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Ariely Packs Address With Jokes, Anecdotes, and Lots of Science

This is a photo of Dan Ariely giving the Fred Kavli keynote address at the 2016 APS Annual Convention.True to form, Dan Ariely packed his Fred Kavli Keynote Address with plenty of jokes and humorous anecdotes in the opening night of the 2016 APS Annual Convention in Chicago. But his 40-minute speech still incorporated plenty of the behavioral science that has made him famous.

Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, discussed his years of research, involving tens of thousands of study participants, showing how people cheat or lie just a little — in a way that…

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Kraut to Lead PCSAS as New Executive Director

Alan G. Kraut

Alan G. Kraut

The Board of Directors of the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), the new system that began with one program in 2009 and now has accredited 30 of the best clinical programs in the United States and Canada, has announced that Alan G. Kraut will be its new Executive Director.

Kraut previously served for 27 years as the founding Executive Director of the Association for Psychological Science (APS). The PCSAS Board announced Kraut’s appointment today in Chicago, where PCSAS was meeting in conjunction with the APS 2016 Annual Convention.

Kraut helped create PCSAS beginning in 1992 when an APS-organized Summit on the Future of Accreditation first raised the possibility of a new accreditation system. In the interim, Kraut and APS supported the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS) — an…

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Albert Bandura Receives National Medal of Science

Photo credit: Ryan K. Morris and the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation

Photo credit: Ryan K. Morris and the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation

President Obama presented eminent psychological scientist Albert Bandura with the National Medal of Science in a ceremony held at the White House on May 19, 2016. Awarded annually by a committee of presidential appointees, the National Medal of Science recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to science, technology, and engineering.

Bandura, professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University, has received both the APS William James Fellow Award and the APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award and is considered one of the most influential psychological scientists in the world. Bandura’s groundbreaking research on self-efficacy demonstrated that individuals’ beliefs about their own capabilities affects their…

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Rise in Reporting p-Values as “Marginally Significant”

A researcher collects data, runs a statistical test, and finds that the p value is approximately .07. What happens next? According to a study conducted by Laura Pritschet (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Derek Powell (University of California, Los Angeles), and Zachary Horne (also at the University of Illinois), that researcher may be likely to report that result as “marginally significant” — not quite significant, but getting there. While it may be common, Pritschet and colleagues argue that this practice is “rooted in serious statistical misconceptions” and is likely to lead to false-positive errors (and sometimes false negatives, too). To make matters worse, evidence suggests that this practice is on the rise.

Pritschet, Powell, and Horne note that the practice of reporting marginally-significant results is problematic for two main reasons. First, the field of psychological science has no agreed-upon standards for how and when results should be reported…

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The Apple of the Mind’s Eye

This image is of an Apple store.With its simple design, the Apple Inc. logo is one of the most recognizable emblems in the world. But how well do people remember details of the icon? Which way does the leaf point? Is the bitten section on the right or left side?

Psychological scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), under the leadership of Alan D. Castel, examined participants’ recall for these details on the ubiquitous logo, and the degree to which metamemory (i.e., confidence judgments) match memory performance.

The study borrows from a classic study that showed that people often have difficulty recognizing the correct locations of features on a US penny. That 1979 study by APS…

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