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Cross-cutting Keynotes Highlight ICPS

GENERAL_007Nearly 2,200 scientists and students from around the world converged in the city of Amsterdam recently for the inaugural International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS), the culmination of efforts by the Association for Psychological Science, partnering European psychological science societies, and an international network of organizations and individual scientists to stimulate scientific advances that cut across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. The 12-14 March 2015 event featured presentations from a variety of world’s leading researchers in the field of psychology, anthropology, neuroscience, sociology, education, communications and more.

DAY1_EFFECTENBEURSZAAL_111Keynote speakers reflected the breadth of the science covered at this seminal convention. Psychological scientist Stanislas Dehaene (College de France and INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit) discussed how science is tearing apart the series of distinct operations that occur in the brain as a person processes information. By combining pattern…


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A New Take on Employee Burnout

ECAll of us have felt a little stressed by our jobs. While some stress is normal, in certain cases this stress can become overwhelming, leading to employee burnout. Employees who experience burnout often feel emotionally exhausted and overextended. They may feel negatively toward, or perhaps even emotionally detached from, their colleagues, and they may experience a loss of efficiency in the workplace.

One influential model of employee burnout — the job demands–resources (JD–R) model — identifies how two main components of the workplace, job demands and job resources, can affect stress levels. Job demands include aspects of the job requiring physical and psychological costs, while job resources include physical, psychological, or social aspects of the workplace that help people accomplish their tasks.

When the demands of a job are too heavy and/or the resources provided to employees are not sufficient, employees’ mental…


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Commitment and Forgiveness in Relationships Focus of APS Registered Replication Report Project

APS is pleased to announce the launch of a new Registered Replication Report (RRR) aimed at replicating a 2002 experiment investigating commitment and forgiveness in close relationships.

Drawing on the framework of interdependence theory, psychological scientists Eli Finkel, Caryl E. Rusbult, Madoka Kumashiro, and Peggy A. Hannon hypothesized that commitment, as a fundamental property of relationships, would promote “positive mental events, pro-relationship motives, and forgiveness.”

The researchers designed an experiment to test this hypothesis, recruiting 89 undergraduate student participants who were in dating relationships at the time of the study. The students were randomly assigned to either a low-commitment or a high-commitment experimental condition. Students in the high-commitment group answered questions designed to activate thoughts related to dependence and commitment (e.g., “Describe two ways in which you feel that your life has become ‘linked to’ your partner.”). Students in the low-commitment group…


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APS Registered Replication Report Project to Explore the “Facial Feedback Hypothesis”

Editors of Perspectives on Psychological Science are now accepting proposals from researchers who would like to participate in a new Registered Replication Report (RRR) designed to replicate a 1988 experiment testing the “facial feedback hypothesis.” The experiment, originally conducted by Fritz Strack, Leonard Martin, and Sabine Stepper, investigated the hypothesis that a person’s facial expressions can influence their affective responses, an idea that dates back to Darwin.

In their study, Strack and colleagues surreptitiously induced participants to smile by holding a pen in their teeth or to pout by holding it between their lips. Although the participants were not aware of these pen-induced facial expressions, those who held the pen between their teeth (smiling) found the cartoons to be significantly funnier than did those who held the pen between their lips (pouting).

The study has been cited almost 1000 times according to…


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Mistargeted Messages Could Spur Help-Seeking for Depression

From decades of research, scientists have developed effective, empirically-validated interventions for treating major depression and, yet, many people suffering from depression don’t receive these treatments. While there can be many reasons why a depressed person might not seek help, one major barrier seems to emerge from the disorder itself:

“Unlike many physical illnesses in which help-seeking increases as severity intensifies, the more depressed people become, the less likely they are to seek help from family, friends, and mental-health professionals,” psychology researcher Jason T. Siegel and colleagues at Claremont Graduate University write in Clinical Psychological Science.

Researchers and practitioners have tried to harness mass communication as one tool for encouraging help-seeking, and yet some research suggests that these efforts can backfire. Indeed, studies have shown that messages that directly target people with depression can, for example, increase feelings of self-stigma and reinforce beliefs about the link between depression and…


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