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Volume 25, Issue6July/August, 2012
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Volume 25, Issue6July/August, 2012

Inside the Psychologist’s Studio: Brenda Milner

Brenda Milner, a pioneer of memory and language science, sat down with Carol A. Tavris at the 24th APS Annual Convention in the “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio” session. This extraordinary 93-year old was described by Tavris as “one of our greatest psychological scientists.” “Her life work has greatly expanded our More

Race Masks Health-Disparity Complexity

There are considerable health disparities in American society that seem to be tied to race. White people, for instance, live many years longer on average than African Americans. In his keynote address at the 24th APS Annual Convention, James S. Jackson of the University of Michigan, who is African American More

The Roots of Religious Behavior

In the beginning of the 20th century, William James delivered a series of lectures that eventually became The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. In it, James grappled with notions of the value of religion in relation to science and argued that religious belief was a basic More

“Who Owns Science?” Scientists From Diverse Perspectives Answer

APS President Douglas L. Medin called for “diverse perspectives” when he posed the profound three-word question, “Who owns science?” With observations from the fields of cultural anthropology, philosophy, and, yes, psychological science, he got them. In this symposium, four scholars analyzed diversity in science and explored the ways in which More

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Researchers and Rock Stars Jam All Night Long

For one night that will earn the 24th APS Annual Convention a special place in APS history, Sheraton Ballroom V was turned into a swinging club featuring the musical talents of five-time Grammy Award winning bass player Victor Wooten and a band made up of professional musicians and musically gifted More

Research — and Life — Revolves Around Context

Context matters, and Margaret Beale Spencer’s life is living proof. In her conversation with APS President Douglas L. Medin at the “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio” session, she spoke about her academic progress and how it impacted her research. Her family supported her, she said, by placing great emphasis on education More

War on Wisdom

There are many ways to do the right thing and most of them are flawed. One can meticulously adhere to rules, for example, or eagerly perform for various incentives, financial or otherwise. We can avoid the sticks and savor the carrots. And yet, as Barry Schwartz, the Dorwin Cartwright Professor More

Building Treatments on Sound Science

Two sessions in the Clinical Science Forum at the 24th APS Annual Convention explored critical issues facing clinical psychologists. In the first session, psychological scientists shared the benefits and challenges of implementing evidence-based treatments in large organizations — in this case, the military. The second session focused on education and More

Solving Music’s Mysteries

The set list for the “Music, Mind, and Brain” theme program at the 24th APS Annual Convention featured three leading behavioral scientists discussing their insights into music. Then, as something of an encore, it closed with one leading musician — bassist Victor Wooten — providing his insights into human behavior. More

How to Spot Pseudoneuroscience and Biobunk

When it comes to pseudoscience, social psychologist and writer Carol A. Tavris is a self-appointed curmudgeon. “I have spent many years lobbing hand grenades at psychobabble — that wonderful assortment of pop psych ideas that permeate our culture in spite of having no means of empirical support,” said Tavris at More

Tips for Reeling in Grants From Scientists Who Know

With tight budgets and dramatic cuts in federal funding, psychological scientists — like everyone else — are feeling the pinch. Knowing where to find funding and knowing the tricks of the grant writing trade, so to speak, gives researchers an edge in the hunt for precious federal resources. Thankfully for More

Meet Kazdin

Meet the Editor of Clinical Psychological Science

His name may not appear in bold face in a celebrity magazine, but for students and seasoned professionals alike, Alan E. Kazdin inspired some of the same awestruck reactions as the arrival of a rock star. Cameras appeared. Fans gathered. But Kazdin is a genial, accessible, modest and intellectual rock More

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A Glimpse Inside the Brains of Trauma Survivors

As psychological scientists’ understanding of traumatic events improves, so might the psychological outcomes of people who endure trauma. That hopeful thread connected the talks in the “Disaster, Response, and Recovery” theme program at the 24th APS Annual Convention. “Most people are exposed to what we consider traumatic events at least More

Scientists See Beyond Nature and Nurture

Psychology is, at its heart, an interdisciplinary science. Understanding certain phenomena often requires integrating biological, social, and behavioral constructs. The “Biological Beings in Social Context” symposium at the 24th APS Annual Convention was a chance to highlight research that crosses the boundaries between the biological and social arenas. Joan Y. More

Going Beyond Easy Solutions for ADHD

With 10 percent of American children suffering from it, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (or ADHD) is the most common behavior problem in American schools. The total estimate for the public health cost to American society is over $42 billion, which is roughly the same cost as major depressive disorder. Seven More

Papers With a Purpose: The APS Wikipedia Initiative’s First Year

Want to know what zygomaticus means? Chances are you’ll Google it, and Google will point you to Wikipedia. With 450 million unique hits, and a total of 6 billion hits every month, Wikipedia is the fifth most-popular website in the world and has been deemed the “largest collaborative project known More

Making Contacts: The Best Student Souvenir From Convention

From the beginning to the very end of the 24th Annual APS Convention in Chicago, APSSC events provided opportunity after opportunity for burgeoning psychological scientists to make connections that will shape their career for the better. Thursday night, APSSC Past-President Jessica Wong, of the University of Chicago, hosted the Student More

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Bullying Goes Digital

Researchers explore the causes and consequences of bullying that occurs through Facebook, text messages, and other digital platforms. More

The Power of Agreeableness

Michael D. Robinson thinks that figuring out why some people are agreeable can lead to interventions that help disagreeable people avoid anger, aggression, and failed relationships. Surprisingly, his research has shown that the mere presence of hostile thoughts doesn’t actually predict disagreeableness. The same video clip about a drug addict More

Why Misinformation Sticks

When false information is released, often a retraction or correction will be issue to fix the mistake. Even then, many people will still believe the false information, and despite an organization’s best efforts, the false information will continue to spread. Psychological scientists have learned that interventions such as highlighting errors More

Sin Has A Bitter Taste

When writers craft metaphors such as the “warmth of friendship,” they aren’t just making an arbitrary connection between temperature and social bonds. Behavioral scientists have shown that certain metaphors, called embodied metaphors, describe physical experiences that are connected to an individual’s thought processes. The researchers in this symposium were specifically More

Emotional Decision Making

As nice as it would be to believe that our decisions are predicated on thoughtful, rational choices, unpredictable emotions play a larger role than we might believe. In fact, a full range of unruly emotions often dominate how we make our decisions. Psychological scientists have long explored emotional influences on More

Romance Vs. STEM

For men, pursuing a career in science, technology, and engineering (or STEM) fields is viewed as compatible with being romantically desirable, while for many women, pursuing a STEM career can be viewed as incompatible. Women are earning more PhDs than ever and overt discrimination in STEM workplaces may be a More

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Fear of Pain Can Lead to Suffering

People go to great lengths to avoid pain. And that avoidance, ironically, may be a cause of chronic pain. When a person is injured, they begin to associate the injury with the activity that caused it, and they will avoid that activity, as well as other activities. In the short More

Psychological Science, Treatment, and Research in the Digital Age

In the digital age, when we have something to say we tweet, text, email, post, and blog our hearts out. Researchers have taken note and are recognizing that phone and web-based technology has the potential to be a useful research, treatment, and education tool. One may ask why researchers would More