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Rise of Science Linked With Greater Attention to Cause and Effect

This is an illustration depicting a brain and various science concepts.A new study shows that as science, education, and technology have taken on prominent roles in society over the past two centuries, the frequency of cause-and-effect language used in English texts has also increased, suggesting links between culture and cognition over time.

Led by University of Michigan researcher Robert Axelrod and Rumen Iliev, a former University of Michigan postdoctoral researcher, the study builds on previous studies that link cognitive processing to cultural and societal factors. Unlike previous cross-cultural work that compared different cultures at the same point of time, this project focused on comparing the same culture at different time points.

The findings are published in Psychological Science.

Traditionally, the researchers of culture and cognition have assumed that cross-cultural differences can be traced back to ancient times, yet there has…


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Nature Wants Your Replication Data

Have you replicated, or tried to replicate, a research study and want to share the data you generated with the scientific community? APS recognizes authors of published articles who make their data publicly available with an Open Data badge. But one journal is soliciting data from unpublished replication work, too.

Scientific Data, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group, has announced a call for submissions for replication data. Psychological scientists who have collected replication data on a study that has already been published in a peer-reviewed journal are invited to submit an article for consideration for this special collection.

“Submissions should describe in detail a dataset generated while attempting to replicate a previous study,” the call says. “In most cases, the study being replicated should have been previously published in a peer-reviewed journal. Authors may submit manuscripts describing in more detail replication datasets that…


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Natural Resilience to Major Life Stressors Not So Common

This is a photo of a plant growing out of a crack in the wall.When someone goes through a rough period, say a divorce or losing a job, the common thought has been that this is a test of the person’s ability to bounce back — and most psychological studies have supported the idea of a person’s innate resilience to the struggles of life.

But new research suggests that natural resilience may not be as common as once thought and that when confronted with a major life-altering event, many people can struggle considerably and for longer periods of time.

The findings are published in the March 2016 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science. Accompanying the new study is a methodological commentary from APS Fellow George A. Bonanno, a professor of clinical psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University and Isaac…


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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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