Your source for the latest psychological research.

Response Times Do Not Imply Accurate Unconscious Lie Detection

This is an illustration of a magnifying glass over the word "lies"In research published in Psychological Science in 2014, psychological scientists Leanne ten Brinke and colleagues presented studies suggesting that people are able to detect lies on an unconscious level even if they can’t detect them consciously. But, in a new commentary published in Psychological Science, researchers Volker Franz and Ulrike von Luxburg examine the classification accuracy of the original data and find no evidence for accurate unconscious lie detection.

ten Brinke and colleagues had participants watch videos of “suspects” in a mock-crime interview. Half of the suspects had actually stolen a $100 bill from a bookshelf, half had not, but all of the suspects were instructed to tell the interviewer they had not stolen the money. This meant that half of the suspects were definitely lying and…


Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Researchers Delve Into Data on Video Games and Aggression in Kids

This is a photo of artwork for the game Grand Theft Auto.There is a long standing debate over the impact of video games — especially violent games — on children’s development and later aggressive tendencies. In a new meta-analysis, Christopher J. Ferguson examined 101 published and unpublished studies that focused on the impact of violent and nonviolent video games on behavioral health (i.e., aggression, prosocial behavior, depressive symptoms, attention problems, or academic performance) in children. He found that overall, violent and nonviolent video games had a minimal impact on aggressive behavior, suggesting the need for a new theory and for better, more standardized research measures.

In a series of commentaries on Ferguson’s article, leading authors in the field provide their views and opinions on his study and its findings.

Patrick M. Markey notes that people on different sides…


Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Disseminating International Resources on the Teaching of Psychological Science

This event was supported by the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, which invites applications for nonrenewable grants of up to $5,000 to launch new, educational projects in psychological science. Proposals are due October 1 and March 1.

Support for excellence in the teaching of psychology in the United States is stronger than anywhere else in the world, say psychological scientists Dana Castro (L’Ecole des Psychologues Praticiens [EPP], France) and APS Fellow Douglas Bernstein (University of South Florida). English-speaking psychology teachers can benefit from the written advice and resources on US websites to enhance the quality of their teaching, but this information is inaccessible to those in non-English-speaking…


Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

From Lab to Learning

Do research findings from a controlled lab setting hold up in a classroom?

Psychological science often suggests promising principles that may improve learning. However, many of these findings have not been translated to educational contexts or designed into easy-to-implement teaching interventions. A new grant program from the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science encourages the development of evidence-demonstrated interventions that apply well-established principles to improve the teaching of psychological science. The objectives are to extend the validity of research from controlled contexts to naturalistic postsecondary learning environments, to determine the necessary conditions for interventions to succeed, and ultimately to design the strategies needed for others to implement successful interventions in their own teaching contexts.

“There is a real need for translational research to bring tested interventions to real learning environments” said Tracy Zinn, chair of the APS Teaching Fund Committee. This initiative’s authors envision standardizing the…


Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Obama Administration Elevates Role of Behavioral Science in Government Services

Behavioral science will have an increasingly integral role in the way the US government operates and provides services under a new set of actions by the White House.

President Obama signed an executive order September 15 directing federal agencies to inject more behavioral science into their activities and services. That order also formally establishes a federal Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST), a group of experts in behavioral science tasked with translating scientific findings into improvements in federal programs.

The President’s action means federal agencies will have to develop, rigorously test, and evaluate strategies for applying behavioral science insights to ease American’s access to federal programs through such methods as simplified communications and options that are made clear and user-friendly.

“A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights – research findings from fields such as behavioral economics and psychology…


Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »