Bringing you news and information about psychological
science and scientists throughout the world

February 2015

Paul Ekman’s career has taken him to isolated corners of Papua New Guinea and even to the small screen: The TV series Lie to Me was inspired by his work. In this interview, the APS William James Fellow discusses his decades of research in the field of emotion expression and deception.


Researchers studying data from more than 1,000 hours of driving simulator samples found that the way we steer mimics the movements we make when reaching for something. They used this information to develop a mathematical model that can predict what drivers will do with the steering wheel, which may lead to automated safety systems that foresee driver errors and intervene before they happen. More>>

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Paris and Tokyo analyzed the speech patterns of 22 Japanese mothers talking to their children, and found that mothers spoke less clearly to their infants than to an experimenter. This finding suggests infants are learning new sounds despite being spoken to less clearly — a fact that makes language acquisition even more remarkable.

How do the light and sound that we see and hear become meaningful communications that inform us about the world, others, and ourselves? At the inaugural International Convention of Psychological Science, APS Secretary Gün R. Semin will chair an integrative science symposium exploring how our brains derive meaning from the sensory input they receive. More>>

Low self-control in childhood predicts high unemployment — and a host of other disadvantages — later in life. Psychological scientists at the University of Stirling, United Kingdom, examined two existing birth cohort studies of more than 15,000 individuals to zero in on the link between self-control and career stability. They hope that early interventions might improve the prospects of kids who lack self-discipline. More>>


Students who were asked to think about why they deserved the best in life excelled at subsequent tasks measuring creativity, such as drawing an alien or finding as many uses as possible for a paper clip. The researchers believe nudging the students to feel entitled made them want to be different, leading to unique thinking that generated creative solutions. More>>


Igor Grossman, University of Waterloo, and APS Fellow Ethan Kross, University of Michigan, discuss why it is easier for us to help our friends tackle their problems than to confront our own. They also suggest a way out of this dilemma. More>>

  Selected by Psychological Science Editor Eric Eich