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Politics - 15.11.2023
Focus groups can work without a moderator, shows research
Focus groups can work without a moderator, shows research
Published on Wednesday 15 November 2023 Last updated on Wednesday 15 November 2023 Focus groups that feed views, experiences and opinions into politics, business and research might yield more open interaction and discussion within groups by moving moderators to a separate room, shows new research. The study developed and tested a novel 'remotely-moderated' focus group method where questions are posed on a screen, and moved along by a moderator watching the group from a different room.

Environment - Politics - 10.11.2023
Ethical, environmental and political concerns about climate change affect reproductive choices
Ethical, environmental and political concerns about climate change affect reproductive choices
People are beginning to reconsider their reproductive decisions due to complex concerns about climate change, with many choosing to forego childbearing, or reduce the number of children they have as a result, finds a new study by UCL researchers. The research, published in PLOS Climate , is the first systematic review to explore how and why climate change-related concerns may be impacting reproductive decision-making.

Social Sciences - Politics - 14.09.2023
Study uncovers link between anti-immigrant prejudices and support for LGBT+ rights
Cross-national research carried out by the University of Southampton and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA) into public opinion on LGBT+ rights has shown that anti-immigrant prejudices, particularly towards Muslims, contributes to explaining some of the widespread shifts in tolerance towards the LGBT+ community.

Politics - Psychology - 24.05.2023
Gender trumps politics in determining people’s ability to read others’ minds
Psychologists surveyed over 4,000 people to test social ability to analyse what factors determine how well you understand and get on with others. Political parties regularly claim to have their finger on the pulse and be able to read the public mood. Yet a new study challenges the idea that being political makes you good at understanding others: it shows gender, not politics, is a far more important factor in determining people's social skills.

Politics - Social Sciences - 04.05.2023
Are ethnic and religious minority voters key to election success?
New research led by experts from The University of Manchester , the University of St Andrews, the University of Essex and the University of Nottingham suggests that people from ethnic and religious minority groups are more likely to be interested in politics than White British people. Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS) is a major new survey of racism and ethnic inequalities carried out by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE).

Politics - Social Sciences - 14.04.2023
Privately educated twice as likely to consistently vote Conservative
Those educated at private schools are twice as likely to be consistent Conservative voters in adulthood as those who had a state education, according to a new study involving UCL researchers. Published in the journal Sociology , the study uses data from a longitudinal study of almost 7,000 British people born in 1970.

Politics - Social Sciences - 07.03.2023
UK voters want politicians to face stronger checks and balances
UK voters want politicians to face stronger checks and balances
Trust in politicians is at a low ebb and the health of the UK democracy matters as much to voters as issues such as crime and immigration, according to a new report by the UCL Constitution Unit. Published today, the report found that most voters believe stronger mechanisms are needed to ensure politicians follow the rules, with four out of five saying the current system needs reform so that politicians who do not act with integrity can be punished.

Politics - Media - 06.03.2023
Rewarding accuracy instead of partisan pandering reduces political divisions over the truth
Researchers argue that the findings hold lessons for social media companies and the -perverse incentives- driving political polarisation online. Shifting the motivations to post on social media could help rebuild some of the shared reality lost to political polarisation Sander van der Linden Offering a tiny cash reward for accuracy, or even briefly appealing to personal integrity, can increase people's ability to tell the difference between misinformation and the truth, according to a new study.

Social Sciences - Politics - 20.12.2022
New report reveals that favourable public opinion towards immigration could have significant impact on immigration policy in the UK
New report reveals that in the past 10 years, public opinion has warmed to immigration which could lead to changes in immigration policy in the UK. A new report published by Professor Robert Ford from the University of Manchester and Marley Morris written for the Institute of Public Policy Research reveals that public attitudes towards immigration have warmed in recent years.

Health - Politics - 12.07.2022
Opinion: Stronger democracies have seen fewer excess deaths during COVID
Opinion: Stronger democracies have seen fewer excess deaths during COVID
Writing in The Conversation, Dr Vageesh Jain (UCL Institute for Global Health) looks at the connection between a country's democratic strength and the success of it's response to Covid-19. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that an effective response to an emergency of this nature goes beyond the health system.

