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Volume 16, Issue2February 2003

Presidential Column

Susan T. Fiske
Susan T. Fiske
Princeton University
APS President 2002 - 2003
All columns

In this Issue:
An Auto Biography of APS

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.

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  • 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.’

Up Front


  • An Auto Biography of APS

    APS reminds me of VW's recently unveiled prototype that gets 239 MPG. The demo hybrid achieves this by stripped-down engineering (no unnecessary extras), superior materials (strong but not heavy), streamlined aerodynamics (no outside mirrors, just mini-cams), and fuel efficiency (converting energy normally lost). The APS focus on psychological science per se makes the Society just as lean and nice as the VW prototype. (In fact, lean and nice has been APS's unofficial motto from the beginning.) APS has no bureaucracy because it doesn't need any. Its compact size maximizes efficiency. Staff communicate seamlessly. Committees meet electronically. Consultation operates smoothly. Consensus emerges easily. Decisions occur rapidly. Its by-laws, budget, and board provide the minimum fuel needed to drive the projects APS members all hold dear: advocacy, journals, convention.

APS Spotlight


  • Reflections of a Sociological Social Psychologist

    I am a psychologist, albeit one who also functions as a sociologist. My aim in this column is to discuss some issues that can arise in pursuing a research career that crosses disciplinary boundaries. In my case, the relevant disciplines are psychology and sociology. As chair of the social psychology section of the American Sociological Association, I am planning the section's portion of ASA's annual meeting. The general title I'm using for the section's sessions is "Social Structure in Sociological Social Psychology: A Distinctive Concern." The implied distinction is between sociological social psychology and psychological social psychology. I hope this distinction will become clearer as you read on.

First Person


  • Focusing on Students: The APS Student Caucus Winter Meeting

    Over the centuries, students have led revolutions, challenged established ways of thinking, and shaped history in countless and diverse ways. In their own small way, the 2002-2003 APS Student Caucus (APSSC) Executive Committee is playing their part in the direction and development of APS by initiating innovative ideas focused on student affiliates. In November 2002, the APSSC Executive Committee met in Lopez Island, Washington for their annual winter board meeting. The two-day meeting focused on ways to increase and diversify student membership, and bridge the communication gap between student affiliates and academic members. As a result of this exchange of ideas, the APSSC is sponsoring a range of activities and providing services both in and outside the upcoming 15th Annual Convention in Atlanta (May 29-June 1, 2003) to promote and encourage student involvement in APS and APSSC.

More From This Issue


  • Animal Cognition Researchers Take Crucial Step Toward Data Sharing

    Researchers in animal cognition have just released a report on the steps they have taken over the past 20 months to move their field toward archiving and broader sharing of research data. Their pioneering work is all the more remarkable in that their willingness to be open in sharing data comes despite well-grounded concern among these scientists regarding the security of their labs and animals and the safety of their data. The researchers are hoping that their recognition of the need to overcome obstacles to data sharing will prove inspirational to other psychologists who have been reticent about data sharing despite facing much less risk.

  • James Cook University

    Named after the famous 18th century British explorer who first charted the north Queensland territorial waters, which include the Great Barrier Reef, James Cook University was established in 1970 and today serves over 12,000 students at its two main campuses in Townsville and Cairns in northern Queensland - one of the fastest growing regions of Australia. The Townsville campus is situated in the suburb of Douglas - eight miles from the city centre - on a 386 hectare setting of natural bush and parkland, whilst JCU's Cairns Campus is situated in a spectacular setting surrounded on three sides by rainforest-covered mountains.

  • Basic Research Translates To Addiction Treatment

    This is the first in a series on translational research at various NIH institutes. Basic research findings in behavior related to addiction are moving out of the research laboratory and into clinical application, thanks to a new program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Applying recent scientific advances in understanding the brain, behavior and the roots of addiction, the institute's Translational Research Branch (TRB) is attempting to close the gap between basic behavioral research and its application in clinical care.

  • What Is Translational Research?

    Call it what you will - a "golden spike," a "missing link," a "crossroads" - translational research is a critically important trend at NIH. Translational research activities are intended to bring knowledge from the lab into practice, and ideally, allow practice to influence what occurs in the laboratory.

  • This Month in APS History

    The American Psychological Society turns 15 on August 12, 2003. In celebration of this milestone, the Observer will be featuring brief notes detailing events that marked the history of the Society. Before APS, there was the Assembly for Scientific and Applied Psychology. ASAP was created soon after the American Psychological Association Council rejection of the Bardon plan, which sought to reorganize APA into two assemblies: scientific and professional practice. The organizers sought to promote the interests of scientific and academic psychology in APA.