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Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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2006 in Review 2006: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported activities highlighted last year
Released  January 9, 2007
Social science research provides crucial data on American attitudes, beliefs and social structure. Windows on American Life
Social science research offers insights into American lifestyles and opinions
Released  December 7, 2006
Language helps babies learn spatial relationships such as "in" and "on." Understanding the Building Blocks of Language and Thought
Language shapes how infants learn spatial concepts
Released  December 6, 2006
Plane taking off New Technologies Could Make Airport Screening More Effective and Less Cumbersome
Experts focus on identifying passenger ability and intent
Released  October 24, 2006
Aerial photo of Rte 10 & 5 interchange, Los Angeles, CA. Economic Structure Drives Working Poverty in Los Angeles Region
Surprising findings about the geographic distribution of working poverty
Released  September 7, 2006
Companies with easily pronounced names may perform better in the days following an IPO. Company Name Influences Stock Performance
Easy to pronounce names perform better in stock markets
Released  June 23, 2006
Baseball player at bat "Crash" Course in Visual Perception and Motor Control
New research explains the role of perception in collisions
Released  March 8, 2006
A depiction of the kidney as seen in a live donor transplant. Kidney Exchange: A Life-Saving Application of Matching Theory
Economists help build a kidney exchange system that saves lives.
Released  October 5, 2005
Capuchin monkey holds a palm nut Monkey Business
The discovery of capuchin monkeys in the wild using stones as nutcrackers may tell us something about the monkeys' ingenuity, and more about ourselves.
Released  July 6, 2005
Full-body view of Lophocebus kipunji. New Primate Discovered in Mountain Forests of Tanzania
"Highland mangabey" is first African monkey to be described in more than two decades
Released  May 19, 2005
Images of faces from the IAT test. Unmasking Bias
Implicit Association Tests can help individuals identify their own unconscious biases, and use that knowledge to help avoid discriminatory behavior.
Released  January 27, 2005
Mug shots with question marks Mistaken Identity: How Feedback "After the Fact" Influences Eyewitnesses
Eyewitness testimony is a fundamental aspect of the American justice system. Can it be influenced?
Released  January 26, 2005
Boy in front of map. Pathways to Academic Success
What factors enable children to be successful in school?
Released  January 25, 2005
Capital Building with inset of Policy Agendas Website. Uncovering Trends in Public Policy-Making
Do the policies enacted by Congress correspond over time to the priorities of the public?
Released  January 25, 2005
The Gona site Really Old Bones of Early Humans Unearthed in Ethiopia
Researcher uncovers four-million-year-old ancestral fossils
Released  January 19, 2005
Forecasting volatile data The 2003 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics: Analyzing Data with Irregular Trends and Volatility
Good statistical methods can show how to forecast data series that follow irregular trends and series with ever-changing volatility.
Released  December 23, 2004
Four Cooperative Strategies Why Contribute to the Good of the Group?
Are you more likely to help someone who has helped out on community projects?
Released  December 17, 2004
Photo of Furby The Implications of Making Care-giving Robots Lifelike
Robots designed to help the elderly may be given the ability to interact in human-like ways - but what are the implications of doing this?
Released  November 4, 2004
a series of photos showing a robber placing a stolen wallet in his pants pocket True or False? When Memories Play Tricks
The ease with which people's memories can be distorted is disconcerting.
Released  October 14, 2004
Pearson International Airport power plant Game Theorist Describes Unintended Consequences of U.S. Counterterrorism Policies
World events might not suggest that a decline in terrorism incidents has taken place during the post-Cold War era. Yet, economists have identified just such a trend while revealing that the likelihood of death or injury from terrorism has increased.
Released  July 30, 2004
photo of Cylinder seal Scientists Find Earliest "New World" Writings in Mexico
Scientists have uncovered glyphs and plaque fragments with what is believed to be the earliest form of writing ever found in the New World. The artifacts challenge previously held notions about the first Mesoamerican system of written communication.
Released  July 30, 2004
Older child carrying an infant Will Baby Crawl?
Maybe yes, maybe no, says anthropologist David Tracer, whose study of children in Papua New Guinea supports the view that milestones of child development vary with culture.
Released  July 21, 2004
photo of adult and two juvenile baboons Baboon Fathers Really Do Care About Their Kids
In a finding that surprised researchers, a recent three-year study of five baboon groups at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya reveals that baboon fathers overwhelmingly side with their offspring when intervening in disputes.
Released  July 20, 2004
Deli Dollars drawing Values and Morality in Global Finance
Money makes the world go 'round, but in the 21st century it's being redefined. People in many countries are expressing their faith or community values through alternative forms of finance. Some are even printing their own money.
Released  June 16, 2004
Spelling NSF in sign language American Sign Language Spoken Here
Before William Stokoe's groundbreaking research, American Sign Language (ASL) was erroneously viewed as a pantomime, a poor substitute for spoken speech. Now ASL is recognized as a language with its own syntax, morphology, and structure.
Released  June 25, 2003

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