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Report Demonstrates Need for Improved Reproducibility in Psychological Science

Over the last several years, psychological scientists have become especially concerned about the reproducibility of studies in the field. Do peer-reviewed publications hold up under scientific scrutiny? Or are some papers that get published just lucky flukes? Until recently, researchers have relied only on intuition to estimate reproducibility. A new report published in Science, however, attempts to provide the first empirical estimate of the reproducibility of psychological science. According to this report, less than half of the psychology studies from a sample of 100 replicated.

The report, coordinated by APS Fellow Brian Nosek (University of Virginia) and the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, VA, involved recruiting over 270 researchers who attempted to reproduce 100 findings published in psychology journals in 2008.

This is an illustration of a magnifying glass.Just because a study was not replicated does not…


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Developing Electrophysiology Training Resources

Cindy M. Bukach of the University of Richmond noticed a problem: The field of cognitive neuroscience relies on costly and complicated neuroimaging methodologies, creating a barrier to entry for undergraduates. An exception is the electroencephalography/event-related potential (EEG/ERP) technique, which offers inexpensive and accessible methodologies for investigating cortical dynamics during human cognition. There are relatively few EEG/ERP research labs at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) due to demanding faculty teaching and service commitments and lack of training resources and technical support.

With support from the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, Bukach set out to develop and test a sample ERP course module complete with pedagogical slides, instructional videos, and sample data, with the larger goal of developing a full, hands-on ERP curriculum that would be especially beneficial to students at PUIs.

In June 2014 Bukach and her colleagues…


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Concentration Ability May Get Better With Age

This is a photo of an adult and child playing a game of chess.Like a barrel-aged whiskey or a ripening cheese, some things improve with maturity – including some cognitive abilities, new research shows. While many visual and cognitive abilities seem to peak in early adulthood and decline thereafter, findings from researchers at VA Boston Healthcare System and Harvard University indicate that a person’s ability to sustain attention seems to be get better over time, reaching its peak around age 43.

The study was led by researchers Francesca Fortenbaugh, Joe DeGutis, and Michael Esterman at the Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

“While younger adults may excel in the speed and flexibility of information processing, adults approaching their mid-years may have the greatest capacity to remain focused,” DeGutis said in a statement from the VA…


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Current Directions in Psychological Science

Current Directions in Psychological Science: Volume 24, Number 4

Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes reviews by leading experts covering all of scientific psychology and its applications.

Successful Psychopathy: A Scientific Status Report Scott O. Lilienfeld, Ashely L. Watts, and Sarah Francis Smith

The Fourth Law of Behavior Genetics Christopher F. Chabris, James J. Lee, David Cesarini, Daniel J. Benjamin, and David I. Laibson

Conflicts as Aversive Signals for Control Adaptation Gesine Dreisbach and Rico Fischer

Out of Control: Identifying the Role of Self-Control Strength in Family Violence Catrin Finkenauer, Asuman Buyukcan-Tetik, Roy F. Baumeister, Kim Schoemaker, Meike Bartels, and Kathleen D. Vohs

How Concentration Shields Against Distraction Patrik Sörqvist and John E. Marsh

Retrieval-Induced Forgetting and Context Tanya R. Jonker, Paul Seli, and Colin M.…


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First Latin American Congress for the Advancement of Psychological Science

This event was supported by the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, which invites applications for nonrenewable grants of up to $5,000 to launch new, educational projects in psychological science. Proposals are due October 1 and March 1.


Members of the CLACIP organizing committee

At a first-of-its-kind meeting, scientists based in Latin America and beyond shared research and training as well as media and public policy strategies. The APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science provided partial support for this First Latin American Congress for the Advancement of Psychological Science (CLACIP), held in October 2014 at the Inter-American University in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The CLACIP 2014 brought together 766 participants from more than 15 countries in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Many international experts were in attendance,…


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