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Politics - Psychology - 27.11.2018
Complex systems help explain how democracy is destabilised
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.

Politics - Law / Forensics - 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 .

Careers / Employment - 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. The study shows that working-class MPs were substantially more in favour of traditional welfare policies than their careerist colleagues.

Politics - Careers / Employment - 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
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)
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.

Environment - Politics - 20.12.2017
Political instability and weak governance lead to loss of species, study finds
Political instability and weak governance lead to loss of species, study finds
Big data study of global biodiversity shows ineffective national governance is a better indicator of species decline than any other measure of "anthropogenic impact". Even protected conservation areas make little difference in countries that struggle with socio-political stability.

Health - Politics - 05.10.2017
Majority of cancer drugs enter market without evidence of survival or life quality benefit
Almost two thirds (57%) of cancer drugs authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) between 2009 and 2013 came onto the market without any clear evidence they improved the quality or quantity of patients' lives, according to research from King's College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), published in the BMJ today (Thursday 5 October).

Media - Politics - 27.03.2017
Link between watching light entertainment TV and voting for populist politicians
Link between watching light entertainment TV and voting for populist politicians
People exposed to light entertainment television like soap operas may be more likely to vote for populist politicians according to a new study co-authored by an economist at Queen Mary University of London. The researchers investigated the political impact of light entertainment television in Italy over the last 30 years during the phased introduction of Silvio Berlusconi's commercial TV network Mediaset.

Politics - Business / Economics - 20.03.2017
Ukip failed to lure Conservative party member voters in 2015, according to new research
Ukip failed to lure Conservative party member voters in 2015, according to new research
Just five per cent of Conservative Party members voted for Ukip in 2015, according to research published by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the University of Sussex. The results, based on surveys conducted by YouGov, contrast with a 2013 study by the same authors in which 30 per cent of Tory members said they would seriously consider voting for Ukip.

Politics - 01.03.2017
Processing political misinformation - comprehending the Trump phenomenon
Processing political misinformation - comprehending the Trump phenomenon
A new study led by an international team of scientists has investigated how people evaluate whether information is true or false, and how this evaluation is affected by source credibility. For the purposes of the study, published today in Royal Society Open Science, participants rated their belief in statements from the campaign trail of Donald Trump— described by many as perhaps the most polarising political figure of recent times.

Politics - Law / Forensics - 14.12.2016
Thomas Muir - new evidence unearthed
New Court of Session papers, missing for more than 200 years, have been unearthed by the Faculty of Advocates and Professor Gerard Carruthers, University of Glasgow. The newly found papers shine light on Thomas Muir and how he courted controversy in his early years, which may have contributed to his treatment by the justice system in later life.

Politics - Health - 08.09.2016
Links between depression and the risk of developing extremist ideas
Links between depression and the risk of developing extremist ideas
Depressive symptoms are associated with a higher risk of sympathies for violent protest and terrorism (SVPT), according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The study, published in The British Journal of Psychiatry , also found that some adverse life events and levels of political engagement were associated with a lower risk of SVPT.

Politics - 07.07.2016
Boredom can lead to more extreme political views
Boredom may be contributing to a widening of political views among voters, according to a new study by researchers from King's College London and the University of Limerick. Published in the European Journal of Social Psychology , the findings are based on one experiment and two scientific surveys carried out in the Republic of Ireland.

Media - Politics - 19.05.2016
Racist and sexist assumptions endured in UK media coverage of Malala Yousafzai
Racist and sexist assumptions endured in UK media coverage of Malala Yousafzai
A new study has found that seemingly positive media coverage of feminist campaigner Malala Yousafzai is actually full of patronising assumptions about women in Muslim countries. The study analysed more than 140,000 words of coverage of activist Yousafzai in the nine months after she was attacked by the Pakistani Taleban.

Psychology - Politics - 16.09.2015
People’s conservative and liberal traits show up in their Twitter vocabulary
A study of nearly a million tweets from over 10,000 Twitter users has found that liberals swear more, conservatives are more likely to talk about religion, and liberals use more individual words like "me" while conservatives opt more for the group-oriented "us". Researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) studied tweets sent between 15 and 30 June 2014 by followers of either Republican (conservatives) or Democrat (liberals) party Twitter accounts, and found that you can tell a lot about someone's political leanings just from the words they use.