According to a new study by researchers at Harvard and the University of Texas at Austin, women's lower spines evolved to be more flexible and supportive ...
University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne says that dysfunction within American society promotes high levels of religious belief that in turn blocks general acceptance of evolutionary theories.
Hilary Levey, a member of the Harvard College Class of '02, studied child beauty pageants. "With the death of JonBenet Ramsey, there's been a barrage of ...
A study last year claiming that more than half of all psychology studies cannot be replicated turns out to be wrong. Harvard researchers have discovered that the study contains several statistical and methodological mistakes, and that when these are corrected, the study actually shows that the replication rate in psychology is quite high.
Shorter city blocks stimulate urban life, but if they’re too short, people spend too much time crossing roads, and the streetscape suffers, study says.
Researchers discover that similar qualities of observation drive gay and straight men in their judgments on attractiveness.
Among the many ways that participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) helps its members stay sober, two appear to be most important — spending more time with individuals who support efforts toward sobriety and increased confidence in the ability to maintain abstinence in social situations.
Geneticists David Reich and Nick Patterson detailed recent work on human migrations that led to the populations of today’s Europe.
Harvard scientists helped develop an algorithm for predicting whether a social structure is likely to favor cooperation.
Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji and longtime collaborator Anthony Greenwald condense three decades of work on the unconscious mind in “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People.”
The Ed School and the Harvard Chan School brought together experts to discuss the nation’s opioid crisis in separate panel events.
The famed Glass Flowers gallery will reopen May 21 after the most extensive renovation in its history.
If you’re happy and you know it, thank your friends — and their friends. And while you’re at it, their friends’ friends. But if you’re sad, hold the blame. ...
Using scans of the brain, Harvard researchers show that patterns of neural activity change when people look at black and white faces, and male and female faces.
Despite assurances from cigarette makers that they no longer target the youth market, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that new brands ...
As part of an unusual study that surveyed 181 middle school physical science teachers and nearly 10,000 students, researchers found that the most successful teachers were those who knew what students would get wrong on standardized tests.
People would like to predict the future, says author and mathematician David Orrell, but it remains quite a difficult thing to do, even with lots of data at hand.
With 8 million orphans living in institutions worldwide, an ongoing Harvard study highlights the devastating effect institutionalization has on children, providing support for a switch to foster care.
Harvard researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind model, dubbed the “envelope game,” that can help researchers to understand not only why humans evolved to be cooperative but why people evolved to cooperate in a principled way.
New website opens a window onto naturalist Charles Darwin’s struggle with the complexities of gender, and illustrates how culture affects science’s vaunted neutrality.
Moral philosophers have long grappled with ethical questions, creating hypotheticals that test basic beliefs about right and wrong. For example: A ...
There may be a formula for happiness after all, says Daniel Gilbert, Harvard professor of psychology and best-selling author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” who presented an impressive array of scientific research from the disciplines of economics, psychology, and neuroscience to assess his mother’s recipe for happiness.
“This is a wonderful story of collaboration and imagination,” said Harvard President Drew Faust, moments before cutting a ribbon yesterday afternoon to ...
Ralph Mitchell, a Harvard professor and authority on cultural heritage microbiology, investigates “fingerprints” left on the walls of Egyptian King Tutankhamen’s tomb by ancient microbes.