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Volume 23, Issue6July/August, 2010

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Visual Search Gets Real

Moving Visual Research Out of the Lab and Into Real-World Settings It might not seem like it when you are looking for those missing car keys (for the third time this week), but humans are adept at visual searching. Our attention processes zero in on likely candidates while collecting only More

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A Moveable Feast

How the Mind Perceives Taste You might call the Presidential Symposium at the APS 22nd Annual Convention a three-course meal. As an appetizer, the audience ate lemons and strawberries as part of a test on flavor enhancement. For a main dish, an entrée of experts, from research psychologists to food More

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Who Says Self-Control Is a Good Thing?

The fundamental goal of human life is the same now as it was during the Stone Age — survive and reproduce. Easy enough, right? Wait, not so fast. As APS Fellow Todd Heatherton demonstrated in his address at the 22nd Annual APS Convention, “Giving in to Temptation: The Neural Basis More

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Word to Your Mother

Eating Habits Form in Early Childhood — Even in the Womb They say a mother’s duty never ends, and according to Julie Mennella, Bring the Family Speaker at the APS Annual Convention, this ceaseless task list should include training a child to appreciate a healthy diet — a job that More

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Psychology and Education

Psychologists should take charge of efforts to reform the failing American education system. That was the bold proposal at the heart of the APS David Myers Distinguished Lecture on the Science and Craft of Teaching Psychology delivered by APS Fellow and Charter Member Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., Texas A&M University More

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Sometimes Indirect Speech Is the Most Direct Course of Action

Imagine you’re at the hottest restaurant in Manhattan on a Saturday night. It’s crowded and there’s a long line of people waiting. Few of us, no matter how hungry we are, would directly come out and offer the maitre d’ $20 for a table. However, we may be more willing More

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Is Clinical Psychology Broken?

The distinguished panelists gathered for “The Future of Clinical Psychology,” a special event at the APS 22nd Annual Convention, agreed on one thing: People in the United States can be getting better mental health care. Everything else proved fair game for lively debate. The event grew out of controversy sparked More

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The Guide for Getting Risky

“Creatures inveterately wrong in their judgments and subsequent decisions have a pathetic but praise-worthy tendency to die before reproducing their kind.” – Willard Van Orman Quine (1969) I was hoping to slink into the ballroom at the Sheraton Boston hotel unnoticed to catch the first theme program of the APS More

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Can I Take That Back? The Study of Impulsivity

It doesn’t matter that you know better. It doesn’t matter that you’re aware of the consequences and will regret them later. At some point, your carefully disciplined sense of control will collapse — whether it means a scoop of ice cream for dessert turns into the entire pint, “just a More

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What’s Love Got to Do With It?

All we need is love. Can’t help fallin’ in love. Can you feel the love tonight? I will always love you. And so forth. Sure, it sells CDs (and books and flowers and movie tickets to cheesy romantic comedies), but really, what does love have to do with it? It More

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The Social Implications of Preschool Education and Learning Styles

What do preschool education and learning styles have in common? Both would seem to be cornerstones of any comprehensive educational agenda. Yet the presenters at the APS 22nd Annual Convention’s Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI) Symposium argued that the complex issues surrounding each topic suggest the need for More

Hazardous Thinking

Much of the attention given to risky behavior focuses on affect — how that drink or cigarette will make one feel. But what about cognition? Cognitive processes like prediction, planning, reasoning, and memory also play a role in risky decision making. Several researchers presented the latest research on these cognitive More

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How Psychological Science Can Make a Difference

The tobacco industry has been taking advantage of psychology and the power of persuasion to make a killing (no pun intended) on the suggestible human mind. The Marlboro Man, Joe Camel, and Virginia Slims are just a few of the household cigarette brands associated with positive, glamorous images. “Tobacco companies More

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Under Pressure: Stress and Decision Making

A common way that researchers induce stress in study volunteers is by making them give a speech. In that case, there were plenty of opportunities during the APS 22nd Annual Convention to see the stress response in action, joked Mara Mather of the University of Southern California, during her introduction More

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Sticking to the Rules

The idea that people are either conscious of something or they’re not seems like common sense. However, research into the development of the prefrontal cortex — the area of the brain responsible for executive function — shows that this assumption is not necessarily true. APS Fellow Philip Zelazo, from the More

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More Than Meets the Eye

Want someone to like you? Here’s a hint: Crank up the temperature in the room. While most human emotional expressions are communicated via facial expressions and body language, research presented during the symposium “More Than Meets the Eye: Hidden Signals and Social Communication” shows that in addition to verbal and More

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Inside the Psychologist’s Studio: Linda Bartoshuk

In a wide-ranging conversation, Linda Bartoshuk, renowned taste researcher now at the University of Florida, shared stories from her life and her rise to scientific prominence at the annual “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio” event at the APS 22nd Annual Convention. Interviewed by social psychologist and author Carol Tavris, Bartoshuk talked More

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Understanding the Interactions Between Emotion and Cognition

What is the relationship between feeling and thinking — that is, between emotional processes and cognitive processes? How does this relationship affect how we attend to the world and how we govern our impulses? Participants in the symposium “Emotion-Cognition Interactions: Implications for Attentional Processes and Self-Regulation” at the APS 22nd More

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Aging and Memory: The Glass Is Half Full

In our youth-obsessed society, we see old age as a disease that deprives us of our physical vigor and mental faculties, reducing us to addled, forgetful creatures living in the past. To some extent, this stereotype is based on a paradox of old age: We can remember things that happened More

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Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology

The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP) was founded in 1960 to encourage the development of psychological theory and knowledge in the context of multivariate designs, multivariate statistical analysis, and multivariate quantitative methodology.  Its members include specialists in statistics, psychometrics, and methodology as well as psychological researchers of personality, development More

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Cognitive and Brain Consequences of Learning in the Arts

Will playing Chopin to your baby in the womb help her get into Harvard? Does teaching your child to paint improve his chances of becoming a latter-day Leonardo da Vinci, capable of mastering art and science? There are many claims that learning to play a musical instrument improves your mathematical More

Student Events at the 22nd Annual APS Convention

APS Student Caucus Convention Kickoff and Student Social Jeremy Ashton Houska, Chair The nearly 300 attendees at this year’s APSSC Convention Kickoff and Student Social enjoyed complimentary food and beverages provided by APS. Students connected with like-minded colleagues by wearing their research area stickers with pride, and some lucky students More

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Evolving From a ‘Knowledge Economy’ to a ‘Creativity Economy’

Traditionally, creativity has been most often associated with the arts. In some circles, it can even have a negative connotation (think “creative accounting” — Google Enron for details).  However, business organizations actually depend on creativity and, as discussed in “Future Directions in Applied Psychological Research on Creativity,” an invited symposium More

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Childhood Trauma and Depression

Children who experience early-life stress and abuse are at risk of a wide spectrum of later disorders and symptoms, including depression. More