Behavioral Sciences Magazine Articles




March 19, 2021

Writer:

Corbie Hill

ADAM STANALAND’s study was designed to threaten the masculinity of its participants. Predictably, some of them got angry.

Of those, and even after a debriefing reiterating that there is no right or wrong way to be a man, a few issued threats or used violent language in their post-study comments. Yet some comments were poignant and sad.

Image of children building a house of cardboard while monkeys place in box

November 13, 2019

Gummy bears. They reveal a sweet reality. Watch the video: A couple of three-year-olds are noisily negotiating a challenge cleverly arranged for them. They pull together on some ropes, thereby unsealing a big-box container and unleashing a flood of the candy treats. It doesn’t take much prodding by either partner to arrive at an equitable distribution; if one points out she’s gummy-deprived, the other will quickly correct the gummy imbalance.

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

I started writing seriously seven years ago, and sometime in the intervening period, I became a procrastinator. Missing a deadline is a terrible, deep pit: At first, it’s to be avoided at all costs, and then, once experienced, it’s something never to be relived. And yet, I catch myself following the same patterns, flirting with the same disasters.

August 11, 2017

My grandfather cracks open his bedroom door and pushes his face carefully into the thin crease between the door and the frame.

My mother is in the hallway.

“Hi, Dad,” she says to his eye, backlit against a slice of bedroom light. “Come on out, Dad. It’s okay.”

September 30, 2014

Writer:

Louise Flynn

Billy Pizer, professor of public policy, economics, and environment, and his colleague Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, wanted to find a hands-on way to engage students with the issue of emissions regulation. The Bass Connections energy-theme courses, in which graduate students and undergrads work together in small interdisciplinary groups, seemed the ideal setting in which to launch a new research project on the topic.

September 30, 2014

Writer:

Louise Flynn

When Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway ’91 stepped behind the podium last March to announce he would no longer defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban, he was, in effect, walking onto the national stage. He was not the first attorney general to take such a stance—there had been seven before him, and more since—but his five-minute, heartfelt remarks went viral, and the moment became another turning point in the marriage-equality movement.

September 26, 2014

Moyle, the Duke Alumni Association’s new board president, majored in political science and history at Duke and received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is the owner and chairman of Shindigz, one of the world’s largest Internet party suppliers. During his time at Duke, Moyle served as student-body president during his sophomore year and worked as a columnist for The Chronicle. Here, he talks about his journey through Duke and his new board role.

September 26, 2014

December 26 marks the tenth anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters of all time—the Indian Ocean tsunami, which devastated Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing some 160,000 people. Since 2005, Elizabeth Frankenberg, a professor of public policy, has led an Indonesia-based fieldwork project that has followed a group of 32,000 people (first interviewed, pre-tsunami, in 2004).

September 25, 2014

You’re an outsider who needs to operate as a n insider in a pretty confusing setting, a setting that, for a couple of years, will impose all sorts of expectations on you. Lots of obstacles for you to stumble over. Lots of rituals and routines to sort out.

August 1, 2014

Writer:

Iyanu Oke

When asked which of the four countries she has lived in she considers home, she stumbles. So Iyanu decided to explore four different definitions of home.

Produced for The Short Audio Documentary course taught by John Biewen at the Center for Documentary Studies.

August 1, 2014

Symbols wield immense power over people, but often their meaning is different for each of us. This story reflects on an encounter with a particularly polarizing symbol long-steeped in American southern culture in the voices of diverse students from across the country.

August 1, 2014

The trigger of your senses can often prompt specific memories. For Tracy, it’s a particular piece of music that brings thoughts of the place she once called home.

Produced for The Short Audio Documentary course taught by John Biewen at the Center for Documentary Studies.

July 22, 2014

It’s a mid-April morning in Highland Park, a neighborhood just north of Richmond, Virginia, where historic Queen Anne-style homes the color of popsicles give way to boarded-up buildings along a slight Main Street.

July 22, 2014

Writer:

Michael Penn

Kimberly Blackwell ’89 could have gone about anywhere to begin her career as a pioneering breast-cancer doctor. After graduating from the Mayo Medical School in 1994, she chose to come back to Duke. Now a clinical oncologist at the Duke Cancer Institute, Blackwell is regarded as one of the top breast-cancer researchers in the country.

July 22, 2014

Writer:

Bridget Booher

From the outside, W. Steven Burke’s elegantly understated Greek Revival home and adjoining buildings—all designed by him—in the heart of the historic district in Hillsborough, North Carolina, offer no hint at the worlds and wonders inside. But cross the threshold and suddenly you’re surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of small buildings that occupy nearly every surface.

July 22, 2014

Writer:

New page turners on the shelves

Bravery, humility, loyalty, and service are the common threads linking the soldiers profiled in Valor: Unsung Heroes From Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front by Mark Lee Greenblatt ’95.

Erik Goodge (photo by Justin Lubke)

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Sabrina Lee

Sitting a comfortable distance from the U.S. military conflicts abroad, I had envisioned “coming home” as both a welcome departure from the battlefield and a new beginning for returning veterans. However, my perspective shifted upon interviewing one of the subjects from my first documentary.

Don Byrne enters the garden through one of four gates.

