image description
Volume 17, Issue8August 2004

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 the Observer newsletter and may access the online archive going back to 1988.

Looking to connect with the Observer? Visit the About page to learn about writing for us, advertising, reprints, and more. We’d love to hear from you. If you have questions about your subscription, please email

Latest Under the Cortex Podcast

Trending Topics >

APS Spotlight

  • Invited Symposium: Meet the Amygdala

    A More Social View of the Human Amygdala Paul Whalen, chair University of Wisconsin-Madison Presenters Elizabeth A. Phelps New York University Andrea Heberlein University of Pennsylvania/ Chidren's Hospital of Philadelphia William Kelley Dartmouth College Studies of the amygdala region of the brain have traditionally focused on its critical role in fear conditioning using animal populations. Recent research extends these findings to the social realm in humans. In the symposium, “More Social View of the Human Amygdala,” examples of this innovative work was presented by Elizabeth Phelps, Andrea Heberlein, William Kelley, and Paul Whalen.

  • Invited Address: The Findings on Child Care

    Is Child Care a Threat to the Cognitive and Social Development of Children? Results From the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development Sarah Friedman National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Day care can cool a child's affection” ( The Daily Telegraph , 4/1997); “Day care can distance mother and child” ( USA Today , 11/1999); “Day care linked to child aggression.” ( The New York Times , 4/2001). These alarming headlines are just few of the examples Sarah Friedman, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, used to illustrate a great importance of empirically addressing the public's continued concern: Is child care a threat to healthy development?

  • Student Program

    Competition Recognizes Student Researchers By Michele Borynski APSSC President The four winners of the annual Student Research Competition presented their research in a new symposium format. The competition allows students to submit their scholarly work for review by a panel of their peers. The goal of the SRC is to promote and acknowledge outstanding research conducted by APS Student Affiliates. Historically, winners of the SRC have displayed their work in a poster presentation, with ribbons to denote their award-winning research. Three graduate student winners and one undergraduate student winner were selected from a pool of more than 300 submissions.

  • Invited Symposium: The Birds and the Beings

    Symposium chair James R. Roney examined nonhuman sexual behavior as a way to gain insight into human sexuality. Evolutionary Approaches to Human Sexuality James R. Roney, Chair The University of Chicago Presenters Martie G. Haselton University of California, Los Angeles Steve Gangestad University of New Mexico David Schmitt Bradley University The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men; for thus sings he, “Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo”: Oh word of fear, Unpleasing to a married ear!

  • Invited Symposium: The Way We Were — Maybe

    Biases in Autobiographical, Interpersonal, and Social Memories Anne E. Wilson, chair Wilfred Laurier University Presenters Benjamin R. Karney University of Florida Richard P. Eibach Yale University John J. Skowronski Northern Illinois University According to a popular maxim, those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it. But what about people who remember it but not exactly as it happened? During the invited symposium “Biases in Autobiographical, Interpersonal, and Social Memories,” a panel of researchers discussed why people tend to revise history and what happens as a result.

  • Invited Symposium: A Team Apart

    Emerging Theoretical and Empirical Approaches Used in Team Research C. Shawn Burke and Eduardo Salas, co-chairs University of Central Florida Presenters Stephen M. Fiore University of Central Florida Nancy J. Cooke Arizona State University Stephen J. Zaccaro George Mason University Barbara A. Fritzche University of Central Florida Chicago is a city defined by team effectiveness. The 1980s Bears, 1990s Bulls, and the Cubs of late have thrilled and shaped the APS 16 th Annual Convention's host city with their collaborative approaches and resulting successes. Presenters C.

  • Invited Symposium: Emotion and Psychopathology

    Emotion and Psychopathology Ann M. Kring, chair University of California, Berkeley Presenters Sheri Johnson University of Miami Jon Rottenberg University of South Florida Jon Kassel University of Illinois-Chicago James J. Gross, discussant Stanford University Some of the most meaningful research in psychological science can be translated to benefit real-world problems. The APS Annual Convention symposium “Emotion and Psychopathology” highlighted examples of how basic research from affective science can be applied to the study of psychopathology. This symposium featured presentations by four distinguished researchers, Ann M.

  • Psi Chi Address: Accentuate the Positive

    Positive Psychology and the Pursuit of Happiness David G. Myers Hope College What is positive psychology? According to APS Fellow and Charter Member David G. Myers, Hope College , it is “a psychology that is concerned not only with weakness and damage, but also with strength and virtue.” The first century of psychology was dominated by negative topics. In his address “Positive Psychology and the Scientific Pursuit of Happiness,” Myers pointed out that since 1887, articles on negative topics outnumbered positive ones by 13 to 1. Positive psychology supporters hope for more positive psychology in the 21 st century.

