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Environment - Social Sciences - 02.03.2021
Lack of diversity in science
Lack of diversity in science
Women and the Global South are strikingly underrepresented Most publications in leading scientific journals are by male authors from English-speaking countries. This changes only slowly, according to a recent study on diversity in top authorship, concludes Bea Maas from the University of Vienna. Her new study examines the (non-existent) diversity in top authorship in science.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 08.02.2021
Marmoset monkeys have personalities too
Marmoset monkeys have personalities too
In humans, differences in personalities have been evident since the ancient times. Personality in animals has long been ignored, but recently this question has received increasing research interest as it has been realized that personality has evolutionary and ecological significance. An international team of behavioral biologists from Austria, Brazil and the Netherlands, with Vedrana ¦lipogor from the University of Vienna as leading author of the study, designed a set of tasks to assess personality of common marmosets.

Social Sciences - 10.01.2021
Toboggan accident crash test: Without helmet, serious injuries even at low speeds
Toboggan accident crash test: Without helmet, serious injuries even at low speeds
Austrian Road Safety Board, and TU Graz have investigated tobogganing accidents for the first time in a computer-simulated crash test. The results: Wearing a helmet and the correct sitting position dramatically reduce the risk of injury for children while tobogganing. More than 2,200 people are injured in toboggan accidents in Austria every year.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 22.10.2020
Big-hearted corvids
Big-hearted corvids
Taking a look at generosity within the crow family reveals parallels with human evolution. Working together to raise offspring and increased tolerance towards group members contribute to the emergence of generous behavior among ravens, crows, magpies and company - similarly as it did for our human ancestors.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 15.06.2018
To share or not to share?
To share or not to share?
When are primary school children willing to share valuable resources with others and when are they not? A team of researchers from the University of Vienna lead by cognitive biologist Lisa Horn investigated this question in a controlled behavioural experiment. The motivation to share seems to be influenced by group dynamical and physiological factors, whereas friendship between the children seems to be largely irrelevant.

Art and Design - Social Sciences - 30.11.2016
We like what experts like - and what is expensive
We like what experts like - and what is expensive
Whether Peter Paul Rubens or Damien Hirst - the personal taste of art can be argued. Scientists from the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Vienna have now shown that the individual taste of art is also dependent on social factors. The personal valuation of art was influenced by who else liked the work - or not.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 13.07.2016
Ravens learn best from their affiliates
Ravens learn best from their affiliates
One of the benefits of living together is gaining new information from group members. Once a group member starts displaying a new behavior, this behavior frequently spreads to the rest of the group. In a recent study on ravens, Cognitive Biologists Christine Schwab and Thomas Bugnyar from the University of Vienna together with Ipek Kulahci and Daniel Rubenstein from Princeton University and William Hoppitt from Leeds University showed that being socially connected to others is critical in gaining new information.

Social Sciences - 10.11.2015
Early maternal loss has lifelong effects on chimpanzees
Early maternal loss has lifelong effects on chimpanzees
Wild-caught chimpanzees, who were orphaned and imported from Africa in their early infancy, exhibit an impaired social behaviour also as adults. So far long-term effects of early traumatic experiences on social behaviour were known only for humans and socially isolated chimpanzees. An Austrian-Dutch research team led by Elfriede Kalcher-Sommersguter and Jorg Massen published these results in the scientific journal "Scientific Reports".

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 28.01.2015
Fossil Skull connects continents
So far any trace was missing of those modern humans (Homo sapiens) who took their way from Africa to the North, arriving in Europe around 45,000 years ago and replacing all other forms of hominins. Now a finding from the Manot-Cave in northern Israel is closing this gap in our knowledge about our own origin.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 29.10.2014
"Divide and Rule" - Raven politics
A group of ravens is sometimes called a conspiracy. Mythology and folklore have attributed many supernatural features to these large black birds. During the last decades, studies on the cognitive abilities of ravens have indeed revealed that they are exceptionally intelligent. Ravens live in complex social groups and they can gain power in these groups by building social bonds that function as alliances.

Social Sciences - 03.09.2014
Parrots’ go to carpentry school
Scientists from Oxford University, the University of Vienna, and the Max Planck Institute at Seewiesen have shown that a spontaneous innovation by a Goffin's cockatoo can spread to other conspecifics by social learning. After observing that an adult male Goffin cockatoo named Figaro spontaneously started to sculpt stick tools out of wooden aviary beams to use them for raking in nuts out of his reach, the researchers wondered what effect, if any, such individual invention might have on social companions.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 29.01.2014
Rewards facilitate human cooperation under natural selection
Rewards facilitate human cooperation under natural selection
A new study, by Faculty of Mathematics postdoctoral fellow Tatsuya Sasaki, provides insights into how voluntary rewarding promotes cooperation in joint enterprises. It may help explain how reward funds rise (and fall) and how rewarding is better than punishing in establishing cooperation. The study is published online in the Royal Society journal "Biology Letters".

Social Sciences - 18.10.2010
SpamBot Wants to be Your Friend
Social network sites such as Facebook, mySpace or Twitter are gaining popularity. But the web 2.0 faces us with new dangers. At the Vienna University of Technology (VUT), security hazards of social network sites have been detected and studied. Researchers of the VUT now provide advice on how to increase your safety in the web.

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