Social Sciences

Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Mark

How does society, and the manner in which humans behave, influence our world? Our social scientists transform the way we think about the economy, politics, basic motives of human behavior, and the nature of social interactions.

Male teenager playing a video game

Difficult video games linked to intrinsic motivation

Richard Ryan’s self-determination theory helps explain why we keep playing video games that challenge us the most. (Photo: ©iStockphoto)

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Teens working in a garden

Supported teens care more for others

Assistant professor in psychology, Laura Wray-Lake and her group discover that caring for others dips during adolescence. But when teens feel supported from their social circles, their concern for others returns.

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World map

A broader worldview for the candidates

Randall Stone has a message for GOP presidential candidates: Focus on the world, and the US will be better off.

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Icons for wellness

How to improve your personal wellness

Edward Deci and Richard Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory can point the way to living a good life.

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Narayana Kocherlakota

Meet the inaugural Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics

Narayana Kocherlakota, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will join the Department of Economics on January 1, 2016.

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Harry Reis

Professor receives career award for lifetime achievement

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology awarded Harry Reis the Career Contribution Award, one of the highest honors in social psychology.

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Capitol Building

How to fix federal budgeting

Professor of Political Science David Primo recently testified before Congress to discuss ways to improve the current federal budgeting process. Learn more about his ideas in the full written testimony.

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Close up of child's face

Stress in low-income families can affect children’s learning

Children who endure family instability and emotionally distant caregivers are at risk of having impaired cognitive abilities, according to researchers.

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Judith Smetana

The secret lives of teenagers

Judith Smetana’s research explores how adolescents—locally and globally—use disclosure and secrecy in their quest for autonomy from their parents.

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Couple in Silhouette at Ocean

Harmful relationships—and what to do about them

In The Huffington Post, social interaction researcher Harry Reis outlines six types of relationships that sabotage happiness and psychological well-being. (Photo: Flickr/Junichi Ishito)

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Street Scene, Times Square, NYC

Consumption conjunction

Mark Bils, a macroeconomist who specializes in the labor market, co-authored a study finding a rise in consumption inequality in the United States. (Photo: Flickr/Dustin Spengler)

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Professor Richard Fenno Jr

Pioneering Research on Congress Now Online

After more than 50 years with the University, political science professor Richard Fenno Jr.'s lifetime of scholarly work is now available to researchers around the world via the web.

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