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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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Current Directions in Psychological Science

Current Directions in Psychological Science: Volume 24, Number 5

Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes reviews by leading experts covering all of scientific psychology and its applications.

(Baby)Talk to Me: The Social Context of Infant-Directed Speech and Its Effects on Early Language Acquisition Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Dilara Deniz Can, Melanie Soderstrom, and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

Physiological Arousal and Its Dysregulation in Child Maladjustment Angela Scarpa

Chimpanzee Cognitive Control Michael J. Beran

Personality Traits in Childhood and Adolescence: Structure, Development, and Outcomes Christopher J. Soto and Jennifer L. Tackett

Executive Function Development: Making Sense of the Environment to Behave Adaptively Nicolas Chevalier

The Role of Intergroup Emotions in Political Violence David Matsumoto, Mark G. Frank, and Hyisung C. Hwang

New Light on the Mind’s Eye: The…


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Bilingualism and the Aging Brain

Bilingualism has been associated with a number of advantages over monolingualism, including better performance on cognitive tasks involving executive functions such as inhibition. Bilingualism also seems to positively influence cognitive reserve — the way the brain responds to neuropathological damage.

Along these lines, several studies have reported a later onset of Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia in bilinguals compared with monolinguals; however, contradictory findings also have been reported. The reason for these conflicting results is not clear, as studies in this area often differ in such factors as whether a community or a clinical sample is studied, the way bilingualism is measured, educational differences among participants, and the timing of clinical diagnosis.

In a 2015 study published in…


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Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Alan G. Kraut

APS Executive Director Emeritus Alan Kraut reflects on his career and the evolution of the association in this interview with APS Past President Robert Levenson as part of the series “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio.”

The interview was recorded live before a group of Kraut’s colleagues and friends at the 2015 APS Annual Convention in New York City.


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HHS to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Proposed ‘Common Rule’ Revisions

This is the logo of the US Department of Health & Human Services.The US government’s Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) will hold a public Town Hall Meeting on October 20, 2015 in Washington, DC to answer questions about proposed updates to the so-called Common Rule governing human subject research.

The meeting will be conducted by a panel of officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the OHRP.

The meeting is part of a public comment period on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the Common Rule revisions. HHS will take those comments into consideration as it drafts a final set of standards.

The proposed updates are designed to extend protections to people more effectively while simultaneously easing the oversight and paperwork requirements for scientists. The government’s efforts to update the Common Rule, formally known as…


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