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We Need to Normalize Drug Use in Our Society

After the disastrous misconceptions of the 20th century, we’re returning to the idea that drugs are an ordinary part of life experience and no more cause addiction than do other behaviors. This is rational and welcome.



Why We Gossip: It’s Really All About Ourselves

New research from the Netherlands finds stories we hear about others help us determine how we’re doing.



Of Course Marijuana Addiction Exists

The polarized legalization debate leads to exaggerated claims and denials about pot’s potential harms. The truth lies somewhere in between.



Ebola News Gives Me a Guilty Thrill. Am I Crazy?

What it means to feel a little excited about the prospect of a horrific event.

Sociological Images


The Last Thing the Women’s Movement Needs Is a Heroic Male Takeover

Is the United Nations’ #HeForShe campaign helping feminism?

This Is Your Brain


How We Form Our Routines

Whether it’s a morning cup of coffee or a glass of warm milk before bed, we all have our habitual processions. The way they become engrained, though, varies from person to person.



For Preschoolers, Spite and Smarts Go Together

New research from Germany finds greater cognitive skills are associated with more spiteful behavior in children.

Sociological Images


Why the Number of Reported Sexual Offenses Is Skyrocketing at Occidental College

When you make it easier to report assault, people will come forward.

Our Best Friends


How Clever Do You Think Your Dog Is?

Maybe as smart as a four-year-old child?



She’s Cheating on Him, You Can Tell Just by Watching Them

New research suggests telltale signs of infidelity emerge even in a three- to five-minute video.

Our Best Friends


My Dog Comes First: The Importance of Pets to Homeless Youth

Dogs and cats have both advantages and disadvantages for street-involved youth.

Health Care


Big Boobs Matter Most

Medical mnemonics are often scandalous and sexist, but they help the student to both remember important facts and cope with challenging new experiences.

Quick Studies


Unlocking Consciousness

A study of vegetative patients closes in on the nature of consciousness.



Personality Traits Linked to Specific Diseases

New research finds neurotic people are more likely to suffer a serious health problem.

Sociological Images


Why Asian American Parents Are the Least Likely to Spank Their Kids

Highly educated, middle-class parents are less likely to use corporal punishment to discipline their children than less-educated, working-class, and poor parents.



The Federal Government’s New Doctor Payments Website Is Worthy of a Recall

Charles Ornstein takes a test drive using the federal government’s new website for drug and device payments and finds it virtually unusable.

The Things We Eat


What Big Data Can Tell Us About the Things We Eat

Pizza might be the only thing that can bring men and women together.

Sociological Images


But How Do You Know That You’re Gay?

On the invisible norm of heterosexuality.

Placebo Week


Sugar Pills and Empathy: A Sweeter Cure

Whether it’s the benefits of talk therapy or the pills and tonics they provide, homeopaths in San Francisco are helping people turn their lives around.

Health Care


Our Superbug Problem

Travel—for business, pleasure, or medical reasons—has turned infectious diseases that were once restricted to geographic regions into major global challenges.

Quick Studies


Brain’s Reward Center Does More Than Manage Rewards

Nucleus accumbens tracks many different connections in the world, a new rat study suggests.



Better Team Chemistry Through Sexual Assault?

Research sheds light on the origins of hazing and suggests it may be losing its effectiveness as homophobia declines.

Sociological Images


The Ethnic Group in China That Doesn’t Have a Word for Father

The Mosuo practice what they call a walking marriage, where the role of the biological father is discretionary.

Placebo Week


Getting Drunk on Expectations

Researchers say keg stands and Solo cups alone could get you intoxicated—no beer required.

Placebo Week


The Power of Placebos

The mind is a powerful thing. For our latest week-long special report, we look at the placebo effect, deception, control, and the ever-mysterious mind-body connection.

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Politicians Really Aren’t Better Decision Makers

Politicians took part in a classic choice experiment but failed to do better than the rest of us.

Earliest High-Altitude Settlements Found in Peru

Discovery suggests humans adapted to high altitude faster than previously thought.

My Politicians Are Better Looking Than Yours

A new study finds we judge the cover by the book—or at least the party.

That Cigarette Would Make a Great Water Filter

Clean out the ashtray, add some aluminum oxide, and you've (almost) got yourself a low-cost way to remove arsenic from drinking water.

Love and Hate in Israel and Palestine

Psychologists find that parties to a conflict think they're motivated by love while their enemies are motivated by hate.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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