image description
282015Volume 28, Issue1January 2015

Presidential Column

Nancy Eisenberg
Nancy Eisenberg
Arizona State University, Tempe
APS President 2014 - 2015
All columns

In this Issue:
Contributions of Psychology to Psychiatry

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.

Up Front

  • Contributions of Psychology to Psychiatry

    In prior presidential columns published in the Observer, authors have discussed the role of psychology in relation to various disciplines in science (in terms of measures or cocitations; Cacioppo, September 2007) and the relation of psychological science to law (Kang & Dasgupta, April 2014). In this column, Adrian Angold and Jane Costello discuss the contributions of psychology to psychiatry. Historically, the relation of psychology to psychiatry has been complex and sometimes conflictual. In medical and mental health settings, when both psychologists and psychiatrists are present, psychiatrists usually have held more authority and had greater decision-making power. Yet, psychological scientists typically receive more training in research and are better trained to address applied problems with insights garnered from empirical research.


  • 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 David G. Myers and C.

First Person

  • Off the Beaten Path

    The road well traveled by psychological scientists has traditionally been academia, particularly for individuals interested in research and education. However, developments in our field, coupled with limited tenure-track opportunities, have led psychology graduates to stray from the beaten path and pursue less traditional employment options. The US Department of Education reports that in 1975, across higher-education institutions, close to 60% of faculty were in either tenured or tenure-track positions. By 2009, only 33.5% of faculty were working in tenure-track positions, with the majority not eligible for tenure (American Association of University Professors, n.d.; National Center for Education Statistics, 2014).

More From This Issue

  • Journals, Journals, Journals

    This month, APS’s flagship journal, Psychological Science, turns 25. To celebrate the journal’s silver anniversary, Sandra Scarr and James McGaugh — both APS Past Presidents who contributed to the first issue of the journal — reminisce about Psychological Science’s beginnings. See below for a reprint of the inaugural editorial from Founding Editor William K. Estes. Creating a Vision, Setting a Standard By James L. McGaugh APS Past President When we created the Association for Psychological Science more than 26 years ago, it was clear to all of the founders that several important tasks were both essential and urgent. One of those was the creation of appropriate journals.

  • Probing Emotional Mysteries

    What does every good emotion detective need? That’s the question APS Past President Robert W. Levenson posed during his Award Address as a 2014 APS William James Fellow. “Emotion is all around us, but it’s also surprisingly difficult to quantify,” Levenson said during his presentation at the 26th APS Annual Convention in San Francisco. The University of California, Berkeley, professor of psychology addressed the challenges of bringing real-world emotions into the lab. Emotional phenomena we experience every day provide some clues to help unravel the mysteries of human emotion, he said.

  • Faded Memories

    Regardless of your political leanings, you’re probably very familiar with the names Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. You probably also know that these names represent the three most recent US presidents (#44, #43, and #42, respectively). But how often do you think about Franklin Pierce? Or Benjamin Harrison? These men also occupied the Oval Office, and yet they seem to have faded into obscurity. In a new research report published in Science, APS Past President Henry L. Roediger, III and K. Andrew DeSoto of Washington University in St. Louis present two studies that investigate how presidents are forgotten from collective memory.

  • Would I Wait for More Pie?

    As a child, I honestly do not know if I would have eaten one marshmallow or waited for two during Walter Mischel’s famous delay-of-gratification test, affectionately known as the “marshmallow test.” What I do know, however, is that I love pie — pecan pie, coconut cream pie, blueberry pie, lemon chess pie, sweet potato pie, or good-old-American apple pie. Left to my own devices, I have been known to eat a whole pie, tiny sliver by tiny sliver, in one afternoon. As I read [APS Past President] Walter Mischel’s latest book, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self Control, before heading south for the holidays, I found myself craving pie.

  • Research During Feast and Famine

    With a background in developmental psychology and a variable research budget, APS Fellow Albert R. Hollenbeck has helped AARP in a variety of diet and health studies — including a project that revealed coffee’s role in longevity.

  • Smoke Signals

    More than 2.5 million Americans have died from smoking without ever having picked up a smoking habit. They just happened to live or work with someone who did. That’s according to a report from the US Office of the Surgeon General. The smoke that emanates from a lit cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including 70 known carcinogens. Secondhand smoke (SHS) disproportionately affects vulnerable populations, particularly low-income children, according to the most recent surgeon general’s report on smoking.

  • APS Past President McGaugh Wins Grawemeyer Award

    Psychological scientist James McGaugh, one of APS’s first presidents, has won the prestigious 2015 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology, in recognition of his seminal research on the link between emotions and memory. A neurobiology and behavior research professor at University of California, Irvine, McGaugh received the prize for discovering that stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol play a critical part in determining why we remember some things more vividly than others.

  • Goldin-Meadow Honored for Seminal Research on Gesture and Learning

    Past APS Board Member Susan Goldin-Meadow, who has been named a 2015 William James Fellow Award recipient, will speak about her seminal research on language, learning, and the role that gestures produced by the body play in cognition at the 27th APS Annual Convention in New York City, to be held May 21–24, 2015. Goldin-Meadow began her distinguished career studying deaf children whose hearing losses had prevented them from learning speech, and whose hearing parents had not exposed them to sign language.

  • Deary Earns Award for Pioneering Cognitive Epidemiology Work

    APS Fellow Ian J. Deary has been awarded a 2015 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for his lifetime contributions to the field of applied psychological science. Deary, professor of differential psychology at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and director of the University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, will deliver his award address at the 27th APS Annual Convention, which will be held May 21–24 in New York City.

  • Books to Check Out: January 2015

    To submit a new book, email [email protected]. The Social Psychology of Disability by Dana S. Dunn; Oxford University Press, December 10, 2014. Understanding Adolescents for Helping Professionals by Avidan Milevsky; Springer, December 15, 2014. Evolutionary Origins and Early Development of Number Processing edited by David C. Geary, Daniel B. Berch, and Kathleen Mann Koepke; Academic Press, November 14, 2014.