July/August 2010

Observer Article

The Social Implications of Preschool Education and Learning Styles


What do preschool education and learning styles have in common? Both would seem to be cornerstones of any comprehensive educational agenda. Yet the presenters at the APS 22nd Annual Convention’s Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI) Symposium argued that the complex issues surrounding each topic suggest the need for closer examination.... More>

Observer Article

Hazardous Thinking

Much of the attention given to risky behavior focuses on affect — how that drink or cigarette will make one feel. But what about cognition? Cognitive processes like prediction, planning, reasoning, and memory also play a role in risky decision making. Several researchers presented the latest research on these cognitive processes in “Viewing Longstanding Issues Through Novel Lenses: Engaging Cognitive Skills in Risky Behavior,” a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored symposium at the APS 22nd Annual Convention.... More>

Observer Article

How Psychological Science Can Make a Difference


The tobacco industry has been taking advantage of psychology and the power of persuasion to make a killing (no pun intended) on the suggestible human mind. The Marlboro Man, Joe Camel, and Virginia Slims are just a few of the household cigarette brands associated with positive, glamorous images. “Tobacco companies have long appreciated the power of affect,” said APS Fellow and Charter Member Paul Slovic of Decision Research and the University of Oregon.... More>

Observer Article

Under Pressure: Stress and Decision Making


A common way that researchers induce stress in study volunteers is by making them give a speech. In that case, there were plenty of opportunities during the APS 22nd Annual Convention to see the stress response in action, joked Mara Mather of the University of Southern California, during her introduction to the symposium “How Stress Alters Decision Making.”... More>

Observer Article

Sticking to the Rules


The idea that people are either conscious of something or they’re not seems like common sense. However, research into the development of the prefrontal cortex — the area of the brain responsible for executive function — shows that this assumption is not necessarily true.... More>