Temple University psychologist Nora Newcombe has received a 2014 William James lifetime achievement award from APS, in honor of her role in advancing the field of cognitive science. Newcombe will deliver her award address, “Resolving the Nativist-Empiricist Debate: A Neoconstructivist Approach to Cognitive Development,” at the 26th APS Annual Convention, to be held May 22-25, 2014, in San Francisco.
Newcombe has made vast contributions to the understanding of spatial cognition — the mental visualization of two- and three-dimensional objects. Making Space, a 2000 book she co-authored with APS William James Fellow Janellen Huttenlocher, fused classic theories of both learned and innate spatial reasoning to create a new conceptualization of cognitive development.
Newcombe has also challenged gender stereotypes about spatial reasoning ability. While men are more skilled at mental rotation, horizontality and verticality tasks,…
Emotional connections with others are one of the fundamental ingredients for a happy and fulfilled life. Seeking out these connections often feels good, providing a kind of social “warmth.”
New research published in Psychological Science suggests that this social warmth may be more than metaphor, revealing that brain areas involved in the perception of physical warmth are also involved in heartwarming social experiences.
“The neural systems in place to detect signs of social connection may have borrowed from the neural systems that detect physical warmth,” write psychological scientists Tristen Inagaki and Naomi Eisenberger. “We investigated whether experiencing social warmth increases feelings of physical warmth and whether experiencing physical warmth increases feelings of social connection.”
While lying in an fMRI machine, participants were asked to complete various tasks. For the physical warmth task, the participants held…
A layperson’s conception of psychopathic personality might involve psychosis, mental illness, and violent behavior, but none of these things is actually equivalent to psychopathy. While psychopathy is one risk factor for aggression, psychopaths are usually rational people, and they can be found throughout society.
Members of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy (SSSP) are working against common misconceptions in an effort to “better understand the characteristics and causes of psychopathy, as well as better ways of detecting it, treating it, and ultimately preventing its destructive manifestations.”
Scott O. Lilienfeld, an APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow and the President of SSSP, was co-author of the 2011 Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI) report “Psychopathic Personality: Bridging the Gap Between Scientific Evidence and Public Policy.” Lilienfeld hopes psychological scientists — as well as students, clinicians, educators, journalists, attorneys,…
Late on Halloween night, with candy strewn across the dining room table, millions of children across the United States will enjoy the hard-earned fruits of their trick-or-treating labors.
After picking through the spoils and immediately rejecting the — ahem — less desirable candies (think Necco Wafers, Circus Peanuts, and black licorice), every child will face an important question: Which to nosh on first and which to save for last?
They’re right to think carefully, because psychological science suggests that the approach they take will influence their overall candy-eating experience.
In a study published last year in Psychological Science, participants were asked to eat five different flavors of Hershey’s Kisses presented in a random order. Just before eating the fifth chocolate, the researchers said either “here’s the next chocolate” or “here’s the last chocolate.”
Regardless of which flavor Hershey’s Kiss was the…
Professional poker players rely on the ability to divorce their facial expressions from their emotional state – no matter how good, or how bad, their hand is, they have to maintain an inscrutable “poker face.” But new research suggests that they may do well to focus on another body part: The arms. The research, published in Psychological Science, suggests that homing in on only the player’s arms may be the most reliable way to call a bluff.
Psychological scientist Michael Slepian and colleagues had 78 undergraduate participants watch two-second video clips from the World Series of Poker. Participants were shown one of three views: only the players’ faces, only their arms, or their entire upper bodies. In no cases were the participants shown what cards the players actually held – they had to…