Firm Foundations

What are the most replicated findings in psychological science? Researchers offer their picks.

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Volume 31, Issue1January 2018

Presidential Column

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

In this Issue:
Pursuing Questions at the Heart of Identity

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 the Observer newsletter and may access the online archive going back to 1988.

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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


  • From word association to brain imaging, scientists have taken a variety of approaches to studying the human brain’s imperfect reproductions of the past, APS William James Fellow Daniel L. Schacter says.

  • Observing someone else in anguish can evoke a deep sense of distress and sadness — almost as if it’s happening to us. APS Fellow Ying-yi Hong and other scientists identify some of the regions of the brain responsible for this sense of interconnectedness.

  • APS Past Board Member Jennifer Richeson talks with APS President Suparna Rajaram about the factors that led her into a career studying topics such as inequality, discrimination, race, class, and gender identity.

Up Front


  • Pursuing Questions at the Heart of Identity

    I was thrilled that APS Past Board Member Jennifer Richeson agreed to deliver the Bring the Family Address at the 30th APS Annual Convention in San Francisco. Jennifer, the Philip R. Allen Professor of Psychology at Yale University, is one of the foremost researchers on the many psychological phenomena pertinent to cultural diversity. A Guggenheim Fellow and MacArthur Genius Fellow, she is perhaps best known for her work showing how actual and perceived increases in racial and ethnic diversity can yield both more egalitarian and more exclusionary racial attitudes.

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


  • APS Student Caucus: Serving Student Members for 3 Decades

    There is much to celebrate about the past 30 years of APS, an organization founded to advance the science of psychology. And that includes a key part of the APS membership — students. From its inception in 1988, APS has boasted a large student base. Of its 30,000 members, more than 13,000 are students. Like APS itself, the APS Student Caucus (APSSC) came from humble beginnings but has grown to serve the needs of students through funding, programming, and career-development opportunities. History of the APSSC When APS was founded in 1988, membership grew quickly; after 6 months, more than one third of members were students. In 1989, a group of students at the Second Annual APS Convention established what we now know as the APSSC, with an understanding that serving students would be key to the success of APS.

More From This Issue


  • Sternberg Receives Grawemeyer Award for Intelligence Research

    APS William James Fellow Robert J. Sternberg has won the 2018 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology for his research on intelligence and education. Sternberg, a professor of human development at Cornell University and editor of Perspectives in Psychological Science, is known for his triarchic theory of intelligence, which suggests that intelligence, often narrowly defined through IQ, has analytical, creative, and contextual components.

  • Psychological Scientists Celebrate Thaler at Nobel Ceremony

    University of Chicago economist Richard H. Thaler, whose work has roots in the groundbreaking research of APS William James Fellows Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on December 10 from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Thaler collaborated extensively with Kahneman, who himself received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, as well as with Tversky, who passed away in 1996, to show that irrational decision-making stems from a human tendency toward certain cognitive biases. His findings have inspired many governments and organizations to inject more behavioral research and economics into policymaking.

  • Podcasting a Wide Net

    Podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years: A national survey found that listening increased nearly 14% between 2014 and 2015, and approximately 67 million Americans regularly tune in to one or more shows each week. Furthermore, young adults (ages 18 to 25) are the largest podcast audience — suggesting that this format is on the rise among the next generation. This boost in popularity could be due to podcasts’ ease of use. They can be accessed through mobile devices and, unlike videos, can be consumed while engaging in other activities (e.g., driving, cooking, working). Podcasts, therefore, may be the ideal way to communicate science to a large audience.

  • Exploring the Minutiae of Memory

    From word association to brain imaging, scientists have taken a variety of approaches to studying the human brain’s imperfect reproductions of the past, APS William James Fellow Daniel L. Schacter says.

  • If Neuroscience Needs Behavior, What Does Behavioral Science Need?

    “Neuroscience needs behavior.” That’s the remarkably direct title of a recent article in Neuron by Krakauer, Ghazanfar, Gomez-Marin, MacIver, and Poeppel. For most psychological scientists, the article’s message probably seems uncontroversial and obviously true. But the journal’s primary audience, the neuroscience community, instantly began to debate the Krakauer et al. perspective in various venues, such as on Twitter and in journal clubs. This disciplinary disconnect has important implications for the pace of discovery and reliability of science, and for that reason alone we should work to overcome it.

  • ‘I Feel Your Pain’: The Neuroscience of Empathy

    Observing someone else in anguish can evoke a deep sense of distress and sadness — almost as if it’s happening to us. APS Fellow Ying-yi Hong and other scientists identify some of the regions of the brain responsible for this sense of interconnectedness.

  • Back Page: Playing to Chronotype

    Psychological scientist Royette Tavernier is staying closely tuned to her natural sleep-wake preferences to build a career investigating links between sleep and psychological and physical outcomes.