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Rajaram, Weber Among APS Fellows Elected to Society of Experimental Psychologists

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Suparna Rajaram

APS Past Board Members Suparna Rajaram of Stony Brook University and Elke U. Weber of Columbia University are among eight psychological scientists recently elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP). Others elected in the most recent SEP cohort include APS Fellows Todd Braver (Washington University in St. Louis), Barbara Mellers (University of Pennsylvania), Robert Sekuler (Brandeis University), Robert Siegler (Carnegie Mellon University); and Marvin Chun (Yale University). Charles Kemp, a Carnegie Mellon associate professor who employs computational models of learning and reasoning in his work, was elected winner of the Early Investigator Award, which carries with it election to SEP.

Rajaram is a cognitive psychologist who studies memory, including the interpersonal transmission of memory through social groups and networks and the emergence of collective memory. Her work has included research with both people affected…

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Examining the Mechanics of Different Types of Choice

Have you ever noticed your attention gravitating toward the first or last item on a menu, or toward the centrally placed items on a grocery store shelf? Why does placement influence our choices and decisions? In a recent Perspectives on Psychological Science article, APS Fellow Maya Bar-Hillel (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) tells the tale of how she came to better understand how position influences our choices and shares what she has learned about the circumstances under which people chose certain items.

In the early 2000s, Bar-Hillel supervised a doctoral student who was examining how test takers answer multiple-choice questions. The leading theory at the time was that when guessing, people choose randomly among answer choices and are thus equally likely to choose any of the answer choices given; however, Bar-Hillel and her student found that people were more likely to…

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Showcasing Psychological Science: A Conference for High School Students and Teachers

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Conference director Brian Collisson alongside social, health, quantitative, and counseling psychologists. (Left to right: Emily Collisson, Brian Collisson, Amanda Gesselman, Greg Webster, Corinne Novell, Jenny Howell, and Blake Allan)

Many initiatives promote psychological science among college students and their teachers, but their high school counterparts often are left out. To address this issue, faculty at Marian University, with the support of the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, created a conference to showcase…

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Jeb Bush Was Wrong: There Are Many Careers for Psychological Scientists

By now, most of us have heard what Jeb Bush said in October about a psychology degree only preparing students to work in the fast-food industry. While behavioral scientists know that a psychology degree is in fact excellent preparation for a wide variety of jobs, Bush’s comment may reflect a broader lack of awareness about the incredibly diverse applications of degrees in psychological science. The Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP) and APS have partnered to develop a searchable mentorship database that helps junior scientists connect with more established scientists to learn how psychological scientists can use their skills.

Even teaching at the graduate level, my colleagues and I often bemoaned how challenging it can be to effectively advise our graduate students on professional development issues when they are seeking nonacademic jobs (or even academic jobs outside psychology or psychiatry departments). Many of us try to put our…

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Changing the Climate on Climate Change

Representatives from 195 countries and the European Union convene in Paris today for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, in an attempt to reach a binding agreement to implement strategies aimed at combating global climate change.

Progress has been made in recent years, as nations have made various pledges to reduce carbon emissions and transition toward renewable sources of energy. Last year the United States and China – the world’s largest carbon polluters – reached a landmark mutual agreement targeted at curbing emissions.

While such advances are promising, researchers argue, that policymakers have largely ignored the central role of human behavior as a contributor to climate change, and its many solutions.

“Significant further actions are needed at the federal, state, and local government level, as well as in industry, civic organizations, and individual households,” according to researchers Sander van der Linden…

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