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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Behavior and Cognition

The behavioral and cognitive sciences seek to understand how the human mind works and learns, how people make decisions, how they behave, and how they function under stress. Our reports and workshops have explored how this research could inform policies in a range of areas, from education to mental health to intelligence analysis. And in setting research agendas, we strive to move the behavioral and cognitive sciences in directions that will provide further policy-relevant knowledge.  See also: 

Current Projects
The Context of Military Environments: Social and Organizational Factors
This study will identify and assess social and organizational factors that influence the behavior of individuals within the context of military environments and recommend an agenda for future U.S. Army Research Institute research in these areas.
Measuring Human Capabilities: Performance Potential of Individuals and Collectives
This study will inform U.S. Army policy, procedures, and future research through an exploration of recent and emerging science related to the measurement of individual capability and the combination of individual capabilities to create collective capacity to perform.
Measuring Rape and Sexual Assault in Bureau of Justice Statistics Household Survey
This study will examine conceptual and methodological issues surrounding survey statistics on rape and sexual assault and recommend to the Bureau of Justice Statistics best methods for obtaining such statistics on an ongoing basis.
Proposed Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Research Participants in the Relation to Behavioral and Social Sciences
This study is intended to inform the current efforts of the federal government to update the Common Rule (45 CFR 46), last revised in 1991.

The Science of Team Science

The NRC is conducting a consensus staudy on the science of team science to recommend opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative research in science teams, research centers, and institutes.....


Risk Management and Governance Issues in Shale Gas Extraction

A steering committee established by the National Research Council will organize two workshops to examine the range of social and decision-making issues in risk characterization and governance relatd...


New Directions in Assessing Performance Potential of Individuals and Groups: Workshop Summary  (BBCSS)

As an all-volunteer service accepting applications from nearly 400,000 potential recruits annually from across the U.S. population, the U.S. military must accurately and efficiently assess the... Read more

Proposed Revisions to the Common Rule: Perspectives of Social and Behavioral Scientists: Workshop Summary  (BBCSS)

On July 26, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) with the purpose of soliciting comments on how current regulations for... Read more

Human Performance Modification: Review of Worldwide Research with a View to the Future  (BBCSS)

The development of technologies to modify natural human physical and cognitive performance is one of increasing interest and concern, especially among military services that may be called on to defeat... Read more

The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey: Assessment for Its Continuation  (CNSTAT)

The American Time Use Survey (ATUS), conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, included a subjective well-being (SWB) module in 2010 and 2012. The module, funded by the National Institute on Aging... Read more

Deterrence and the Death Penalty  (CLAJ)

Many studies during the past few decades have sought to determine whether the death penalty has any deterrent effect on homicide rates. Researchers have reached widely varying, even contradictory,... Read more

The Effects of Commuting on Pilot Fatigue  (BOHSI)

Nearly everyone experiences fatigue, but some professions--such as aviation, medicine and the military--demand alert, precise, rapid, and well-informed decision making and communication with little... Read more

Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures  (BBCSS)

Today's world of rapid social, technological, and behavioral change provides new opportunities for communications with few limitations of time and space. Through these communications, people leave... Read more

Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations  (BBCSS)

The U.S. intelligence community (IC) is a complex human enterprise whose success depends on how well the people in it perform their work. Although often aided by sophisticated technologies, these... Read more

Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences  (BBCSS)

The intelligence community (IC) plays an essential role in the national security of the United States. Decision makers rely on IC analyses and predictions to reduce uncertainty and to provide warnings... Read more

Issues in Commuting and Pilot Fatigue: Interim Report  (BOHSI)

The potential for fatigue to negatively affect human performance is well established. Concern about this potential in the aviation context extends back decades, with both airlines and pilots agreeing... Read more

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