Hope

As a new year begins, psychological science offers a variety of reasons to be hopeful about progress in science and the well-being of individuals and societies worldwide. Read about the most promising discoveries and advances of the past few years.

  • Clinical researchers and other scientists investigate computer algorithms that could lead to reliable measures of suicide risk. More

    Scientists Turn to Machine Learning to Save Lives

    Clinical researchers and other scientists investigate computer algorithms that could lead to reliable measures of suicide risk. More

  • Data collected from 2004 to 2016 show that Americans’ attitudes toward certain social groups are becoming less biased over time. More

    Paper airplanes with one oriented in a different direction

    Implicit Attitudes Can Change Over the Long Term

    Data collected from 2004 to 2016 show that Americans’ attitudes toward certain social groups are becoming less biased over time. More

  • In a new issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, researchers propose novel treatment strategies, based on advances in brain science, that could help prevent abuse of opioids and other drugs. More

    Innovative Addiction Treatments Hold Promise for Stemming the Opioid Crisis

    In a new issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, researchers propose novel treatment strategies, based on advances in brain science, that could help prevent abuse of opioids and other drugs. More

  • A one-time intervention that educates teens about the changeable nature of personality traits may prevent an increase in depressive symptoms often seen during the transition to high school. More

    Brief Intervention May Prevent Increased Risk of Depression in Teens

    A one-time intervention that educates teens about the changeable nature of personality traits may prevent an increase in depressive symptoms often seen during the transition to high school. More

  • Interracial contact with other practitioners during medical school may help reduce physicians’ racial bias, improving treatment outcomes for patients. More

    Interracial Contact During Medical School Predicts Less Racial Bias

    Interracial contact with other practitioners during medical school may help reduce physicians’ racial bias, improving treatment outcomes for patients. More

  • Evocative labels such as “twisted citrus glazed carrots” and “ultimate chargrilled asparagus” can get people to eat more vegetables than they otherwise would—as long as the food is prepared flavorfully, a nationwide study shows. More

    Touting Flavor Before Nutrition Encourages Healthy Eating

    Evocative labels such as “twisted citrus glazed carrots” and “ultimate chargrilled asparagus” can get people to eat more vegetables than they otherwise would—as long as the food is prepared flavorfully, a nationwide study shows. More

  • A study examining the cost-effectiveness of nudges and typical policy interventions shows that nudges often yield high returns at a low cost. More

    This is an illustration of a clock in a gear interlocking with a gear that has a dollar sign

    Behavioral ‘Nudges’ Offer a Cost-Effective Policy Tool

    A study examining the cost-effectiveness of nudges and typical policy interventions shows that nudges often yield high returns at a low cost. More

  • No one likes a backseat driver, but motorists may be more amenable to suggestions when support systems take the time to explain recommendations. More

    How Digital Driving Advice Can Help Motorists Go Green

    No one likes a backseat driver, but motorists may be more amenable to suggestions when support systems take the time to explain recommendations. More

  • A recent behavioral intervention in the UK convinced up to 50% of drivers to switch off their idling engines, drastically reducing pollution and noise. More

    Idling cars at a railroad crossing

    Promising Behavioral Intervention Helps Cut Idling Car Engines

    A recent behavioral intervention in the UK convinced up to 50% of drivers to switch off their idling engines, drastically reducing pollution and noise. More

  • A growing cadre of behavioral scientists is helping NASA understand how astronauts will function as teams on long-duration space missions — including a journey to Mars. More

    Teams in Space: It Isn’t Just Rocket Science

    A growing cadre of behavioral scientists is helping NASA understand how astronauts will function as teams on long-duration space missions — including a journey to Mars. More

  • Big Data involving thousands and thousands of participants is enabling researchers to track the development of different cognitive skills across the lifespan with increasing accuracy. And the results of these studies bring light to some surprising — and perhaps heartening — findings about the aging brain. More

    The Cognitive Upside of Aging

    Big Data involving thousands and thousands of participants is enabling researchers to track the development of different cognitive skills across the lifespan with increasing accuracy. And the results of these studies bring light to some surprising — and perhaps heartening — findings about the aging brain. More

  • From viruses to ransomware and password phishing scams, cyber fraud and other digital security threats are escalating worldwide — learn how psychological scientists help safeguard data. More

    Psyber Security: Thwarting Hackers with Behavioral Science

    From viruses to ransomware and password phishing scams, cyber fraud and other digital security threats are escalating worldwide — learn how psychological scientists help safeguard data. More

Psychological Science in the News