image description
192006Volume 19, Issue12December 2006

Presidential Column

Morton Ann Gernsbacher
Morton Ann Gernsbacher
University of Wisconsin, Madison
APS President 2006 - 2007
All columns

In this Issue:
Opting Out

About the Observer

The Observer is the online magazine of the Association for Psychological Science and covers matters affecting the research, academic, and applied disciplines of psychology. The magazine reports on issues of interest to psychologist scientists worldwide and disseminates information about the activities, policies, and scientific values of APS.

APS members receive a monthly Observer newsletter that covers the latest content in the magazine. Members also may access the online archive of Observer articles going back to 1988.

Read more

Latest Under the Cortex Podcast

Trending Topics >

  • Thumbnail Image for Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disasters like Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut draw massive media coverage, trauma interventions, and financial donations to victims. But psychological research shows the efforts don’t always yield the intended benefits.


  • The first round of grants from the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science has been awarded to a diverse set of projects aimed at strengthening the teaching enterprise in psychology in the United States and abroad.  The six inaugural projects range in focus from local to global, and from providing basic resources to psychology educators abroad to helping launch new regional teaching conferences in the United States. 

Up Front

  • Opting Out

    APS President Morton Ann Gernsbacher, University of Wisconsin-Madison I have a 10-year-old son, who knows other 10-year-old kids, so over the years my family has bought its share of beef sticks from the Boy Scouts, wrapping paper from the Madison Youth Choir, light bulbs from the Sun Rise Ridge Soccer team, and of course my all-time favorite: Thin Mint cookies from the Girl Scouts. Our contribution to the livelihood of these fine organizations used to be solicited in the following way: The fundraising youth would show up at our front door, with his or her parent in tow, usually on a Saturday morning, but always at a respectable hour (even for my nocturnal family).

First Person

  • What My Students Taught Me: Early Teaching Experiences

    The first time I stepped into my classroom, I thought: “I am going to faint.” I had already given a few lectures in some of my professors’ classes, but this time the floor was all mine. As I watched the students take their seats, take out their notebooks, and chat with each other, I realized it fell on my shoulders to take what I had learned only a few years, even a few months ago, and share that knowledge with them. Yet I had spent months preparing for this class on the psychology of interpersonal relationships, a field closely related to my research and clinical practice. I was on my own playing field, so why did it suddenly feel so awkward to face these expectant faces? Although graduate students have accumulated a wealth of information over their years of training, it does not necessarily mean that they have been taught how to share that information with other students.

More From This Issue

  • NIH To Enhance Interdisciplinary Research with Behavioral a Science

    One of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) leading initiatives is the Roadmap for Medical Research, which is designed to promote trans-NIH research.  In an era of tightening budgets, the Roadmap is one of the more conspicuous areas of growth.  In fiscal year 2006, the budget for Roadmap was 1.2 percent ($329 million, out of $28.2 billion) of the entire NIH budget but funding over the next few years could reach as high as 10 percent.

  • Growing Old or Living Long

    Aging. To many people it’s wrinkles, retirement communities, and a steady decline in the ability to remember things. But before you reach for the Botox or buy a sports car, you might be interested in research by APS Fellow and Charter Member Laura Carstensen, Stanford University. In her recent lecture, “Growing Old or Living Long: Take Your Pick,” this year’s Henry and Bryna David Lecture at the National Academies of Sciences, Carsenten presented evidence that the future is not so grim. Aging is an undeniable issue in today’s developed nations.

  • Risky Business: The Surprising ‘Rationality’ of Adolescents

    Is it a good idea to swim with sharks? Is it smart to drink a bottle of Drano? What about setting your hair on fire — is that a good thing to do? People of all ages are able to give the correct answer (it’s “no,” in case you were wondering) to each of these questions. But adolescents take just a little bit longer (about 170 milliseconds longer, to be exact) to arrive at the right answer than adults do. That split second may contain a world of insight into how adolescents tick — and how they tick differently from adults. A major new report by Valerie F.

  • Woman sleeping in bed

    The Science of Sleep: Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

    As the popularity of pharmaceutical sleep aids increases, more insomniacs are turning to their doctors for prescriptions and quick-fix solutions. However, in a talk at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), APS Board Member Richard

  • Lipsitt Honored in Athens and Kyoto

    APS Fellow and former Board Member Lewis Lipsitt, Professor Emeritus at Brown University, received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Athens, Greece, this November for his work in the psychology of infant behavior and development.  Lipsitt told the Observer that the award recognized, “the work of my colleagues and myself on learning and memory processes of infants, language development, and risk factors in early infancy.” He said he accepted the award in honor of the “century-long investment by Brown University in developmental studies” and as a tribute to his accomplished predecessors who paved the way for the advancement of child development research.