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Inside the Psychologist’s Studio: Steven Pinker


Steven Pinker is widely regarded as one of the world’s most influential scientific scholars. His work has spanned visual cognition, children’s language development, the neural bases of words and grammar, and the psychology of cooperation and communication. And in a new installment of Inside the Psychologist’s Studio, Pinker reflects on his storied career in psychological science. The interview with psychiatrist and author Sally Satel was recorded live at the 2015 APS Annual Convention in New York City.


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Psych Majors Hash(tag) It Out on Twitter

Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush recently criticized psychology majors with an offhand remark during a South Carolina town hall series: “Hey, that psych major deal, that philosophy major thing, that’s great, it’s important to have liberal arts … but realize, you’re going to be working at Chick-fil-A.”

Bush has been trying to capture the interest of college voters during his campaign, and while this may not have been the exact response he anticipated, college students are definitely paying attention.

Here is just a glimpse of the meaningful work being completed by psychology majors:

View more #ThisPsychMajor tweets.


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Brains of Congenitally Deaf Reveal Plasticity of Auditory Cortex

The human brain, when deprived of certain input for a period of time, shows a great deal of plasticity, reorganizing itself to more effectively process the input that it does receive. Research has shown, for example, that people who are born blind are often more sensitive to differences in auditory pitch and touch than people who are sighted. Similarly, studies have shown that individuals who are born deaf may be better at detecting motion and seeing in their periphery than those who can hear.

A new neuroimaging study led by psychological scientist Jorge Almeida of the University of Coimbra, Portugal shows that, in people who are born deaf, the auditory cortex processes information about the visual properties of stimuli.

The research was conducted by an international team of researchers from the University of Coimbra, Beijing Normal University, Peking University, the University of Minho, and the University of Rochester.…


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Lessons From the Second Biennial Atlantic Coast Teaching of Psychology Conference

This project was supported by the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, which invites applications for nonrenewable grants of up to $5,000 to launch new, educational projects in psychological science. Proposals are due March 1 and October 1.

In September 2013, the second biennial Atlantic Coast Teaching of Psychology Conference (ACToP) was held in Red Bank, New Jersey. Coordinated by Natalie J. Ciarocco and Lisa M. Dinella, both of Monmouth University, the conference focused on continuing to advance the teaching of psychology at the (2-year and 4-year) college and high school levels by uniting psychology teaching professionals and creating and strengthening the connections among those passionate about…


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Confidence Spills Over Across Unrelated Decisions

Research on metacognition, or “thinking about thinking,” has explored important puzzles about how humans monitor and control their thoughts. One of these puzzles is why people’s beliefs don’t match with reality — such as why, for example, people are often overconfident in their performance on perceptual or memory tasks.

New research by Dobromir Rahnev (Georgia Institute of Technology) and his colleagues has identified one possible reason for poor metacognition. Called confidence leak, it’s the finding that when individuals provide their confidence in a decision on one trial, the next confidence rating provided is likely to be related to the previous one, even when what the content of what they’re deciding on changes over time.

In their paper, published in Psychological Science, Rahnev and colleagues report the results of two experiments and a reanalysis of data from two other experiments. The results were used to form a…


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