May/June 2010

Cover Story

This Side of Paradise

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Today, Central Park seems as essential to Manhattan as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, or Woody Allen. But when the street grid for the island was first mapped out in 1811, no plans were made for the 843-acre green sanctuary at its center. The commissioners in charge of designing the city set aside remarkably few parcels of parkland. They didn’t think the residents would need it. After all, they reasoned, the Hudson and East rivers that flank Manhattan render the island “in regard to health and pleasure … peculiarly felicitous.”... More>


Presidential Column

This Stigma of Obesity

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In the food and health sciences, the medical effects of obesity are well-documented and well-publicized. But, just as obesity may be associated with a variety of health issues, it can also bring a less well-understood effect: stigma and discrimination. In 2005, the battle against obesity stigma got a new champion: The Rudd Center at Yale. This is a beautiful example of psychological science making the world a better place. ... More>


Champions of Psychology

Marsha M. Linehan

APS Fellow Marsha Linehan is a Professor of Psychology and adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. She is also Director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, a consortium of research projects developing new treatments and evaluating their efficacy for severely disordered, multi-diagnostic, and suicidal populations.... More>


Observation

Is Love a Numbers Game?

A number of recent studies have looked at what happens to humans when faced with extensive choice. Under such circumstances, consumer psychologists believe that the brain can be “overwhelmed,” leading to poorer quality choice or choice deferral. Psychological scientist Alison Lenton and economist Marco Francesconi wanted to know if the same was true of mate choice, given that humans have been practicing this particular choice for millennia.... More>


In Appreciation: Science Writer Constance Holden

t's a tragic Washington-only event, shocking for the circumstances — a woman killed on her regular bicycle commute home, her bike in an accident with a military vehicle there to protect the dignitaries in town for an international meeting. But as with any such news story, there’s much more to tell than that. The woman was Constance (Tancy) Holden, longtime behavioral science writer for Science magazine. ... More>