Politics - Campus - 18.08.2021
Greater scientific expertise needed in Parliament to improve decision-making
A new academic study finds that an over-representation of MPs with social sciences backgrounds limits debate on STEM topics. Last updated on Wednesday 1 September 2021 Political parties need to put more effort into recruiting candidates with scientific backgrounds in order to increase 'cognitive diversity' among MPs, say the authors of a new academic study.

Politics - Social Sciences - 17.08.2021
Europe-wide political divide emerging between cities and countryside - study
Europe-wide political divide emerging between cities and countryside - study
"Geography of disillusion" poses a major challenge for democratic countries across the continent, according to researchers. As disenchantment rises in European hinterlands, democratic politics risks being eroded from within Davide Luca A new study reveals the extent of the political divide opening up between city and countryside right across Europe, with research suggesting that political polarisation in the 21st century may have a lot to do with place and location.

Criminology / Forensics - Politics - 04.05.2021
Security and violent crime cannot be an argument against humane refugee policies - new study
New research from international academics challenges a myth that progressive policies towards asylum seekers pose a threat to domestic security. Last updated on Tuesday 4 May 2021 Ahead of US President Joe Biden's plan later this month to lift the country's historically low cap on asylum seekers, a new political study finds that liberal, progressive refugee policies do not pose domestic security challenges for states.

Politics - 15.01.2021
Reform public procurement to protect aid money, urges major new anti-corruption study
The biggest study of its kind has proven the link between local political context and the risk that humanitarian aid money is lost to corruption. The study also provides reassurance that the controls that donors may insist upon can be effective at preventing money going astray. The paper " Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: new evidence from contract-level data? is published in the Studies in Comparative International Development journal.

Religions - Politics - 07.12.2020
2021 Northern Ireland census unlikely to clarify prospects of Irish unity
Expectations are rising that the 2021 Northern Ireland census may act as a trigger for a referendum on Irish unification, but 'new' census questions on religious background and national identity are likely to shape the debate about Northern Ireland's constitutional future, a new study reveals. While 'sectarian head-counting' has featured in Northern Irish politics since partition in 1921, the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) introduced a mechanism for a 'border poll' on Irish unification.

Health - Politics - 01.12.2020
New study to investigate COVID-19 and misinformation
Researchers at the University of Bristol and King's College London are leading a major new study to investigate COVID-19 perceptions and misperceptions, lockdown compliance and vaccine hesitancy. The research team is gathering longitudinal survey data on trust and compliance with public health requirements over the course of the pandemic, enhancing and extending the 'Life Under Lockdown' study fielded between April and June this year.

Politics - 23.11.2020
Dogmatic people seek less information even when uncertain
People who are dogmatic about their views seek less information and make less accurate judgements as a result, even on simple matters unrelated to politics, according to a study led by UCL and Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics researchers. The researchers say their findings, published in PNAS , point to differences in thinking patterns that lead people to hold rigid opinions.

Politics - Psychology - 06.11.2020
Game combats political misinformation by letting players undermine democracy
A short online game in which players are recruited as a "Chief Disinformation Officer" and use tactics such as trolling to sabotage elections in a peaceful town has been shown to reduce susceptibility to political misinformation in its users. Fake news and online conspiracies will continue to chip away at the democratic process until we take seriously the need to improve digital media literacy across populations Sander van der Linden The free-to-play  Harmony Square  is released to the public today, along with a study on its effectiveness published in the  Harvard Misinformation Review.

Life Sciences - Politics - 06.10.2020
Battling with neighbours could make animals smarter
Fighting in baboons can be fierce David Clode Like Napoleon Bonaparte, chimpanzees are masters of intergroup conflict Franceso Ungaro [chimpanzee photograph] Vigilance is key in a world of rival outsiders Andy Radford [meerkat photograph]; Michalis Mantelos [red-ruffed lemur photograph] 6 October 2020 From ants to primates, 'Napoleonic' intelligence has evolved to help animals contend with the myriad cognitive challenges arising from interactions with rival outsiders, suggest researchers at the University of Bristol in a paper published today [Tuesday 6 October].

Politics - 11.06.2020
Effective communication between politicians and constituents vital for sustained political participation, experts say
The way politicians communicate with constituents has never been more important than during the Covid-19 pandemic, say experts. Dr Nikki Soo of Cardiff University led a study with Dr James Weinberg and Dr Kate Dommett at the University of Sheffield, which investigated how people reacted to different communications they might receive from an MP.
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