Shankar Vedantam en As Millions Of People Fast For Ramadan, Does The Economy Suffer? <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit<img src=""/></div><p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:13:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 45293 at When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home In the land that came up with the phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and a restaurant chain to capitalize on the sense of relief many feel as the work week ends, researchers made an unusual finding in 2012.<p>Moms who worked full time reported significantly better physical and mental health than moms who worked part time, research involving more than 2,500 mothers found. And mothers who worked part time reported better health than moms who didn't work at all.<p>Working and juggling family responsibilities can be stressful. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 44694 at When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home Some Parole Requirements Could Be Increasing The Crime Rate Prisoners who are released invariably make it back to the areas where they came from. Does this have a positive or negative effect on crime? Research triggered by Hurricane Katrina offers insight. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:01:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 44209 at Safety Feature For Pedestrians Has Undesired Consequence New analysis finds that the countdown clocks telling pedestrians how much time they have to cross the intersection actually increase traffic crashes. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:21:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 43790 at How To Sell Green Products To The Self-Regarding Consumer Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>When consumers think about green products, they often face a dilemma - that car that uses less gasoline or a more efficient refrigerator tends to cost more. Buyers have to choose whether money is more important to them than public good. Now new research shows there might be a way to boost interest in these products, at least among a core group of consumers. NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to talk with us about that. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:36:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 43464 at 6 Decades Of Research Examines Prisoners Of War Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>The Taliban's recent release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has prompted a firestorm of political debate. Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after he wandered away from his unit in Afghanistan. Some have rushed to brand him a deserter and a traitor. Other,s including his friends and family, have rushed to his defense. Today we step away from that debate to look at what we've learned about the psychological effects of being captured in wartime. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 43065 at What's In A Grunt — Or A Sigh, Or A Sob? Depends On Where You Hear It Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR news this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. Hear a laugh, you know someone's happy. Hear a sob, you know someone is sad. Or are they? It's been thought that no matter where you live in the world, people express emotions using the same repertoire of sounds. Fri, 30 May 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 41761 at Research: Children Of Judges May Influence Court Decisions It's been suspected that judges are swayed by their personal beliefs and affiliations. An analysis found that judges become more likely to rule in "pro-feminist" ways if the judges have daughters. Wed, 28 May 2014 10:40:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 41538 at Mating Rituals: Why Certain Risky Behaviors Can Make You Look Hot Social science research suggests risky behavior such as braving heights or swimming in deep waters increases your sex appeal. Driving without a seat belt? Not so much. Wed, 21 May 2014 09:22:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 41072 at Why Reporting On Scientific Research May Warp Findings Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Next we're going to report on scientific research, in particular on the way that reporting on scientific research might actually warp the findings. Scientists face pressure to publish new discoveries, which in turn might influence what they study, and that, of course, is not necessarily a good thing. There's work being published today that's part of an effort to fix this problem. Mon, 19 May 2014 10:36:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 40924 at More Parental Attention May Give First-Born Kids Advantages Firstborn kids often do better in school and, on average, go on to earn more money than their younger siblings. A new theory tries to explain why. Tue, 13 May 2014 09:20:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 40515 at Does Diversity On Research Team Improve Quality Of Science? As science becomes more diverse, scientific collaborators are growing more diverse, too. New research exploring the effect of this change suggests the diversity of the teams that produce scientific research play a big role in how successful the science turns out to be. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:43:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 37110 at Military Conflict Decisions: Why Weakness Leads To Aggression Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>From Syria to Afghanistan, to Russia and Ukraine, the United States finds itself confronting some major foreign policy challenges. There are old rivalries and new one testing the limits of the United States.<p>NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to talk about matters related to individual and organizational behavior, but today, he's found some new research that's relevant to the way we think about foreign conflicts and he's in our studios. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 08:57:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 36321 at Minority Aspirants To Federal Bench Are Hindered By Underrating Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. When a president taps someone to become a federal judge, the American Bar Association reviews and rates the nominee. That rating shapes whether the president's pick is confirmed by the Senate. Now, new analysis claims that the ABA ratings are biased. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 35573 at Political Map: Does Geography Shape Your Ideology? Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>The political map of America changes, but it doesn't change very quickly. Massachusetts was a reliably liberal state decades ago and still is. The South is still the South. This raises the question of why it is that certain areas come to be reliably liberal or conservative.<p>NPR Shankar Vedantam joins us to discuss some research that explores the question. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 10:21:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 34091 at What's The Problem With Feeling On Top Of The World? Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Now let's turn to a thought experiment. Imagine you're riding one of those glass elevators that takes you to the top of a skyscraper. You go higher and higher. The view gets better. The cars on the ground, the people down there look puny like ants. Researchers say if you imagine this, it can make you feel unaccountably better about yourself. It briefly raises your self esteem. But researchers also say this feeling can be bad for you.<p>NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain why. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 10:04:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 33866 at Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health American kids have a problem with obesity, according to the <a href="">most recent studies</a>. