Your source for the latest psychological research.

Taking a Dog’s-Eye View of Social Interaction

This is a photo of a dog running with a toy in its mouth.As many dog owners will likely attest, dogs appear to have pretty sophisticated social skills. Not only can they learn verbal commands, they can also follow a person’s gaze and respond to nonverbal signals, including pointing. But how do they know when a series of events constitutes a social interaction?

To find out whether dogs use contingency as a possible cue, researcher Tibor Tauzin and colleagues tested a group of 60 dogs, all family pets that were included in the Family Dog Research Database at the Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary. The sample included both purebred and mixed breed dogs, both males and females. The dogs were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: perfect contingency, high-but-imperfect contingency, and low contingency.

In each condition,…


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More Than Just Faces in a Crowd

This is an illustration of faces in a crowd.You’re in a crowded place, trying to spot the friend you were supposed to meet – how many other faces in the crowd do you think you would remember later?

Research has suggested that our capacity for such incidental memories – memories for items that aren’t relevant to the task at hand – is limited to about two to three items, but findings from a new study suggest that the number may actually be closer to seven.

The research, led by psychological scientists at Monash University in Australia, may have implications for how we think about the limitations of eyewitness recall.

“The functions of the human memory are complex. The brain processes an immeasurable amount of information every day, and thus far, it has been difficult to quantify which information is not…


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New Application Deadline Set for Participating in Replication Project

APS recently issued a call for contributors for the latest Registered Replication Report (RRR), which is focused on Dijksterhuis & van Knippenberg’s 1998 “Professor Priming” study on the effect of priming on intelligence, and the response has been overwhelming. The RRR editors have already received nearly 30 applications to contribute; consequently, they have decided to move up the deadline to apply to participate. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM EDT on Sunday, August 28th to be considered for this project.

Given the number of contributing labs already approved to participate, the editors request that only those with a specific interest in this phenomenon consider applying for the current project. Researchers interested in participating in a registered replication in general (rather than specifically this one) will have several opportunities to do so in the near future as additional RRR projects are finalized.

More information on the RRR initiative…


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What Is Preregistration, Anyway?

PAFF_051316_openpracticebadges_newsfeatureThe Editors of Psychological Science have been encouraging research psychologists to preregister their research plans before they begin collecting data (or, at least, before they see their data).

But what does preregistration actually entail?

As Psychological Science Editor in Chief D. Stephen Lindsay explains, it involves researchers specifying, in as much detail as they can, their plans for a study (number and nature of subjects, stimulus materials, procedures, measures, rules for excluding data, plans for data analysis, predictions/hypotheses, etc.) and posting those plans in a time-stamped, locked file in an online repository.

In a new statement in the Psychological Science submissions guidelines, Lindsay provides a comprehensive explanation of preregistration, and how the journal is recognizing authors who follow this open-science practice.



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Scientists Challenge Magazine Feature on Historic Brain Research

This is a photo of a magazine.A group of 200 psychological researchers and other scientists from around the globe have slammed The New York Times’ publication of a recent book excerpt that they say unfairly tarnishes the late memory researcher Suzanne Corkin, who died of cancer in May at the age of 79.

Scientists say the article, titled “The Brain That Could Not Remember” and appearing August 7 in the newspaper’s Sunday magazine, paints an unfair and inaccurate picture of Corkin and her work. The article, which was actually an excerpt from a new book, focused on Corkin’s historic research involving Henry Molaison, an amnesiac who is widely considered to be among the most famous brain patients ever studied.

Molaison, who until his death in 2008 was referred to as H.M. to protect his privacy, had lost the ability to…


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