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Five Studies


Why Middle School Doesn’t Have to Suck

Some people suspect the troubles of middle school are a matter of age. Middle schoolers, they think, are simply too moody, pimply, and cliquish to be easily educable. But these five studies might convince you otherwise.

From the Editor


Introducing the New Issue of ‘Pacific Standard’

The science of self-control, the rise of biblical counseling, why middle school doesn’t have to suck, and more in our September/October 2014 print issue.



Television and Overeating: What We Watch Matters

New research finds fast-moving programming leads to mindless overeating.



Why Someone Named Monty Iceman Sold Doogie Howser’s Estate

How unusual names, under certain circumstances, can lead to success.



Linguistic Analysis Reveals Research Fraud

An examination of papers by the discredited Diederik Stapel finds linguistic differences between his legitimate and fraudulent studies.

Randomness Week


A Skeptic Meets a Psychic: When You Can See Into the Future, How Do You Handle Uncertainty?

For all the crystal balls and beaded doorways, some psychics provide a useful, non-paranormal service. The best ones—they give good advice.

From Deep Inside the Lab


Speaking Eyebrow: Your Face Is Saying More Than You Think

Our involuntary gestures take on different “accents” depending on our cultural background.

Quick Studies


Being a Couch Potato: Not So Bad After All?

For those who feel guilty about watching TV, a new study provides redemption.

Quick Studies


How Gay Men Feel About Aging

Coming to terms with growing old can be difficult in the gay community. But middle-aged men are inventing new strategies to cope.

We Read It


Beyoncé Isn’t an Anti-Feminist Terrorist

A new book called Staging the Blues shows she’s embracing a tradition of multi-dimensional stardom, rather than one racist trope.

A Conversation With


Turbo Paul: Art Thief Turned Art Crime Ombudsman

There’s art theft, there’s law enforcement, and, somewhere in between, there’s Turbo Paul.

We Read It


Long Live Short Novels

Christopher Beha’s Arts & Entertainments comes in at less than 300 pages long, which—along with a plot centered on a sex-tape scandal—makes it a uniquely efficient pleasure.

What Makes You So Smart?


What Makes You So Smart, School Principal?

Noah Davis talks to Evan Glazer about why kids aren’t getting smarter and what his school’s doing in order to change that.

Quick Studies


Diversity Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Perception of group diversity depends on the race of the observer and the extent to which they worry about discrimination.



Of Course I Behaved Like a Jerk, I Was Just Watching ‘Jersey Shore’

Researchers find watching certain types of reality TV can make viewers more aggressive.



The Positive Effects of Sports-Themed Video Games

New research finds sports-themed video games actually encourage some kids to get onto the field.

We Read It


The Problems With William Deresiewicz’s New Manifesto

Excellent Sheep: a facile approach to an urgent critique.

Homecoming Week


Why Must We Crown Queens of Everything?

The homecoming queen has become a ubiquitous part of American culture. Crowning queens of otherwise plebeian events, however, goes back to medieval times.

Homecoming Week


How to Own a Home Before Your 20th Birthday

At 18, Molly Osberg thought her communal living situation was a triumph over the grown-up world. By the time she left, she had developed an appreciation for the architecture of society.

The Big Screen


What Hollywood Needs Is Fewer Strong Male Characters

The work of genocide researcher Adam Jones suggests that the perception of strength justifies violence against men.

Homecoming Week


Welcome Home: It’s Homecoming Week

Whether or not you have a home—and how you live your life in relation to it—has enormous economic and psychological implications. Introducing our new special report.

Sociological Images


Girls on the Run: When Efforts to Empower Girls Go Wrong

The organization means well when it puts together no-boys-allowed 5K runs, but it also reproduces gender stereotypes and the old-fashioned and false notion that gender is binary.

But It's Just a Game


Will Football and CTE Give Way to Futból and Do-Re-Mi?

Phasing out football programs as we learn more about their damaging effects on the brain may benefit more than just our minds and bodies.



Stop Making Sense? Many of Us Wouldn’t Even Notice

Researchers find many people fail to pick up on the fact an instant-messaging chat they are engaged in has turned incoherent.

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When Men Who Abstain From Premarital Sex Get Married

Young men who take abstinence pledges have trouble adjusting to sexual norms when they become husbands.

Your Brain Decides Whether to Trust Someone in Milliseconds

We can determine trustworthiness even when we’re only subliminally aware of the other person.

Young, Undocumented, and Invisible

While young migrant workers struggle under poor working conditions, U.S. policy has done little to help.

Education, Interrupted

When it comes to educational access, young Syrian refugees are becoming a “lost generation.”

No, Smartphone-Loss Anxiety Disorder Isn’t Real

But people are anxious about losing their phones, even if they don’t do much to protect them.

The Big One

One third of the United States federal budget for fighting wildfires goes toward one percent of such fires. September/October 2014 big-one-fires-final

Copyright © 2014 by Pacific Standard and The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy. All Rights Reserved.