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The Hidden Costs of Sleep Deficits

Throughout modern history, the concept of a good night’s sleep has often been painted as almost an indulgence. Virginia Woolf referred to it as “that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.” Vladimir Nabokov called

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Volume 30, Issue10December 2017

Presidential Column

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

In this Issue:
An Unwavering Commitment to Science

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


  • Simons Dan

    Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, APS’s newest journal, will be accessible to readers from all areas of science, not just methodologists and statisticians, says Editor Daniel J. Simons.

  • What does it mean to age successfully? An interdisciplinary group of scientists share some findings from physiological and psychological perspectives.

  • APS William James Fellow Robert Sternberg said that “alphabet tests” such as the SAT may neglect creativity and wisdom in place of analytical thinking.

Up Front


  • An Unwavering Commitment to Science

    Meet Lynn Nadel, the Fred Kavli Keynote Speaker at the APS 2018 Convention APS Fellow Lynn Nadel’s scientific exploration of the hippocampus has led to groundbreaking developments in understanding how space and memory are represented in the brain. He coauthored the seminal book The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map with John O’Keefe. Together, they received the 2006 Grawemeyer Award to honor their outstanding ideas in psychology that have had broad impact. I am delighted that Lynn Nadel will deliver the Fred Kavli Keynote Address on May 24, 2018, at the 30th APS Annual Convention in San Francisco. To give students and young researchers a flavor for the professional path that one takes in building a career in psychological science, I asked Lynn — the Regent’s Professor of Psychology at the University of Arizona — about his journey through the science of spatial memory.

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


  • The Benefits of Engaging in Collaborative Research Relationships

    Collaborative working relationships have many benefits to offer, regardless of whether your career focuses on research, teaching, clinical practice, consultation, or any of the myriad other opportunities available to psychological scientists. In 1969, Donald T. Campbell proposed a model of science that highlights the benefits of collaboration. This model argued that science is most effective when researchers with expert knowledge in different areas collaborate on a project of overlapping interest. The overlap allows for common ground, while the respective areas of expertise cover a greater “surface area” of the possible knowledge brought to bear on a specific question. Whether it is across labs in your program, across areas in your department, or across disciplines, there is much to be gained by bridging the divide between isolated research silos.

More From This Issue


  • New Books: December 2017

    Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dan Ariely; Harper, November 7, 2017. Invisible Mind: Flexible Social Cognition and Dehumanization by Lasana T. Harris; MIT Press, March 10, 2017.

  • Back Page: A Conversation with Ralph Hertwig

    Behavioral scientists have made great strides convincing policymakers to embrace the concept of nudges — interventions designed to steer people’s behavior in a preferable direction while preserving their freedom of choice. But APS Fellow Ralph Hertwig, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, is proposing a second kind of intervention that he calls “boosts.” In a new article in Perspectives on Psychological Science, Hertwig and philosophy professor Till Grune-Yanoff (Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm) explain the differences between the two types of policy strategies. APS asked Hertwig about the “boost” concept.

  • Simons Dan

    AMPPS to Be a Top Resource for Research Innovations

    Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, APS’s newest journal, will be accessible to readers from all areas of science, not just methodologists and statisticians, says Editor Daniel J. Simons.

  • Fredrickson receives TANG Prize for Positivity Research

    APS Past Board Member Barbara Fredrickson has been awarded the TANG Prize for Achievements in Psychology. Fredrickson, a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is best known for her “broaden-and-build theory,” which suggests that positive emotions evolved in humans and other animals as a way of encouraging the development of beneficial traits, social bonds, and abilities.

  • From Aging to Aging Well

    What does it mean to age successfully? An interdisciplinary group of scientists share some findings from physiological and psychological perspectives.

  • National Academies Report Calls for Increased Behavioral Research Within the Weather Enterprise

    The hurricanes that pounded Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and other sites over the summer of 2017 have caused terrible loss of life and tremendous damage. Scientists recognize that hurricanes and other significant weather events—in addition to meteorology and weather forecasting more generally—have obvious connections to the earth sciences. But a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) concludes that many behavioral and social science factors are also at play in the weather enterprise—and that psychological scientists have an important responsibility to participate in weather research.

  • Powerful Tools for Designing Powerful Studies

    Why do studies fail to replicate? There are several possible explanations but a notable one is that many studies are underpowered — that is, they have sample sizes that are simply too small given the size of the effect under investigation. In an article in Psychological Science, researchers from the University of Notre Dame explain why many studies end up inadequately powered and offer open-source tools that can help researchers proactively avoid the problem. Statistical power, as psychological scientists Samantha F. Anderson, Ken Kelley, and Scott E.

  • The IQ of Smart Fools

    APS William James Fellow Robert Sternberg said that “alphabet tests” such as the SAT may neglect creativity and wisdom in place of analytical thinking.

  • Teaching Statistics in the Age of Open Science

    The benefits of open science for promoting high-quality research are clear. Preregistration of hypotheses prevents p-hacking and other questionable research practices; open materials increase the fidelity of direct and conceptual replication studies; and open data allow for greater transparency in evaluating the strength of statistical evidence in support of a particular hypothesis. An unintended, but equally beneficial, outcome of the move toward open science is that those of us who teach statistics and research methods now have the ability to incorporate open data and materials into our courses. I came to this realization about a year ago while in a moment of panic.