Does spanking really mess up kids’ lives? In episode 82, Nicole Barbaro from Western Governors University Labs talks with us about her research into the factors that determine the answer to this question.
Tim Tangherlini discusses his research into how conspiracy theorists interpret and use what they believe is “hidden knowledge” to connect multiple human interactions that are otherwise unlinked … and how when one of these links is cut, they’re less able to hold together a coherent story about it.
How do our brains respond when people behave in unpredictable ways? In episode 80, Jordan Theriault from Northeastern University discusses his research into a set of brain regions which, when activated by a variety of social tasks, can provide insights into how we judge the moral objectivity or subjectivity of others’ unexpected claims.
What’s that on your breath? In episode 79 of Parsing Science we talk with Neil Garg from UCLA about his research into the fundamental chemistry necessary for the creation of a small, electronic test of marijuana that works by way of a simple electrochemical oxidation process similar to that used in an alcohol breath test.
What if mosquitos weren’t just annoying bugs, but instead were bio-inspiring features? In episode 78, we talk with Richard Bomphrey from the University of London’s Royal Veterinary College about how mosquitoes can detect surfaces using the airflow caused by the movement of their own wings … and the autonomous drones he developed to mimic them.
What impact did Black politicians have during the Reconstruction? In episode 77, Trevon Logan from The Ohio State University’s Department of Economics discusses his research into the election of Black politicians after the Civil War ended in 1865, which led to increased tax revenues that were put toward public schools and land ownership reform. White Southerners, however, reversed that progress just 12 years later, augmenting the systematic disenfranchisement of African Americans that remains today.
In episode 75, Daniel Field from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge discusses his research into a 66.7-million-year-old bird fossil which mashes up features from chickens, turkeys, and ducks, providing the best evidence so far for understanding when groups of modern birds first evolved and began to diverge.
Very few animals can combine information to adjust their predictions in a flexible way by using domain-general intelligence as humans do. In episode 74, Amalia Bastos from the University of Auckland discusses her research demonstrating that kea parrots can make predictions based in probabilities, and adjust those predictions based on physical and social information.
Are drivers of more expensive cars really the jerks we make them out to be? In Episode 73, Courtney Coughenour and Jennifer Pharr from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas discuss their research into what differentiates drivers who are likely to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks from those who don’t.