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APS Announces Third Replication Project


Two months after APS published its first Registered Replication Report (RRR), the plan for the third RRR has been finalized and editors are accepting proposals from researchers who would like to participate in the large-scale replication by running the study in their lab.

Roy Baumeister and colleagues (1998; Muraven, Tice, & Baumeister, 1998) proposed that performance on tasks requiring self-control is governed by a general, unitary, and finite “internal” resource. Engaging in tasks requiring self-control is believed to deplete the resource, reducing performance on subsequent tasks that require self-control, a phenomenon known as “ego depletion.”

The classic evidence for the phenomenon comes from a simple paradigm involving two consecutive tasks. For participants randomly assigned to the experimental (ego-depletion) group, both tasks require self-control. For participants assigned to the comparison (no depletion) group, only the second task requires self-control, with the…


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Focusing on the Past or Future Shapes Spatial Perception of Time

This is a photo of a young woman walking on a path.We often think about the future as being in front of us and the past as being at our back – as we walk, places we pass are behind us, and places we have yet to reach lie ahead.

But not every culture views time the same way. For instance, although the Arabic dialect spoken in Morocco refers to time in the same way that English does, previous research suggests that Moroccans have a tendency to see the past as being in front of them and the future as being behind them.

Psychological scientist Juanma de la Fuente of the University of Granada and colleagues hypothesized that differences in how we perceive time result not from language or from how our bodies are oriented, but from whether we’re more focused on…


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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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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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