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Politics - Psychology - 27.11.2018
Complex systems help explain how democracy is destabilised
Complex systems theory is usually used to study things like the immune system, global climate, ecosystems, transportation or communications systems. But with global politics becoming more unpredictable - highlighted by the UK's vote for Brexit and the presidential elections of Donald Trump in the USA and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil - it is being used to examine the stability of democracies.

Politics - 30.10.2018
Brexit is trigger word for doom and gloom among Westminster tweeters
A new study from the University of Nottingham has revealed the Twitter habits of UK politicians and how they use social media to influence and participate in public debate. Dr Roderick MacKenzie from the Faculty of Engineering conducted the research over a 12-month period, while based as a parliamentary fellow in the House of Commons Library.

Politics - 24.10.2018
Politics interferes with the ability to assess expertise
Learning about someone's political beliefs interferes with a person's ability to assess expertise, as people judge like-minded peers as being more expert in fields completely unrelated to politics, finds a new UCL-led study. In the paper, published in Cognition , the researchers found that people turned to peers with similar political views for help on a shape categorisation task that had nothing to do with politics, instead of seeking help from someone who was doing better at the shape categorisation task but didn't share their political leanings.

Politics - 05.09.2018
Swedish election second only to US in proportion of ’junk news’ shared
Research from the Oxford Internet Institute has found that the proportion of 'junk news' shared on social media during the ongoing Swedish election campaign is higher than any other European country studied - and second only to the US in recent major elections. With Sweden going to the polls on 9 September, the study shows that Swedish social media users have shared two links to professional news content for every one link to junk news, with junk sources accounting for 22% of all URLs shared with political hashtags.

Law - Politics - 23.08.2018
More work needed to make Irish abortion law fit-for-purpose
While Government-imposed restrictions on immigration can reduce overall migration, they can also be ineffective or even counterproductive, pushing more would-be migrants into unauthorised channels, finds new research carried out in collaboration with the University of Birmingham. The study, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, investigated how individuals are likely to move from one country to another based on varying levels of restriction.

Politics - Law - 07.08.2018
Visa restrictions can lead to increase in illegal migration
While Government-imposed restrictions on immigration can reduce overall migration, they can also be ineffective or even counterproductive, pushing more would-be migrants into unauthorised channels, finds new UCL-led research in collaboration with Royal Holloway and University of Birmingham. The study, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , investigated how individuals are likely to move from one country to another based on varying levels of restriction.

Social Sciences - Politics - 01.08.2018
Differences in social status and politics encourage paranoid thinking
Differences in social status and political belief increase paranoid interpretations of other people's actions, finds a new UCL experimental study. Paranoia is the tendency to assume other people are trying to harm you when their actual motivations are unclear, and this tendency is increased when interacting with someone of a higher social status or opposing political beliefs, according to the study published today in Royal Society Open Science .

Career - Politics - 30.07.2018
Decline in working class politicians, shifted Labour towards right wing policy
The decline in working-class MPs and rise of career politicians shifted the Labour Party towards a more right wing policy stance on welfare, according to a new study by UCL. The research, published in Comparative Political Studies , examined the policy preferences of working-class and career politicians within the Labour Party both pre and during Tony Blair's leadership of the Labour Party.

Politics - Career - 05.07.2018
Barriers continue to prevent potential Assembly candidates from standing, report concludes
Action is needed to encourage a wider range of people from underrepresented groups to enter politics, academics say. The team from Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre and London Metropolitan University studied what motivates and discourages people from considering running for election to the National Assembly.

Politics - 24.04.2018
Climate change not the key driver of human conflict and displacement in East Africa
Over the last 50 years climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research by UCL. Human displacement refers to the total number of forcibly displaced people, and includes internally displaced people - the largest group represented - and refugees, those forced to across international borders. "Terms such as climate migrants and climate wars have increasingly been used to describe displacement and conflict, however these terms imply that climate change is the main cause.

Politics - Health - 26.01.2018
Study hints magic mushrooms can alter how you feel about nature (and politics)
Long-held beliefs can become entrenched over time, making them hard to change. But psychedelics might provide a way to alter them, a study suggests. Researchers have been exploring psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, as a potential therapeutic avenue for a small group of patients with depression who do not respond to mainstream treatments - with initial results suggesting a lasting reduction in symptoms.