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101997Volume 10, Issue1January 1997

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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  • 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

  • Psychology’s House of Intersecting Dialogues

    The forthcoming APS convention revolves this year about the Unity of Psychological Science. But is there, will there be, or even should there be such unity? These questions seem quite timely, for the house of psychology today is hardly the paragon of tranquil harmony. Unprecedented tensions are pulling it apart and formidable centrifugal forces threaten to decimate it, perhaps to the point of total eradication, as some skeptics presage. Both internal and external developments have conspired to create this state of affairs. The former relate to the increased specialization any mature field of science may expect to undergo.

APS Spotlight


  • Increasing Student Interest In Psychological Theories

    Attracting and maintaining students' attention when teaching them basic psychological theories is not easy. Students tend to be more interested in practical, real-world relevant topics and show little pass ion for the underlying theoretical concepts. Additionally, many students have difficulties in understanding scientific theories and theoretical questions. The Too Much and Too Heavy Syndrome The problems become apparent in two areas: perception and interpretation. Problems of the first kind include students' difficulties in identifying and stating the essence of a theory, resulting from an inability to distinguish between major and minor points. Even when the key points are identified, problems of the second kind can arise in the form of a lack of competence with a scientific point of view.

First Person

  • Making the Best of Graduate School

    [I am grateful to my advisors, Barbara and Irwin Sarason, and the faculty and my peers at the University of Washington for making sure I did what I was supposed to do. Thank you. - A.R.G.] Are you optimizing your time in graduate school? Graduate school can be and often is a rewarding experience whether you are researching or teaching or both. Beyond getting a PhD, however, there are many other tasks one has to master. The challenge is to do it all while still retaining the fascination with the topic that brought you back to school. In this article I discuss some things to keep in mind to help you succeed in your program (see also Mitchell, 1996).

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