Human Behavior

Sports psychology research has increased dramatically in the last decade or so. 

What We've Learned Through Sports Psychology Research

Scientists are probing the head games that influence athletic performance, from coaching to coping with pressure

An artist's depiction of a person carving a pendant from bones of a giant sloth roughly 25,000 to 27,000 years ago. Research this year suggested humans and the sloths lived in Brazil at the same time, strengthening evidence that our ancestors populated the Americas earlier than thought.

Thirteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2023

Smithsonian paleoanthropologists reveal some of the year’s most fascinating findings about human origins

Dividing the estimated length of 240,000 miles of stone wall by the geographic area of the New England heartland yields about six linear miles of stone per square mile of land.

How Stone Walls Became a Signature Landform of New England

Originally built as barriers between fields and farms, the region’s abandoned farmstead walls have since become the binding threads of its cultural fabric

Outside of Earth, is there any place a human could survive unprotected for even ten seconds?


 

Could Humans Survive Unprotected Outside of Earth's Atmosphere for Even Ten Seconds?

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

Natufian artworks, such as this figurine, became common around 15,000 years ago. Few artworks predating that period have been found in the Levant.

When Did Humans Start Settling Down?

In Israel, new discoveries at one of the world's oldest villages are upending the debate about when we stopped wandering

A team led by Laurits Skov and Benjamin Peter from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology sequenced nuclear, mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA of 13 Neanderthal individuals. From these sequences, they determined that two of the Neanderthals represent a father-daughter pair and that another two are cousins.

Fourteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2022

Smithsonian paleoanthropologists reveal the year’s most riveting findings about our close relatives and ancestors

Two Hadza men in Tanzania carry bows and their catch.

Our Ancestors Ate a Paleo Diet, With Carbs

A modern hunter-gatherer group known as the Hadza has taught researchers surprising things about the highly variable menu consumed by humans past

A vendor displays chili peppers at a local market in India. 

Why Do Some Humans Love Chili Peppers?

An anthropologist traces the origins and paths of one of his favorite kinds of plants

Roughly two million years old, this tool, known as the Kanjera stone, was part of a new Stone Age technology that helped make better-fed, smarter hominins.
 

This Is the Oldest Human-Made Object in the Smithsonian Collections

Roughly two million years ago, simple items like the Kanjera tool sparked a revolution in the way humans lived

A gorilla sleeps in a forest in Rwanda.

Why Humans Sleep Less Than Their Primate Relatives

Ancient humans may have evolved to slumber efficiently—and in a crowd

None

Evotourism ®

Seven New Things We Learned About Human Evolution in 2021

Paleoanthropologists Briana Pobiner and Ryan McRae reveal some of the year's best findings in human origins studies

Olympic runners compete during the 10,000 meters race in Tokyo. In ancient times, running was likely used to push animals to exhaustion during hunting.

Five Ways Humans Evolved to Be Athletes

An archaeologist explores how our prowess in sport has deep roots in evolution

Ana K. Spalding and 23 other women scientists from around the world, advocate for a shift in the value system in science, to emphasize a more equal, diverse and inclusive academic culture.

Smithsonian Voices

Women in Science Propose Changes to Discriminatory Measures of Scientific Success

The scientists advocate shifting the current value system, which is biased against women and minorities, towards a more diverse and inclusive model

Bodies lose their vigor with the passing of the years, but emotional well-being tends to improve, studies find. Among the observations: Though older people may have fewer social contacts, those they retain bring more satisfaction and meaning.

Why Do Older Individuals Have Greater Control of Their Feelings?

Psychologist Susan Turk Charles talks about findings that reveal the elderly have higher emotional well-being

Whether they are left- or right-handed, mothers tend to carry their babies on the left side of their bodies.

14 Fun Facts About the Science of Motherhood

A short list of the amazing changes and behaviors that transform both humans and animals on the journey of motherhood

Many people think that liars will give themselves away through nervous mannerisms like shrugging, blinking or smiling. But the scientific evidence tells a different story.

Why You Can't Spot a Liar Just by Looking

Psychologists say you can't confirm deception by the way a person acts—but experts are zeroing in other methods that might actually work

There are over eight million feet of film in the Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA), which is part of the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives. HSFA specializes in storing ethnographic footage created by anthropologists, filmmakers and travelers.

Smithsonian Voices

How Film Helps Preserve the World's Diversity

The Smithsonian's Human Studies Film Archive houses eight million feet of film which can help future generations reflect on the past

Sylvester Musembi Musyoka, a Kenyan colleague and field crew leader, recording a large mammal fossil bone during a virtual field project to collect fossils in Kenyan excavation sites that were in danger of being damaged by severe weather.

Smithsonian Voices

How the Pandemic Changed Scientific Exploration

Seven Smithsonian scientists continued to discover the secrets of the natural world safely during the pandemic

A hallmark of our cognitive abilities is to be able to calculate and respond to future probabilities. We will have to adapt to this pandemic reality, but adaptation is something that humans are famously good at.

Covid-19

Why This Pandemic Won't Be the Last

Smithsonian biological anthropologist Sabrina Sholts says Covid-19 illustrates that what makes us human also makes us more vulnerable to global contagions

A statue of Charles Darwin sits in the Natural History Museum in London. The scientist's book 'Descent of Man' was published in 1871.

How Darwin's 'Descent of Man' Holds Up 150 Years After Publication

Questions still swirl around the author’s theories about sexual selection and the evolution of minds and morals

Page 1 of 26