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 08:37:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 32965 at Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health 'Save To Win' Makes Saving As Much Fun As Gambling Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>As far as New Year's resolutions go, saving more money is often a popular one. Actually being able to do that - well, we know how that story usually ends. But researchers may have come up with a winning method. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, we are all ears.<p>SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Carolann Broekhuizen is a retired life insurance claims examiner. She lives in Waterford, Michigan. Whenever she has a little extra money, there are some things she likes to do.<p>CAROLANN BROEKHUIZEN: I do buy lottery tickets. Mon, 06 Jan 2014 11:36:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 32202 at How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior A Harvard economist finds there are psychological connections between the bad financial planning of many poor people and the poor time management of busy professionals. In both cases, he finds the experience of scarcity causes biases in the mind that exacerbate problems. Thu, 02 Jan 2014 11:25:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 31988 at Lessons In Leadership: It's Not About You. (It's About Them) Ronald Heifetz has been a professor of public leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School for three decades, teaching classes that have included aspiring business leaders and budding heads of state. Each year, he says, the students start his course thinking they'll learn the answer to one question:<p>As leaders, how can they get others to follow them?<p>Heifetz says that whole approach is wrong.<p>"The dominant view of leadership is that the leader has the vision and the rest is a sales problem," he says. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:20:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 28744 at Lessons In Leadership: It's Not About You. (It's About Them) Why Are Kids Who Get Less Candy Happier On Halloween? What makes trick-or-treaters happy is candy. And more candy is better, right?<p>Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case. A few years ago researchers did <a href="">a study</a> on Halloween night where some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar, and others were given the candy bar and a piece of bubble gum.<p>Now, in any rational universe, you would imagine that the kids who got the candy bar and the bubble gum would be happier than the kids who got just the candy bar. Thu, 31 Oct 2013 07:58:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 28063 at Why Are Kids Who Get Less Candy Happier On Halloween? Why We Care More About Losses Than Gains People care more about losing a dollar than gaining a dollar. This ideal, known as loss aversion, has national consequences, too, according to new research. David Greene discusses the phenomenon with NPR's Shankar Vedantam. Fri, 25 Oct 2013 09:24:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 27722 at Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He's also a parent. Over the years, Hewitt has periodically drawn upon his scientific knowledge in making parenting decisions.<p>"I'm a father of four children myself and I never worried too much about the environments that I was providing for my children because I thought, well, it would all work out in the end anyway — aren't the genes especially powerful?" <a href="">Hewitt</a> says.<p>He knew intelligence has a strong biological component. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 07:37:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 25564 at Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time Diet Of Defeat: Why Football Fans Mourn With High-Fat Food Backing a losing NFL team isn't just bad for your pride.<p>It's bad for your waistline.<p>A study that links sports outcomes with the eating behavior of fans finds that backers of NFL teams eat more food and fattier food the day after a loss. Backers of winning teams, by contrast, eat lighter food, and in moderation.<p>After a defeat, the researchers found that saturated fat consumption went up by 16 percent, while after a victory it decreased by 9 percent. Fri, 20 Sep 2013 07:22:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 25426 at Diet Of Defeat: Why Football Fans Mourn With High-Fat Food It's OK To Protest In China, Just Don't March Thousands of messages posted on the Internet every day in China get censored. Until now, little has been known about how the Chinese censorship machine works — except that it is comprehensive.<p>"It probably is the largest effort ever to selectively censor human expression," says Harvard University social scientist <a href="">Gary King</a>. "They don't censor everything. There are millions of Chinese [who] talk about millions of things. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 24654 at It's OK To Protest In China, Just Don't March Money May Be Motivating Doctors To Do More C-Sections Obstetricians perform more cesarean sections when there are financial incentives to do so, according to a new study that explores links between economic incentives and medical decision-making during childbirth.<p>About <a href="">1 in 3</a> babies born today is delivered via C-section, compared to 1 in 5 babies delivered via the surgical procedure in 1996. During the same time period, the annual medical costs of childbirth in the U.S. have grown by $3 billion annually. Fri, 30 Aug 2013 07:06:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 24055 at Money May Be Motivating Doctors To Do More C-Sections How To Win That Music Competition? Send A Video Chia-Jung Tsay was something of a piano prodigy. By age 12, she was performing Mendelssohn in concert. At 16, she made her debut at Carnegie Hall. Soon, she was on her way to some of the best music schools in the country — Juilliard and the Peabody Conservatory. And she was throwing her hat in the ring for different competitions. <br /> Tue, 20 Aug 2013 06:03:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 23346 at How To Win That Music Competition? Send A Video Why Aren't More Girls Attracted To Physics? You don't need to be a social scientist to know there is a gender diversity problem in technology. The tech industry in <a href="">Silicon Valley</a> and across the nation is overwhelmingly male-dominated.<p>That isn't to say there aren't women working at tech firms. Fri, 09 Aug 2013 07:03:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 22670 at Why Aren't More Girls Attracted To Physics? What A State Capital's Location Can Say About Corruption Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene.<p>When a New York state senator was recently taken into custody for embezzlement, he was the 32nd politician in that state to be indicted or convicted in the last seven years. And there's a new theory that explains corruption in state governments.<p>NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, who joins us often at MORNING EDITION, is back with us. Hey, Shankar.<p>SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, David.<p>GREENE: So, I'm all ears. Tue, 30 Jul 2013 09:25:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 21981 at How To Fight Racial Bias When It's Silent And Subtle In the popular imagination and in conventional discourse — especially in the context of highly charged news events such as the shooting of <a href="" target="_blank">Trayvon Martin</a> — prejudice is all about hatred and animosity.<p>Scientists agree there's little doubt that hate-filled racism is real, but a <a href="" target="_blank">growing body</a> of social science research suggests that racial disparities and other biased outcomes in the criminal justice s Fri, 19 Jul 2013 07:26:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 21306 at How To Fight Racial Bias When It's Silent And Subtle