Demographic differences foster social ties in online support groups, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 22, 2020 — Millions of adults in the U.S. join online support groups to help them attain health goals, ranging from weight loss to smoking cessation. In their quest to make connections, members have a tendency to hide demographic differences, concerned about poor social integration that will weaken interpersonal ties.

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Betrayal or Cooperation? Analytical Investigation of Behavior Drivers

When looking at humanity from a macroscopic perspective, there are numerous examples of people cooperating to form various groupings. Yet at the basic two-person level, people tend to betray each other, as found in games like the prisoner’s dilemma, even though people would receive a better payoff if they cooperated among themselves. The topic of cooperation and how and when people start trusting one another has been studied numerically, and in a paper in Chaos, researchers investigate what drives cooperation analytically.

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UCI and international institutions link Southeast Asia megadrought to drying in Africa

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 21, 2020 – Physical evidence found in caves in Laos helps tell a story about a connection between the end of the Green Sahara – when once heavily vegetated Northern Africa became a hyper-arid landscape – and a previously unknown megadrought that crippled Southeast Asia 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. In a paper published today in Nature Communications, scientists at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Pennsylvania, William Paterson University of New Jersey and other international institutions explain how this major climate transformation led to a shift in human settlement patterns in Southeast Asia, which is now inhabited by more than 600 million people.

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Geoengineering is Just a Partial Solution to Fight Climate Change

Could we create massive sulfuric acid clouds that limit global warming and help meet the 2015 Paris international climate goals, while reducing unintended impacts? Yes, in theory, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Earth System Dynamics. Spraying sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere at different locations, to form sulfuric acid clouds that block some solar radiation, could be adjusted every year to keep global warming at levels set in the Paris goals. Such technology is known as geoengineering or climate intervention.

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Uganda’s Ik are not Unbelievably Selfish and Mean

The Ik, a small ethnic group in Uganda, are not incredibly selfish and mean as portrayed in a 1972 book by a prominent anthropologist, according to a Rutgers-led study. Instead, the Ik are quite cooperative and generous with one another, and their culture features many traits that encourage generosity.

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Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact, new research shows

Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of researchers including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

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