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Current Directions in Psychological Science

Current Directions in Psychological Science: Volume 23, Number 6

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.

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Is Postpartum Depression a Disease of Modern Civilization? Jennifer Hahn-Holbrook and Martie Haselton

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How Does Mindfulness Training Affect Health? A Mindfulness Stress Buffering Account J. David Creswell and Emily K. Lindsay

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Embodiment in Children’s Choice: Linking Bodily Constraints With Decisional Dynamics James Rivière

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Learning to Attend Selectively: The Dual Role of Intersensory Redundancy Lorraine E. Bahrick and Robert Lickliter

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Toward a Taxonomy of Dark Personalities Delroy L. Paulhus

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Marital Quality and Health: Implications for Marriage in the 21st Century Theodore F. Robles

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The Duality of Human Nature:…

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Inside the Psychologist’s Studio: Claude Steele

Past APS Board Member Claude Steele says his social psychology research — on topics ranging from self-image to alcohol’s effects on attention — reached a new level of quality once he learned to take the perspective of the actor, not the observer.

In a newly released “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio” interview, the acclaimed scientist says adopting the subjects’ viewpoint helped him design more effective experiments.

“When you take the perspective of somebody who’s actually in a psychological situation, like a student who’s intoxicated, everything is a lot clearer, and your intuition is better informed,” Steele said in the interview.

During his interview with APS Past President Elizabeth Phelps, Steele — now executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley — talked extensively about his life and his research, which builds on his various theories of self-identity. These include:

  • Stereotype threat — the state…

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    From the Oval Office to Obscurity

    Regardless of your political leanings, you’re probably very familiar with the names Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. You probably also know that these names represent the three most recent US presidents (#44, #43, and #42, respectively). But how often do you think about Franklin Pierce? Or Benjamin Harrison? These men also occupied the Oval Office, and yet they seem to have faded into obscurity.

    In a new research report published in Science, APS Past President Henry L. Roediger, III and K. Andrew DeSoto of Washington University in St. Louis present two studies that investigate how presidents are forgotten from collective memory. As the researchers note, most studies exploring collective memory focus on how people remember significant historical events, such as the Holocaust or the attacks on 9/11. Investigating the similarities and differences in how different people recall the same event has revealed many factors that…

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    Sleep Quality and Parenting Related to Children’s Executive Function

    Different fields of study, even within the discipline of psychological science, have a tendency to be fragmented, which can hinder our understanding of complex processes such as human development. Research suggests that understanding children’s developmental well-being in particular requires an integrated awareness of how social relationships, biology, and cognition interact.

    This is a photo of a mother and father with their son.In an article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, psychological scientist Annie Bernier and colleagues from the University of Montreal summarize their latest findings on the connections between children’s sleep quality, relationships with caregivers, and executive functioning — “a set of higher-order cognitive processes that primarily serve the self-regulation of behavior and emotion.”

    The brain’s rapid growth in early childhood makes the first few years of life an especially formative time in the course of human development. Since interactions with…

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    APS Past President McGaugh Wins Grawemeyer Award

    McGaugh_JamesPsychological scientist James McGaugh, one of APS’s first presidents, has won the prestigious 2015 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology, in recognition of his seminal research on the link between emotions and memory.

    A neurobiology and behavior research professor at University of California, Irvine, McGaugh received the prize for discovering that stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol play a critical part in determining why we remember some things more vividly than others. The hormones activate the amygdala (the brain’s emotional center), which in turn regulates other brain areas that process and consolidate memories — a sequence that explains why our emotional experiences are easier to recall, he found.

    “His work has transformed the field,” said award director Woody Petry. “It has profound implications for helping us understand and treat memory disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder.”

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