Your source for the latest psychological research.

More Than Just Faces in a Crowd

This is an illustration of faces in a crowd.You’re in a crowded place, trying to spot the friend you were supposed to meet – how many other faces in the crowd do you think you would remember later?

Research has suggested that our capacity for such incidental memories – memories for items that aren’t relevant to the task at hand – is limited to about two to three items, but findings from a new study suggest that the number may actually be closer to seven.

The research, led by psychological scientists at Monash University in Australia, may have implications for how we think about the limitations of eyewitness recall.

“The functions of the human memory are complex. The brain processes an immeasurable amount of information every day, and thus far, it has been difficult to quantify which information is not…


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New Application Deadline Set for Participating in Replication Project

APS recently issued a call for contributors for the latest Registered Replication Report (RRR), which is focused on Dijksterhuis & van Knippenberg’s 1998 “Professor Priming” study on the effect of priming on intelligence, and the response has been overwhelming. The RRR editors have already received nearly 30 applications to contribute; consequently, they have decided to move up the deadline to apply to participate. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM EDT on Sunday, August 28th to be considered for this project.

Given the number of contributing labs already approved to participate, the editors request that only those with a specific interest in this phenomenon consider applying for the current project. Researchers interested in participating in a registered replication in general (rather than specifically this one) will have several opportunities to do so in the near future as additional RRR projects are finalized.

More information on the RRR initiative…


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What Is Preregistration, Anyway?

PAFF_051316_openpracticebadges_newsfeatureThe Editors of Psychological Science have been encouraging research psychologists to preregister their research plans before they begin collecting data (or, at least, before they see their data).

But what does preregistration actually entail?

As Psychological Science Editor in Chief D. Stephen Lindsay explains, it involves researchers specifying, in as much detail as they can, their plans for a study (number and nature of subjects, stimulus materials, procedures, measures, rules for excluding data, plans for data analysis, predictions/hypotheses, etc.) and posting those plans in a time-stamped, locked file in an online repository.

In a new statement in the Psychological Science submissions guidelines, Lindsay provides a comprehensive explanation of preregistration, and how the journal is recognizing authors who follow this open-science practice.



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Scientists Challenge Magazine Feature on Historic Brain Research

This is a photo of a magazine.A group of 200 psychological researchers and other scientists from around the globe have slammed The New York Times’ publication of a recent book excerpt that they say unfairly tarnishes the late memory researcher Suzanne Corkin, who died of cancer in May at the age of 79.

Scientists say the article, titled “The Brain That Could Not Remember” and appearing August 7 in the newspaper’s Sunday magazine, paints an unfair and inaccurate picture of Corkin and her work. The article, which was actually an excerpt from a new book, focused on Corkin’s historic research involving Henry Molaison, an amnesiac who is widely considered to be among the most famous brain patients ever studied.

Molaison, who until his death in 2008 was referred to as H.M. to protect his privacy, had lost the ability to…


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How Friends and Personalities Mix

Anyone who has had close friendships knows that while these relationships are rewarding, they often require hard work to maintain, and some people have more success than others at keeping such friendships up. Who then, are the people who manage to maintain friendships — and what behaviors and processes lead to high levels of friendship satisfaction?

In a 2015 study published in the European Journal of Personality, researchers Robert Wilson (University of California, Davis), Kelci Harris (Washington University in St. Louis), and APS Board Member Simine Vazire (University of California, Davis) examined the relationships among different aspects of personality and friendship satisfaction.

Studies examining relationship satisfaction traditionally have focused on romantic and marital relationships and shown that people who display the personality traits of extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness have more satisfying relationships, while those high in the personality trait of neuroticism do not.

The few studies that have examined the…


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