Social & Behavior
An analysis of the effect role models have on students’ motivation in studying STEM subjects points to new ways to deploy these leaders in order to encourage learning across different populations.
- International Journal of STEM Education
A new resource has been launched to help employers and frontline workers as they recover from the impacts of Covid-19. The upheaval from the pandemic has threatened the security of businesses and employment, and placed new pressures on managers and employees, as well as exacerbating old inequalities - factors which impact on both the wellbeing and performance of workers at all levels.
Researchers from Osaka University and Kanazawa University have found that the physical texture of robots influenced perceptions of robot personality. Furthermore, first impressions of robots, based on physical appearance alone, could influence the relationship between physical texture and robot personality formation. This work could facilitate the development of robots with perceived personalities that match user expectations.
- Advanced Robotics
Pregnant women are more likely to stop smoking if financial incentives are offered as part of a treatment plan, finds a trial from France published in The BMJ today.
During pandemic-induced isolation, researchers from the University of Minnesota surveyed older adults with vision loss, with hearing loss, or without either condition, asking the participants about their worries, well-being, and social isolation at six-week intervals. All three groups scored lower on a patient health questionnaire after the pandemic began; however, people with vision or hearing loss faced unique problems in lockdown. Disruptions to mobility systems affected people with low vision, and masks made conversations especially difficult for adults with hearing loss.
- 181st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
In the first head-to-head comparison of the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, researchers examined the electronic health records of veterans who had received each vaccine. Both vaccines were highly effective in preventing COVID-19 outcomes such as documented infection, hospitalization, and death. However, the Moderna vaccine was found to offer an increased level of protection, including a 21% lower risk of documented infection and 41% lower risk of hospitalization, according to the research team, whose findings were published on December 1, 2021, in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- New England Journal of Medicine