image description
Volume 16, Issue6June 2003

Presidential Column

Susan T. Fiske
Susan T. Fiske
Princeton University
APS President 2002 - 2003
All columns

In this Issue:
Save the Hyphens

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 online and print subscriptions to the Observer, including the online archive going back to 1988. The print edition is a member-only benefit.

Looking to connect with the Observer? Visit our Contact the Editor page to discuss writing for us and our Advertising page for sponsorship opportunities. If you have questions about your subscription, please email APS@psychologicalscience.org.

Latest Under the Cortex Podcast

Trending Topics >


  • This is a photo of a piece of paper torn to reveal the phrase "uncover the facts"

    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.’

Up Front


  • Save the Hyphens

    As an assistant professor, I profited over several years from a small annual conference at Nags Head NC, sponsored by Bibb Latané, at which we presented our research in T-shirts and shorts, talked psychology over bonfires and long beach walks, and rode the cognitive revolution in (social) psychology. The dozen or so regulars at this week-long conference on a variety of social-cognitive topics followed a dozen or so regulars at a conference on a topic more traditional to social psychology, namely small groups. One year, we arrived to find the conference center's sole blackboard prominently bearing the international inscription of a circle with a diagonal slash, indicating prohibition. It was superimposed on the words: social-cognition. As a vulnerable junior colleague, I wondered if I was following the right path, working in an area that some people in my home field clearly hated.

APS Spotlight


  • Psychologists in Non-Traditional Academic Departments

    The Long Winding Road By Norm Bregman Norm Bregman is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Longwood University. Bregman received a master's in experimental psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University and a PhD in learning and memory from the University of Southern California. He served as department chair at Southeastern Louisiana University for more than 11 years, dean of arts and sciences at Henderson State University, associate provost of academic affairs at Butler University, and vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Evansville. How many of you have heard it said that, "The best job in the world is being a tenured professor?" The most fortunate of this privileged class conduct research that excites them.

First Person


  • So, You Wanna Go to Grad School?

    The triumphant day has come. After four years of hard work, you are finally getting your degree. Proud par-ents and relatives pack the aisles at graduation to see you walk across the podium in your black gown, smile, and take your diploma. After the ceremony, you decide to finally break the news... "Mom, Dad, I want to go to graduate school!" After your Mom recovers from fainting and that vein in your Dad's head gradually recedes, you try to explain to them why you are planning on going to school for another four or five or six years. "I'm just not ready to get a job yet." Wrong. "I want to be a doctor, but med school sounds way too hard." Strike two. FIGURING IT OUT Many undergraduates wonder if graduate school is the right choice for them. The answer is very clear: it depends. If you want any sort of career in academic psychology (e.g.

More From This Issue


  • One Student’s View

    It started out of politeness. The visiting professor's seminars on "behavior genetics" weren't compulsory, Michael Galsworthy recalls, "but I went out of politeness, often late and smartly dressed." That was in 1998. The London-born student was completing his undergraduate work in Nature Sciences at Cambridge University and going on job-seeking interviews at management consulting companies. Thus the "smart" clothes he'd still be wearing when he rushed into the seminars late. "I didn't even consider doing a PhD," he says, "firstly, because no one was really advertising them to us, and secondly, because I wanted to acquire a breadth of new training and learning experiences.

  • NICHD Moving Research Into Practice in Schools and Classrooms

    It's not easy getting schoolteachers to put into classroom practice the lessons that scientific research says can improve their results, and a big part of the difficulty lies not with the teachers but at the doorstep of science itself. G. Reid Lyon is in a position to know. A developmental neuropsychologist, Lyon heads the Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDB) at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He says he has "firsthand experience of the devastating effect" that poor research can have on teaching practices and teachers' trust in educational research. He learned that lesson when he taught reading to 28 third graders in the mid-1970s.

  • University of North Dakota

    The University of North Dakota (UND) is the state's oldest and largest institution of higher education. It is a major residential university, located on a 570-acre campus in Grand Forks, a community of about 45,000 on the North Dakota-Minnesota border. Grand Forks has been listed by Money Magazine as one of the most livable cities in the United States. UND offers the largest and most diversified graduate education program in the region. The University offers 170 degree programs as well as a variety of academic, social, and cultural services and activities to 10,000 students, including 1,700 graduate students, 500 professional students in law and medicine, and over 9,000 undergraduates..

  • NSF to Fund Centers on Science of Learning

    Known as the science of learning, research into how people think, learn and remember draws from a variety of perspectives across psychology, including brain and behavior, cognition, learning, memory, perception, social psychology, and development. This field is poised for a major leap forward, thanks to a new program at the National Science Foundation. NSF has announced that it will establish three or four large-scale, long-term Science of Learning Centers.

  • 4th SPSP Conference: ‘Comfortable Environment’ Open to All Practitioners

    SPSP Conference Got Start at APS Convention The first free-standing Society for Personality and Social Psychology convention was in 1991 as an affiliate meeting held in conjunction with the American Psychological Society Annual Convention in Washington, DC. "Nothing So Practical as a Good Theory," was the theme for that first meeting, a two-day pre-conference meeting before the APS Convention. Kay Deaux was SPSP president at the time, and later served as APS president from 1997-1998. The meeting was intended for students with the goal to provide concentrated contact and interaction time for social and personality psychologists, with a modest expectation of 100 people attending each year.