image description
Volume 29, Issue10December 2016

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 APS@psychologicalscience.org.

Latest Under the Cortex Podcast

Trending Topics >


  • This is a photo of a piece of paper torn to reveal the phrase "uncover the facts"

    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


  • Psychological Science Editor in Chief D. Stephen Lindsay, Clinical Psychological Science Editor Scott O. Lilienfeld, and APS Fellow Daniel J. Simons explain the rationale for and benefits of preregistration, for researchers and for the field of psychological science at large.

  • Most students try to make studying and learning as easy and efficient as possible. But research by APS James McKeen Cattell Fellows Elizabeth L. Bjork and Robert A. Bjork shows that many commonly used learning strategies actually are counterproductive.

  • A scientist who made historic contributions to the study of memory, consciousness, and emotion is remembered for his interest in the work of young researchers and his efforts to promote their work.

Up Front


  • Women‘s Colleges and the STEM Gender Gap

    Smith College gave me the opportunity to attend the University of Geneva, Switzerland, as a 20-year-old and study with Jean Piaget, Barbel Inhelder, and Hermine Sinclair — an incredible introduction to the field of psychology, which got me hooked. Today, Smith is providing opportunities for many young women to study and practice science and is thus playing a crucial role in diversifying who conducts science. Kathleen McCartney, a developmental psychological scientist and president of Smith College, describes the college’s goals with respect to women and science, including, of course, psychological science. -APS President Susan Goldin-Meadow Numerous studies have identified a gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the United States — a gap that threatens the country’s leadership position and competitive advantage in the global economy.

Practice


  • 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”.

First Person


  • Time-Series Methods in Experimental Research

    For many experimental psychologists, the go-to methodological designs are cross-sectional. Cross-sectional studies involve measuring the relationship between some variable(s) of interest at one point in time; some common examples include single-session lab studies and online surveys (e.g., via MTurk). These designs can be useful for isolating relationships between variables, establishing conditions of convergent and discriminant validity, and utilizing samples that are statistically representative of larger populations. Nevertheless, quantitative researchers have noted that attempts to measure and analyze interindividual variation are incomplete without an accompanying account of the underlying temporal dynamics that define these processes (e.g., Molenaar, 2008; Molenaar, Huizenga, & Nesselroade, 2002).

More From This Issue


  • Books to Check Out: December 2016

    Introduction to the New Statistics: Estimation, Open Science, and Beyond by Geoff Cumming and Robert Calin-Jageman; Routledge, October 12, 2016. To submit a new book, email apsobserver@psychologicalscience.org.

  • Effect of Facial Expression on Emotional State Not Replicated in Multilab Study

    A coordinated replication effort conducted across 17 labs found no evidence that surreptitiously inducing people to smile or frown affects their emotional state. The findings of the replication project have been published as part of a Registered Replication Report (RRR) in Perspectives on Psychological Science. The RRR project, proposed by University of Amsterdam psychology researchers Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, Titia Beek, Laura Dijkhoff, and Quentin Gronau, aimed to replicate a 1988 study conducted by psychological scientists APS Fellow Fritz Strack, APS Fellow Leonard L. Martin, and Sabine Stepper.

  • Bourgeron to Share Groundbreaking Autism Research at ICPS

    One of the most significant examples of integrative science will be spotlighted at the 2017 International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS), to be held March 23–25 in Vienna, Austria. Thomas Bourgeron, the Paris-based geneticist who is

  • Spelke Awarded Heineken Prize

    APS William James Fellow Elizabeth S. Spelke, a Harvard University psychological scientist widely known for her research on the cognitive development of infants, recently received the C. L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The $200,000 prize will support Spelke’s cognitive research. Her pioneering work has demonstrated the remarkable capacity of infants to predict movement and to understand characteristics of objects that could not be derived from their experience in the world.

  • Psychological Science Explores the Minds of Dogs

    Dogs are one of the most common household pets in the world, so it’s curious that we know relatively little about their cognitive abilities when we know so much about the abilities of other types of animals, from primates to cetaceans. Over the last couple decades, researchers have been aiming to bridge this gap in scientific knowledge, investigating how our canine companions behave and what they know and why. The October 2016 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science is a special issue dedicated to exploring recent findings by psychological scientists about dog behavior and cognition.

  • APS to Launch New Research Methods and Practices Journal

    APS is launching a new journal to serve as the home for dissemination and discussion of new developments in research methodology and practices. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science will publish new types of empirical work along with articles and tutorials on research practices, methods, and conduct. An APS search committee has begun considering nominations for the Founding Editor. An explicit part of the journal’s mission is to encourage integration of methodological and analytical questions across multiple branches of psychological science.

  • Research Preregistration 101

    Psychological Science Editor in Chief D. Stephen Lindsay, Clinical Psychological Science Editor Scott O. Lilienfeld, and APS Fellow Daniel J. Simons explain the rationale for and benefits of preregistration, for researchers and for the field of psychological science at large.

  • Desirable Difficulties

    Most students try to make studying and learning as easy and efficient as possible. But research by APS James McKeen Cattell Fellows Elizabeth L. Bjork and Robert A. Bjork shows that many commonly used learning strategies actually are counterproductive.

  • APS Teaching Fund Supports ‘The Learning Scientists’

    Psychological scientist Yana Weinstein was feeling guilty one night about not doing enough to disseminate her research on learning to students — so she decided to take it to Twitter. Weinstein, an assistant professor at

  • The Role of Psychological Science in Studying Research Misconduct

    Thirty-five years ago, a congressional committee led by a young US representative by the name of Albert Gore, Jr., began investigating a growing number of cases involving misconduct in federally funded research. Over time, the exposure of these cases led to the creation of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Now, ORI is not only proactively developing programs to teach responsible research conduct but also exploring the role behavioral science can play in understanding the root causes of fabrications, falsifications, and plagiarism in reporting the results of federally backed public health research.