On the Newsstand

Eyewitness Testimony Takes a Few More Hits
Popular Science
January 30, 2009
“According to the Innocence Project, a legal group devoted to exonerating the wrongly incarcerated, mistaken eyewitnesses account for three quarters of convictions later overturned by DNA evidence. Now two new reports in the journal Psychological Science suggest that eyewitness reports may be even more prone to inaccuracy than previously thought, even when memories are fresh in one’s mind, and especially when someone confesses. ”

Coverage of “Recalling a Witnessed Event Increases Eyewitness Suggestibility: The Reversed Testing Effect” in Psychological Science (Jason C.K. Chan, Ayanna K. Thomas, and John B. Bulevich, Volume 20(1), 66-73) and “On the Presumption of Evidentiary Independence: Can Confessions Corrupt Eyewitness Identifications?” in Psychological Science (Lisa E. Hasel and Saul M. Kassin, Volume 20(1), 122-126) .

Have We Met?
The Boston Globe
January 19, 2009
“Men are red, women are green, the nose may be key to ‘reading’ a face, and ordinary eyebrows may be what makes a face recognizable, rather than, say, provocatively bee-stung lips or baby blues. Those insights into how we ‘see’ faces are part of the growing field of facial recognition, one of the hottest realms in psychology and neural science. ”

Coverage of “Gender Recognition of Human Faces Using Color” in Psychological Science (Adrian Nestor and Michael J. Tarr, Volume 19(12), 1242-1246) and “Two Fixations Suffice in Face Recognition” in Psychological Science (Janet Hui-wen Hsiao and Garrison Cottrell, Volume 19(10), 998-1006).

Motivating Minds
The Economist
January 22, 2009
“To some there is nothing so urgent that it cannot be postponed in favor of a cup of tea. Such procrastination is a mystery to psychologists, who wonder why people would sabotage themselves in this way. A team of researchers led by Sean McCrea of the University of Konstanz, in Germany, reckon they have found a piece of the puzzle. People act in a timely way when given concrete tasks but dawdle when they view them in abstract terms.”

Coverage of “Construal Level and Procrastination” in Psychological Science (Sean M. McCrea, Nira Liberman, Yaacov Trope, and Steven J. Sherman, Volume 19(12), 1308-1314).

Your Nest is Empty? Enjoy Each Other
The New York Times
January 20, 2009
“While most parents clearly miss children who have left home for college, jobs or marriage, they also enjoy the greater freedom and relaxed responsibility. And despite the common worry that long-married couples will find themselves with nothing in common, the new research, published in November in the journal Psychological Science, shows that marital satisfaction actually improves when the children finally take their exits.”

Coverage of “Contextualizing Change in Marital Satisfaction During Middle Age: An 18-Year Longitudinal Study” in Psychological Science (Sara M. Gorchoff, Oliver P. John, and Ravenna Helson, Volume 19(11), 1194-1200).

Observer Vol.22, No.3 March, 2009

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