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332020Volume 33, Issue2February 2020

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.

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Latest Under the Cortex Podcast

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  • 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.


Up Front

  • A Day in the Life

    A lot happens in the day-to-day running of a scientific society like APS. Some things are visible to members: emails about next year’s convention, the Observer for your reading pleasure, and everyone’s favorite, reminders to pay your dues. Many other activities are not generally visible, however. Today, I’d like to share a peek behind the scenes, so you can see the details of one of the most difficult situations that APS has faced since I was elected President. On Monday, December 16, 2019, I had just settled in to start some much-needed scientific writing when I received an urgent email from APS Executive Director Sarah Brookhart, informing me that the Trump administration was about to release an executive order that would impact APS and other scientific societies in the country.

Government Relations

  • White House Requests Input on Data Repositories

    The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is looking to hear from the public on what characteristics make data repositories useful for managing and sharing data, and psychological scientists should consider submitting their opinions. OSTP has developed a draft document that identifies desirable characteristics of repositories for managing and sharing data resulting from federally funded research. This short list of draft characteristics addresses such issues as long-term sustainability and security of data storage, opportunity for reuse of data, and also proposes a set of special considerations for repositories that store human data. Given that many psychological scientists are at the forefront of data sharing and working with data repositories, APS encourages interested members to submit a response following the instructions here: Responses should be submitted by March 6, 2020.

APS Spotlight


  • Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science

    Edited by C. Nathan DeWall and David G. Myers Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science offers advice and guidance about teaching a particular area of research or topic covered in this peer-reviewed APS bimonthly journal, which features reviews covering all of scientific psychology and its applications. What to Do With Dirty Money? Human Strengths Amid the Challenges of Poverty What to Do With Dirty Money? By C. Nathan DeWall Tasimi, A., & Gross, J. J. (2020). The dilemma of dirty money. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29, 41-46. https://doi. org/10.1177/0963721419884315 Money is symbolic, wielding its influence largely through the power that others give it. On its own, money is meaningless, representing paper, coins, and spreadsheet information with little inherent value.

First Person

More From This Issue

  • APS Fellows Elected to SEP

    AGuggenheim Fellow and a co-founder of an influential psychological theory are among five APS Fellows newly elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP), one of the most prestigious honorary societies in scientific psychology. Founded in 1904, SEP admits about 6 new members annually from among the leading experimentalists in North America APS Fellows Diane Beck, Charles Brainerd, Steve Sloman, Joshua Greene, and Fei Xu, along with three other psychological scientists, have been selected as 2020 SEP Fellows.