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Current Directions in Psychological Science

Current Directions in Psychological Science: Volume 23, 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.


The Adult Brain Makes New Neurons, and Effortful Learning Keeps Them Alive Tracey J. Shors


Self-Control and Grit: Related but Separable Determinants of Success Angela Duckworth and James J. Gross

*Angela Duckworth will be speaking in the Presidential Symposium at the 27th APS Annual Convention in New York, NY.


Applying Psychological Science to Examine Prospective Memory in Simulated Air Traffic Control Shayne Loft


Optional Stopping and the Termination of Memory Retrieval Michael R. Dougherty, J. Isaiah Harbison, and Eddy J. Davelaar

*Michael R. Dougherty will be speaking at the 27th…


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Ebola Scare Could Heighten Fears About Other Illnesses, Research Suggests

EbolaAmericans are now fretting over an illness that they have almost no chance of contracting. Schools have closed, businesses have temporarily shut down, and people who have traveled to West Africa are being shunned — all due to three confirmed cases, and one fatality, of Ebola in Dallas.

As APS Fellow Paul Slovic tells Time, the chilling lethality of the Ebola virus leads people to worry about contracting the disease despite the miniscule probability they will do so.

What’s more, research suggests that the public panic over Ebola may prompt people to start worrying about their health in general. During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, psychological scientists Spike W. S. Lee, Norbert Schwarz, Danielle Taubman, and Mengyuan Hou from the University of Michigan conducted…


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APS Members Lord and Shadlen Elected to Institute of Medicine

Catherine Lord, the DeWitt Senior Scholar and a professor of psychology in psychiatry and of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell, and Michael N. Shadlen a professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University, were elected as new members to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on Oct. 20 during the IOM’s 44th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. New members are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.


Catherine Lord

Catherine Lord

Lord, an APS Fellow, is an internationally renowned expert on autism who…


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Comorbidity Among Mental Disorders: A New Approach

ECMental disorders have traditionally been viewed as distinct categorical entities, but about 50% of people who meet the criteria for one disorder also meet the criteria for a second disorder. The large number of people with comorbid disorders suggests there may be a simpler underlying structure to psychopathology than the one implied by the current classification system.

APS Fellow Avshalom Caspi (Duke University, Kings College London) and colleagues examined the structure of psychopathology using data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study — a prospective longitudinal study of health and behavior. Participants in the study were repeatedly assessed for mental health disorders between ages 18 and 38.

The authors tested several models using confirmatory factor…


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McClelland Receives Heineken Prize


James L. “Jay” McClelland Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) presented the $200,000 C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Sciences to James L. (“Jay”) McClelland on October 2, 2014, in Amsterdam. McClelland is Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences and Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation at Stanford University. He is a past recipient of the APS William James Fellow Award.

McClelland received the Heineken Prize in recognition of his work modeling cognitive processes with neural networks, a departure from earlier models that described the brain in terms of a computer processor that stores and retrieves information. In 1986, McClelland and his colleagues published a now seminal…


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