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Volume 21, Issue11December, 2008

For centuries, medicine has approached illness in the same way, essentially trying to discover the magic bullet that kills the bacteria or halts the growth of the tumor. This approach is rooted in the fundamental question “Why do people become ill?” Howard S. Friedman, the 2008 James McKeen Cattell Fellow More

In the early 1990s, APS Executive Director Alan Kraut sat down with the congressional Appropriations Committee to discuss the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). The Committee had expressed concern about the trend noted in a 1988 report by the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) of falling More

Much of my research program has focused on precursors of language cognition in neonates and very young infants. In the course of pursuing this topic, I have been involved in numerous international collaborations across countries, continents, and cultures.  These experiences were invaluable in shaping my understanding of the development of More

For many psychology researchers and students, finding an appropriate statistical tool for analyzing data can be challenging. Moreover, dealing with issues such as outliers and nonnormal distribution can be frustrating. Methods taught in statistic classes and textbooks (such as Student’s t-test, ANOVA F-test, Pearson’s correlation, and least squares regression) often More

Woman sitting alone in the middle of a crowd

Research shows that feeling lonely can affect both physical and mental health and it also reveals some strategies for combating these negative effects. More

Those Were the Days: Counteracting Loneliness with Nostalgia With the days getting shorter (and colder) and the holidays quickly approaching, many of us start thinking back to days gone by. All of us are struck with nostalgic feelings from time to time but a new study in Psychological Science, indicates More

If campaign rhetoric has predictive value, science will do well under the Obama administration, both in money and respectful attention by political leaders. Respect comes free and may be counted upon, given the widespread revulsion toward the Bush administration’s science bashing. But when it comes to money, a prudent strategy More

Is biology destiny? That’s the question the Institute of Medicine (IOM) set out to investigate at its annual meeting this fall in Washington, DC. In exploring the interaction of genes and environments, panelists presented a healthy dose of behavioral research, the importance of which biologists and geneticists increasingly realize they More

To experience an important psychological phenomenon, carefully follow these instructions: Pick a number between 1 and 50 and write it on a piece of paper Fold the paper in half so that you cannot see the number Hold the paper at eye level about 2 feet out from your face More

The entertaining article, “The Many Lives of Superstition” (Observer, October 2008), promotes an erroneous interpretation of superstitious behavior by attributing it to accidental pairings of a response with a reinforcing stimulus (i.e., response-reinforcer contiguity). This is the explanation of superstition proposed by Skinner (1948) to account for the idiosyncratic behavior More

In these columns, I have been discussing our “urban legends” — the often unspoken but widely shared understandings and misunderstandings about how to build a research-focused academic life in psychology. My goal is to look at how these legends, rooted in the past, may influence our various roles as journal More