Science & Society

Government and non-profit employees have higher public service motivations than corporate managers, according to surveys of government and non-profit employees in Georgia.

They don't simply do the minimum when it comes to eco-friendly initiatives, they also engage in discretionary programs. They just care more than other people, which is a nice bonus, since it is well-known that government workers have higher salaries than the private sector in the United States. It is why if they leave government service, they often take years to get back to their government salary levels.

The results in the American Review of Public Administration are based on a survey of hundreds of public servants about their environmental and organizational behaviors. 

Psychics, homeopaths, magic soap buyers, anti-vaccine and anti-energy people, they all share one thing in common - no, no, not the same political party (good guess, though!), they embrace organic food.

And if you don't also embrace their giant swath of superstitious crackpottery, they might depart in a huff.

But what do you want unconsciously? Julien Behal / PA

By Steffen Böhm, University of Essex and Aanka Batta, University of Essex

A paper in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics finds that personality traits are strong indicators of real-estate decisions.

Are you neurotic? You probably have a cognitive bias toward home ownership instead of renting. You'll probably opt for home ownership over renting.  Do you consider yourself conscientious? It's more considerate to sign up for a fixed-rate mortgage.  

Imagine a scenario where a group of people get together to frame the debate about science and even set out to conspiratorially place papers in highly-respected journals, selecting the ideal names to have on the paper and which publications would be most likely to publish it.

It must be those evil corporate chemical shills again, right?

Not this time, it was the International Workshop On Neonicotinoids in 2010 and it explains a lot about how the anti-science contingent has managed to maintain so much mindshare in media: they know how to work the system and created a 4-year plan to do just that.

What do you presume about me? auremar/Shutterstock

By James Williams, University of Sussex

Muslim communities are not be as victimized by violent crime nor are they as dissatisfied with the police as most sociology papers claim.

An examination of statistics in the Crime Survey of England and Wales between 2006 and 2010, generated by nearly 5,000 Muslims, reveals few differences between Muslims and non-Muslims in relation to a range of violent personal crime including assaults, wounding and threats - the types of crime that scholarly literature, media reports and anecdotal evidence all suggest have disproportionately affected Muslim communities. 

Instead, statistical analysis reveals few statistically significant differences between Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Sikh respondents in respect of many personal crime types included within the Crime Survey.

Australia recently had an election where they asked for a dramatic departure from previous fiscal policies. 

The reasons were simple, in hindsight. Everyone wanted more money from an increasingly larger government but incomes were declining. Inflation is still happening, government employees still get raises, but average Australian income declines showed what government claims about economic health did not.  

Increases and declines in economies have always happened but new work in the Economic Analysis and Policy journal finds that people are not better off than they were 20 years ago.  

Diversity is listed at the bottom of priorities for human resources professionals in large firms yet many mangers still feel threatened by diversity policies.shutterstock

By Jennifer Whelan, Melbourne Business School

Many large organizations are now on their second or third wave of diversity and inclusion programs.

A good number of them are still struggling to identify obvious improvements in the metrics they hoped to see changes in. Yet, ironically, increasing numbers of people are beginning to express “diversity fatigue”.

What if whether you got a job was determined by which web browser you used? Shutterstock

By Mark Burdon, The University of Queensland and Paul Harpur, The University of Queensland

Staff recruitment and retention are an ongoing challenge for employers. Proponents of big data in the workplace are now claiming they can change that.