Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences

How superstitions spread

Superstitious beliefs may seem irrational, but they catch on in a society. Using an evolutionary approach to studying the emergence of coordinated behaviors, Erol Akçay and Bryce Morsky showed how a jumble of individual beliefs, including superstitions, coalesce into an accepted social norm.

Katherine Unger Baillie

Safe haven

Senior Brendan Taliaferro receives the President’s Engagement Prize for a project to provide housing and support for homeless LGBTQ youth in Philadelphia.

Louisa Shepard

Two undergrads named Truman Scholars

Louis Lin and Ángel Ortiz-Siberón, have received Harry S. Truman Scholarships, a merit-based award of as much as $30,000 for graduate or professional school to prepare for careers in government or public service.

Louisa Shepard , Aaron Olson



In the News


Chronicle of Social Change

Does your agency reflect the diversity of the community it serves? Why not?

Raekwon Burton, a grad student in the School of Social Policy & Practice, wrote about the lack of diversity in the field of social work.

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Smithsonian Magazine

If Thanos actually wiped out half of all life, how would Earth fare in the aftermath?

Lauren Sallan of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed the hypothetical results of a mass-extinction event, like the one depicted in “The Avengers” movie franchise. “I think humans would figure out a way to [survive], provided that not all of the ecosystems collapse,” said Sallan.

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

Eastern Pennsylvania's population growth bypasses western Pa.

Domenic Vitiello of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design weighed in on Pennsylvania’s shifts in population. “Pennsylvania remains very much a Rust Belt state,” he said. “But it’s heartening that we’re not declining as precipitously as we were in the 1970s or 1980s.”

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Time

The Mueller report is embarrassing for Trump, but it doesn’t call into question his 2016 win

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center was cited for her book Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President.

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Time

Why spicy food makes your nose run—and why it’s great for you

Paul Rozin of the School of Arts and Sciences explained why we enjoy eating spicy food, a kind of “benign masochism.” “People seem to enjoy pushing the limits of what we can take,” he said.

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