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Science Develops New Data- and Materials-Sharing Requirements

This is an illustration of a compass.In June 2015, a committee sponsored by the Center for Open Science developed a set of guidelines offering “a concrete and actionable strategy toward improving research and publishing practices” named the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines. Now, scientific publishers are putting these guidelines into action: The journal Science has announced that it has used these guidelines to revise its standards for articles that it publishes.

The TOP guidelines invite journal editors to consider transparency and openness as they pertain to eight different parts of the research process. After careful consideration of these guidelines, Science now requires that data, program code, and materials must be available to other researchers. These resources must all be cited using persistent identifiers, such as citations or DOIs. Authors are also required to “follow relevant standards…


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It’s About Time

From reminiscing about the past, to scurrying to work to be on time, to planning for retirement, time affects our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on a variety of levels. In a cross-cutting theme program, “The Meaning of Time,” at the 2016 APS Annual Convention in Chicago, psychological scientists shared research on the ways humans think about the past, present, and future.

APS Fellow Laura L. Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, presented findings emanating from her socioemotional selectivity theory, which maintains that as time horizons shrink as we age, we become increasingly selective about our social networks and our experiences. We invest our time in emotionally meaningful goals and activities and rewarding relationships.

APS Fellow Daniel L. Schacter of Harvard University drew from his research on memory to discuss episodic simulation, which refers to the development of detailed mental representation of a hypothetical event. Episodic simulation, Schacter…


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Memories of Spence

APS Past President Janet Taylor Spence, who died in March 2015 at the age of 91, loved the pursuit of psychological science and inspired all who worked with her. In a special symposium chaired by another APS Past President, Kay Deaux, and APS Fellow Lucia Albino Gilbert, scientists shared their perspectives on Spence’s wide-ranging contributions to psychological science.

Spence’s contributions to the field, first in the area of anxiety and later in the realm of gender, have been far-reaching. Her research on anxiety included the development of the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale, a method for relating dispositional levels of anxiety to performance. In the 1970s, she became interested in gender-related research, a topic that would continue to engage her long past her retirement from the University of Texas in 1997. In a highly productive collaboration with the late Robert Helmreich, Spence developed several measures for gender-related characteristics and…


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Breaking Free From Bad Behaviors

Many people try their best to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Others strive to be good environmental stewards, cutting down their usage of electricity and water. And still others intend to treat everyone fairly, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.

But those efforts require a level of self-control that can easily be drained. Old habits die hard.

In a cross-cutting theme program sponsored by the NIH Common Fund Science of Behavior Change and titled “Breaking Free — Intersecting Perspectives on the Science of Behavior Change” at the 2016 APS Annual Convention in Chicago, psychological scientists shared cutting-edge research on halting and reversing destructive behavior.

APS Fellow Russell A. Poldrack of Stanford University strayed from the focus on self-control to discuss his research on the use of automatic mechanisms to change behavior. Poldrack asserts that habits we learn early on (including bad ones) are not overwritten when we break them,…


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Deploying Technology to Revolutionize Science

The technology revolution is raising new questions for both the science and the applications of psychology. Can mental health care be delivered remotely over the Internet? Can we use neuroimaging technology to adaptively control our own brain activity? How can technology be used to study people in settings far more natural than a lab?

In a cross-cutting theme program, “Advancing Psychological Science Through Technology,” at the 2016 APS Annual Convention in Chicago, leading researchers opened a window into the future role of technology in psychological science.

Psychological and computer scientist Rainer Goebel, who directs the Maastricht Brain Imaging Center at Maastricht University, the Netherlands, talked about the use of ultra-high magnetic field scanners as a way to link cognitive phenomena such as perception, attention, working memory, imagery, and awareness to cortical layers in the brain.

Noting the scientific potential of online panels and communities, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, Tara…


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