Social Science

  • In new cognitive research, people's eyes reveal that clichés are underrated

    Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    As busy people, we juggle many tasks, keep many balls in the air, and try to avoid letting anything drop. In class, instructors toss out ideas; sometimes they go over our heads, but other times we grasp them quickly.

    The sentences above contain familiar metaphors, sometimes called clichés: common words or phrases borrowed from physical actions to convey abstract concepts. Poets and writers may create new and compelling metaphors, but all of us use hundreds of these everyday metaphors in regular conversations.

  • Princeton researchers discover new strategy to encourage vaccinations and masking

    Tuesday, Sep 21, 2021
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    In the face of a global pandemic, with more than 200 million global infections and 4 million deaths, and despite unprecedented efforts by public health officials, celebrities and influencers to convince everyone to wear masks and get vaccinated as soon possible, the results are mixed.

    Now, two Princeton researchers have discovered an approach that they found successfully motivated people to make appointments for vaccinations and to consistently follow measures such as social distancing and mask wearing.

  • Princeton & Mozilla launch technology policy research initiative

    Monday, Jun 28, 2021
    by Staff, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

    Data-driven public policy depends on data. And, in the area of technology policy, access to data has been a significant barrier to research. Concerned about how online services might intrude on privacy, push hyper-partisan misinformation, or disadvantage their competitors? Those services aren’t sharing the relevant data with researchers.

  • Study shows how cities can consider race and income in household energy efficiency programs

    Monday, Jun 21, 2021
    by Rachel Nuwer for Engineering Communications

    Climate change and social inequality are two pressing issues that often overlap. A new study led by Princeton researchers offers a roadmap for cities to address inequalities in energy use by providing fine-grained methods for measuring both income and racial disparities in energy use intensity. Energy use intensity, the amount of energy used per unit floor area, is often used as a proxy for assessing the efficiency of buildings and the upgrades they receive over time.

  • A better understanding of 'wet markets' is key to safeguarding human health and biodiversity

    Friday, Jun 11, 2021
    by B. Rose Huber, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

    Great uncertainty surrounds the origins of SARS-CoV-2. Early on, some suggested a link between COVID-19 and a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Other theories are now circulating, though the origins of the virus are still unknown.

    In response, governments have pushed for the closing of so-called “wet markets” around the world, but this is not an effective policy solution, Princeton University researchers report.

  • “Think like an expert”: Brain scans watch learning in action

    Friday, Mar 26, 2021
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    What does learning look like inside the brain?

    Can a brain scan reveal if a student is learning a tough curriculum or falling behind?

    These and other questions prompted a team of Princeton neuroscientists to launch an ambitious experiment, scanning 24 students’ brains six times during the 2018 spring semester to quite literally watch them learn.

  • Archaeological team co-led by Princeton’s Vischak identifies world’s oldest industrial-scale brewery at Abydos, Egypt, ca. 3000 BCE

    Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021
    by The Office of Communications

    A team of American and Egyptian archaeologists excavating at the site of Abydos in southern Egypt has uncovered evidence of the world’s oldest known industrial-scale beer production facility. The ancient complex, more than 5,000 years old, had the capacity to produce enough beer to serve thousands of people in a single batch.

  • Diversity in policing can improve police-civilian interactions, say Princeton researchers

    Thursday, Feb 11, 2021
    by B. Rose Huber, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

    The recent killings of Black Americans have reignited calls for policing reform, including proposals to diversify police departments, which have historically been made up of primarily white, male officers. Yet, few studies have examined whether deploying minority and female officers actually changes police-civilian interactions or reduces instances of shootings and reported misconduct.


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