Who Is That? The Study of Anonymity and Behavior

A rich body of research has suggested that people have a tendency to behave rudely and abusively when their identities are concealed, but recent studies have identified the positive features of anonymous interactions.

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Volume 31, Issue4April 2018

Presidential Column

Suparna Rajaram
Suparna Rajaram
Stony Brook University, The State University of New York
APS President 2017 - 2018
All columns

In this Issue:
On Collaborations: The Challenges

About the Observer

Published 6 times per year by the Association for Psychological Science, the Observer educates and informs on matters affecting the research, academic, and applied disciplines of psychology; promotes the scientific values of APS members; reports on issues of international interest to the psychological science community; and provides a vehicle for the dissemination on information about APS.

APS members receive online and print subscriptions to the Observer, including the online archive going back to 1988. The print edition is a member-only benefit.

Looking to connect with the Observer? Visit our Contact the Editor page to discuss writing for us and our Advertising page for sponsorship opportunities. If you have questions about your subscription, please email APS@psychologicalscience.org.

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    Myths and Misinformation

    How does misinformation spread and how do we combat it? Psychological science sheds light on the mechanisms underlying misinformation and ‘fake news.’

Featured


  • Is there room for anonymous manuscript submissions and reviews in the era of transparency in science? APS Past President Henry L. Roediger, III, provides some insights on that conundrum.

  • Civil and multilateral relations and income distribution have become the latest targets of APS Past President Susan Fiske’s acclaimed research on stereotypes. In her James McKeen Cattell Award Address, Fiske shares some of her new findings.

Up Front


  • Suparna Rajaram

    On Collaborations: The Challenges

    APS President Suparna Rajaram shares some thoughts on the challenges associated with collaborations, and continues her conversations with early investigators.

  • Anonymity in Scientific Publishing

    Is there room for anonymous manuscript submissions and reviews in the era of transparency in science? APS Past President Henry L. Roediger, III, provides some insights on that conundrum.

Practice


  • Anonymity in Scientific Publishing

    Is there room for anonymous manuscript submissions and reviews in the era of transparency in science? APS Past President Henry L. Roediger, III, provides some insights on that conundrum.

  • Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science

    Aimed at integrating cutting-edge psychological science into the classroom, Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science offers advice and how-to guidance about teaching a particular area of research or topic in psychological science that has been the focus of an article in the APS journal Current Directions in Psychological Science. Current Directions is a peer-reviewed bimonthly journal featuring reviews by leading experts covering all of scientific psychology and its applications and allowing readers to stay apprised of important developments across subfields beyond their areas of expertise. Its articles are written to be accessible to nonexperts, making them ideally suited for use in the classroom. Visit the column for supplementary components, including classroom activities and demonstrations. Visit David G. Myers at his blog “Talk Psych”. Similar to the APS Observer column, the mission of his blog is to provide weekly updates on psychological science. Myers and DeWall also coauthor a suite of introductory psychology textbooks, including Psychology (11th Ed.), Exploring Psychology (10th Ed.), and Psychology in Everyday Life (4th Ed.).

First Person


  • Going Global With Your PhD

    Research in the field of psychological science provides many opportunities for personal and professional growth. One way to take advantage of these opportunities is to study abroad, where you can find new scientific perspectives and research methods as well as improve your career options. Leaving home is about going outside of your comfort zone and broadening your horizons, allowing you to foster knowledge of a new culture — sometimes in a new language — and forcing you to think outside the box. Working toward your doctorate in another country also allows you to build an international CV, which in turn provides more opportunities for employment, scholarships, training grants, project funding, international visibility, and business collaboration in the future.

More From This Issue


  • Pioneers Honored with 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards

    APS Celebrates 2018 William James Fellow Award Recipients This year, APS is honoring pioneers in social and cognitive neuroscience alongside standard-bearers in language and development with the APS William James Fellow Award. 2018’s class of recipients includes APS Past President John T. Cacioppo and APS Fellows Jonathan Cohen, Barbara Landau, and Linda Smith. The awards, which recognize a lifetime of intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology, will be presented at the 2018 APS Annual Convention in San Francisco. Recipients will deliver award addresses at the convention.

  • The WEIRD Science of Culture, Values, and Behavior

    Values and behavior go hand in hand — while ideals often move us to action, observing the actions and expectations of others can in turn inform our ideals. Values can vary widely across cultures, however, and the question of how those values translate into behavior remains. “These are age-old questions, and yet continue to provide interest both in the general public and in the research community,” said Qi Wang, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University, during an Integrative Science Symposium at the 2017 International Convention of Psychological Science in Vienna, Austria.

  • War and Peace and Stereotypes

    Civil and multilateral relations and income distribution have become the latest targets of APS Past President Susan Fiske’s acclaimed research on stereotypes. In her James McKeen Cattell Award Address, Fiske shares some of her new findings.

  • John T. Cacioppo, 1951-2018

    APS Past President John T. Cacioppo, a cofounder of the field of social neuroscience and a 2018 recipient of the APS William James Fellow Award, died on March 5. Cacioppo, the Tiffany & Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, studied the connections between the social and neural mechanisms underlying human behavior. He investigated how societal influences and personal relationships affect cognition and emotions. Cacioppo’s research focused on understanding the neural, hormonal, and genetic mechanisms that motivate humans to interact and their effects on the mind, behavior, and health.

  • The Norms, They Are a Changin’

    When APS asked me to write a short piece on changing Norms, I must say I was taken aback. Though I have been a part of it my whole life, I have never given the group of men named Norm much thought. What can psychological science gain from studying these Norms? Needless to say, I have grown fascinated with the Norm subculture since embarking on my journey. The psychological scientific literature is full of descriptions of changing Norms, social Norms, and cultural Norms. I have only recently donned my academic hip boots and waded into these fascinating waters, but what I’ve found is sure to interest fellow Norms and non-Norms alike.

  • Competing for Attention

    Research is uncovering the various and sometimes overwhelming distractions that children face during a period when they have some of their most important learning to do.

  • Understanding the Financial Impact of Open Resources

    In 2012, dozens of psychologists banded together to create Noba, a platform for open psychology resources. When I joined Noba as senior editor, I thought the benefits of open resources would be both obvious and attractive to instructors everywhere. Instead, we were met with resistance. We encountered skepticism about quality and raised eyebrows about the cost, although all the resources are free. I realized that instructors generally did not understand the concept of “open” that well.