  • Social-Cognitive Neuroscience Hot Topic Talks: Social-Cognitive Neuroscience Talks

    Why Does Rejection Hurt? Exploring the Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Experience and Regulation of Pain Naomi I. Eisenberger University of California, Los Angeles Executive Control and Social Behavior Jennifer S. Beer University of California, Berkeley Pay Attention! Neural Explorations of Emotion and Attention Adam K. Anderson University of Toronto The Influence of Intelligence Beliefs on Attention and Learning A Neurophysiological Approach Jennifer Mangels Columbia University Social Distress Causes Physical Pain Naomi I.

  • Presidential Symposium: Biology and Behavior

    J. Michael Bailey presents research on the biological psychology of seuality during the Presidential Symposium. The New Biological Bases of Behavior Henry L. Roediger, III, chair Washington University in St. Louis Presenters J. Michael Bailey Northwestern University Julie Fiez University of Pittsburgh David Buss University of Texas at Austin For his Presidential Symposium, outgoing APS President Henry L. Roediger, III looked toward the future of psychology. What he saw was a land where brain and behavior are not mutually exclusive, where science fiction converges marvelously into science fact.

  • Invited Address: Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

    Views of Parenting Across Cultures Marc Bornstein National Institute of Child Health and Human Development If you are gathering evidence to form your own response to the nature vs. nurture question, becoming familiar with the most current cross-cultural findings is a must. Specifically, looking at child development across cultures is essential to building a strong argument. At the APS Annual Convention, Marc Bornstein, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, presented studies of parenting across cultures that provided evidence for both universal and culture specific mother-infant interactions that influence child development around the globe.

  • APS Student Caucus Symposium: Paradigms for Creating False Memories

    From left to right: Matt Gerie, Deryn Strange, Lauren French, and Melanie Takarangi, Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. All Roads Lead to Rome Four Paradigms for Creating False Memories Deryn Strange, chair Victoria University of Wellington Presenters Melanie Takarangi Victoria University of Wellington Lauren French Victoria University of Wellington Matt Gerie Victoria University of Wellington Psychological research has proven that people are able to create false memories, but what kind of factors can contribute to the creation of memories that never happened?

  • Invited Symposium: All Labs Great and Small

    "Understanding the growth and development of the psychological laboratory offers insights into the practice and perception of psychological science," said David B. Baker. The American psychology laboratory has changed in many ways from its modest beginnings in a handful of universities, becoming a major enterprise that attracts national funding and attention. “Understanding the growth and development of the psychological laboratory offers insights into the practice and perception of psychological science as well as its meaning and its value to society,” said David B. Baker, Director of the Archives of the History of American Psychology, The University of Akron.

  • Invited Address: Dream On

    Can Dream Research Find a Home in Cognitive Science? G. William Domhoff University of California, Santa Cruz Dream research left the Freudian couch decades ago. It found a temporary shelter in personality research, but was soon expelled for its lack of correlation with other personality traits under investigation. With the discovery of REM sleep in 1953, dream research moved on to the sleep lab — a seemingly perfect home. However, it turned out that the sleep lab could not accommodate dream research either. Dream research is presently looking for a new home, and G.

  • PSPI Symposium: In the Public Interest

    Richard J. McNally (top) and Craig A. Anderson discuss their reports on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Media Violence, respectively. The Each issue of the APS journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest covers a single topic in psychological science chosen for its importance to the general public. At the APS Annual Convention, Richard J. McNally, Harvard University , and Craig A. Anderson, Iowa State University, spoke about their articles in the symposium “Psychological Science in the Public Interest.” Does Early Psychological Intervention Promote Recovery From Posttraumatic Stress? The tragic events of September 11, 2001 were distressing for many Americans.

  • Bring the Family Address: A Matter of Taste

    Linda M. Bartoshuk asks "Are You a Supertaster?" during her Bring the Family Address. Bartoshuk is an APS Fellow, Charter, and former Board Member. Are You a Supertaster? How Can You Tell? What Does It Matter? Linda M. Bartoshuk Yale University Is that a PROP tab in your mouth, or are you just upset to see me? That question could have been posed to a quarter of the audience during Linda M. Bartoshuk's Bring the Family Address “Are You a Supertaster? How Can You Tell? What Does It Matter?” at the APS Annual Convention.

  • Keynote Address: Memory and Cultural Evolution

    "Our culture can be produced only by individuals who have a conscious awareness of a future existence in which they or their progeny may survive," said APS Fellow and Charter Member Endel Tulving. Memory, Consciousness, and Time Endel Tulving Rotman Research Institute and Washington University in St.