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Learned Creativity — How to Innovate in the Classroom

This is a photo of high school students painting in an art classroom.

When people think of innovative organizations, they may first jump to the business and technology fields. In the field of education, however, new governmental standards and reforms, as well as growing competition for resources and students, has made innovation increasingly important.

Although innovation has increasingly become vital, not all organizations — schools included — have the same level of creative output. In a 2014 article published in the European Journal of Work Psychology, researchers Anna R. Koch (University of Muenster, Germany), Carmen Binnewies (University of Muenster, Germany), and Christian Dormann (University of Mainz, Germany), examine the role that school principals play…


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Responsive Partners Show Two Kinds of Empathy

When stress sets in, many of us turn to a partner to help us manage, relying on the partner to provide a sounding board or shoulder to cry on. A new study on close relationships suggests that your odds of actually feeling better are much improved if your partner provides both of those things.

The research, conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara reveals that simply understanding your partner’s suffering isn’t sufficient to be helpful in a stressful situation; you’ve got to actually care that they’re suffering in the first place.

The findings, published in Psychological Science, show that cognitive and affective forms of empathy work together to facilitate responsive behavior.

“People might assume that accurate understanding is all it takes to be responsive, but understanding a partner’s thoughts and feelings was helpful only when…


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Statistics Organization Speaks Out on P-Values

This is a photo of a hand pointing to a graph.As psychological scientists continue efforts to improve statistical and methodological practices, they can turn to a new resource for guidance. The American Statistical Association (ASA) has released a new statement on the use of p-values in science. The statement suggests researchers should be wary of statistical claims based on p-values alone.

According to the ASA, there is an over-reliance on the p-value in scientific reasoning. Many students of psychological science are taught that obtaining a significant result, p < .05, is a “golden ticket” to publication. Likewise, the scientific community too-frequently rewards studies with significant p-values without considering the validity of other aspects of those studies. These common attitudes may be partly to blame for issues of replicability in science.

“We hoped that a statement from the world’s largest professional…


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Making Connections Within Text: A Review of Anaphor Resolution

In order to be a successful reader, one needs to not only be able to identify individual words, but also to create an ongoing representation of the events described throughout a text. One way this continuity is accomplished is though anaphor resolution. An anaphor is the word that refers to something that was previously introduced within the text. Take the following example:

The word “vehicle” is the anaphor used to refer to the previously mentioned “truck” in the text. The word “truck” is termed the antecedent, while the one or two words following the anaphor (the word “because,” in this example) is termed the postanaphor…


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Replication Effort Finds No Evidence That Grammatical Aspect Affects Perceived Intent

A multi-lab replication project found no evidence that the verb form used to describe a crime influences the way people judge criminal intent, in contrast to previously published findings. The Registered Replication Report (RRR), published in the January 2016 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, synthesizes the results from 12 independent replication attempts.

In 2011, William Hart and Dolores Albarracín published a striking study in Psychological Science examining how the verb aspect in which a passage is written affects how that passage is interpreted. In one of their experiments, subjects read a passage describing the shooting of one man by another man after a gambling disagreement. One version of the passage was written in a form called the imperfective aspect (Westmoreland was firing gun shots), and the other passage was written in the perfective aspect (Westmoreland fired gun shots).



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