July 18, 2014

ON A MORNING in early 2006, Don Byrne walked through an overgrown field of grass. Alongside trudged his father, who, despite the early hour, carried a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey. At the highest point on the land, the two men paused. It was here that they wanted to drill the well. In a makeshift christening, they sprinkled the land with liquor.

July 18, 2014

In the afternoon, Don visits the third cabin, which he recently made his workshop. He lifts a pine plank and secures it between two bench vices, checking to see that the grain runs in the right direction. Over one edge, he steadily passes an old-fashioned hand plane, forming a groove in the wood. Pine shavings curl at his feet, reminding him of golden angel hair, and he inhales the woodsy, clean scent of pine, tinged with the perfume of wisteria.

July 18, 2014

Writer:

James Tulsky

“I’m going home. That’s it. I don’t want to hear anything else!”

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Sam June

There are four sacred mountains that outline the traditional Navajo homeland, and inside is where all your blessings are, where all life started. You’re only supposed to perform traditional ceremonies within the boundaries. For example, a baby’s umbilical cord is often buried in the ground. Mine is buried in the horse corral at my maternal grandmother’s house. My mom said it’s done so that I will always return to my people and care for the animals and Earth.

July 18, 2014

At some point or another, most of us have been afflicted by homesickness—that pang of nostalgia and longing for familiar people and places. To understand the origin and purpose of homesickness, we asked Mark Leary, professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of Duke’s social psychology program, to give us some insight into this common human experience.

How would you define homesickness?

July 18, 2014

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, at the age of thirty-five, I did not see my life pass before my eyes. I did not have black spots at the edge of my vision. Instead, I thought, “Oh, crap, what do I do now?”

July 18, 2014

Eleven years ago, when my wife, Leah, and I were far from home in the Anbar province of Iraq, American friends with whom we were traveling had a car accident. Three of them split their heads open on impact and stumbled out of the car onto a dusty highway strewn with the debris of war. A car of Iraqis stopped, took them into their car, and drove them to a town called Rutba. There a doctor spoke to them in perfect English: “Three days ago, your country bombed our hospital.

April 29, 2014

Having HIV testing close to one’s home makes in more likely that one will get tested. At the same time, HIV preferences vary greatly across individuals, according to new research conducted by Duke Global Health Institute faculty members. The findings could help inform how HIV-testing services are adapted and expanded across sub-Saharan Africa.

April 29, 2014

The old saying goes, “Yawns are contagious,” but have you considered the biology behind it? While previous studies have suggested a connection between contagious yawning and empathy, new research from the Duke Center for Human Genome Variation finds that contagious yawning may decrease with age and is not strongly related to variables like empathy, tiredness, and energy levels.

April 29, 2014

More than 2,000 students have participated in DukeEngage since it began in 2007. The program, in which students serve a domestic or international community in need, has become a Duke hallmark. So, it might surprise you to know that forty years before DukeEngage launched, Duke had developed an immersive community- service program based in Durham.

Samantha Emmert helps Victoria Thayer examine a deceased dolphin.

April 28, 2014

“The rolling sand dunes and gentle waves of Emerald Isle are so picturesque that I almost forget why I am here: to conduct a necropsy on a stranded bottlenose dolphin,” wrote Samantha Emmert from the Duke Marine Lab in early 2014. Emmert spent her junior year researching an outbreak of morbillivirus epizootic, a measles-like virus that has ravaged dolphin populations along the Atlantic Coast since last summer.

April 28, 2014

THE CATALYST: In 2000, Congress passed legislation to create the Veterans History Project. Housed in the Library of Congress, the ongoing collection includes correspondence, audio narratives, and visual materials from veterans of every American war since World War I. Several years ago, Center for Documentary Studies instructor Michelle Lanier and then-visiting professor Elaine Lawless saw an opportunity to contribute to the project at duke.

April 28, 2014

Writer:

Mousa Jawasreh

Nour has fair skin and gray-blue eyes, accentuated by her ocean-colored hijab and dress. She tells us how in love she is with her husband, how he waited three years until she was old enough to marry him. She speaks of her son as the only bright spot in her life here in Jordan, the only happy moment. She details the horrors of her father-in-law’s public murder in Syria and even shows us pictures of his flowery burial on her cell phone.

February 27, 2014

An Alumni Faculty Fellow, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Chancey Stillman Professor of practical ethics in the philosophy department and the Kenan Institute for Ethics. His current work explores moral psychology and brain science, uses of neuroscience in legal systems, and freedom and responsibility. He co-teaches a MOOC, “Think Again: How to Reason and Argue.”

February 27, 2014

Less than two-thirds of doctors and teenage patients talk about sex, sexuality, or dating during yearly checkups, according to a Duke Medicine study published in JAMA Pediatrics last December. The conversations that do occur usually last just over thirty seconds, on average.

© ER Productions/CORBIS.

July 24, 2013

Writer:

Damon Tweedy

One of my first patients as a medical intern was an avowed racist. Chester (a pseudonym) was a lifelong smoker and fan of Southern cuisine whose bad habits finally caught up with him. His body failing, he turned to our hospital for help only to find me, a black man, as one of the doctors entrusted to extend his life. The year was 2003, but for a time, it felt more like 1963.

Image of people with thought bubbles

May 14, 2013

True or false: Women are more in touch with their emotions. Immigrants work harder than the native population. Answer: It doesn’t matter, because positive stereotypes like these are more underhanded than their negative counterparts.