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Volume 16, Issue3March 2003

Presidential Column

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

In this Issue:
The Two Social Psychologies

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.

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    How does misinformation spread and how do we combat it? Psychological science sheds light on the mechanisms underlying misinformation and ‘fake news.’

Up Front


  • The Two Social Psychologies

    Continuing our series on boundary-crossing science, professor Douglas Massey, former president of the American Sociological Association and current chair of the sociology department at the University of Pennsylvania, writes about the challenges of combining micro and macro. His research on how segregation affects the lives of black and Hispanic Americans-best known in his 1993 volume American Apartheid-has continued with his current work on the experiences of minority students at elite colleges and universities, documented in The Source of the River (2003). Susan T. Fiske APS President Although a card-carrying sociologist, I actually started out in psychology. Indeed, as an undergraduate I completed all the courses required for a psychology major before I ever took my first course in sociology; and if the truth be known, I took very few of them.

First Person


  • Waking Up: Using Mindfulness Meditation in Graduate School

    For the last two years, I have been asleep. Not in the literal sense of sleeping, but in the sense of acting automatically, forever attending to the past or what would be happening in the future, but rarely paying attention to the present moment. My first "wake-up" call, or at least the first one that I listened to, was about one year ago, in the form of a serious illness that I thought was just a really bad headache. After that experience, I knew something in my life needed to change, but I was not sure what it was or how to get there. That something different showed up a few months later. This past semester, I took a mindfulness group course as part of my practicum experience. Although I was interested, I was also definitely skeptical; my previous attempts to put my clinical training into practice had not worked, so why should mindfulness meditation be effective?

More From This Issue


  • A Modern Classics Sampler

    Writing classics in psychology did not come to an abrupt end in the early 20th century. It undoubtedly continues today, although time will tell which of today's titles will emerge as tomorrow's classics. The Observer asked a handful of APS Board members which modern era textbooks had most influenced their work, and why. The envelopes, please: Social Psychology By Roger Brown, 1965 The book is "warm and engaging," filled with "apt analogies out of real life," and written in a "wonderful, pithy, engaging style that just draws the reader in," said Roberta Klatzky of Carnegie Mellon University.

  • University of Oklahoma

    University of Oklahoma Department of Psychology 455 W. Lindsey Norman, OK 73019 The department of psychology at the University of Oklahoma is one of a limited number of public graduate institutions in the United States with a strong focus on experimental psychology and advanced research methods. A distinctive characteristic of the graduate program is the superb level of methodological and quantitative training provided. The department is focused on the areas of animal behavior and cognition, cognitive, developmental, industrial/organizational, quantitative, and social/personality.

  • Classical Blunders

    Don't believe everything you read, not even in the classics, cautions Linda Bartoshuk of Yale. "The books aren't always right," says the APS Board Member. "I don't think I learned that until graduate school." At Brown University, when Harold Schlossberg, himself a co-author of a classic textbook, assigned her to report on a paper, "I had to admit to the class that I thought it was nonsense. He just smiled and said he'd never said he assigned only good papers.

  • Confessions of a Collector

    Saying that Rob Wozniak collects books on psychology is akin to saying Tiger Woods hits golf balls. The Bryn Mawr professor has more than 10,000 such books. They fill shelves that reach floor-to-ceiling along every wall of seven rooms in his home. Some of those rooms even have stacks, just like the university library. His books, in "pretty much" every European language, are neatly shelved by author. The works date from Francis Bacon's Twoo Bookes of the Proficiencie and Advancement of Learning (1605) to Clark Leonard Hull's A Behavior System (1952), and touch virtually every stepping stone in between.

  • So, You Want to Write a Textbook?

    Henry L. Roediger, III has two methodology textbooks in print, Experimental Psychology and Research Methods in Psychology, both in their seventh editions, so the APS president-elect knows a little about the do's and don'ts of textbook writing. "Most of us have taught in classrooms," says the Washington University at St. Louis professor. "We've seen what works and what doesn't work. In my own work, I ask myself: What do I really want to communicate, what are the important points? I do the same when I am lecturing: Which lectures made the students glaze over and slide under their desks, and which ones made them sit up and ask questions?" Another trick: Tell good yarns.

  • ‘Unforgettable’ Classics: Classic Psychology Texts Stand the Test of Time

    What makes a text a classic? Members of the American Psychological Society Board of Directors were asked about their favorite psychology classics. APS Members are invited to share their psychology classic nominations as well (send nominations to the Observer). William James shares much more than his first name with the likes of William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, and William Faulkner. Each wrote with a clarity of perception and elegance of style that made their words and insights persuade through the ages. They wrote the classics. And in its field, James's masterpiece, The Principles of Psychology, is indisputably "the classic of all classics," as Henry L.

  • Congress Passes ’03 Budget as Bush’s ’04 Arrives

    The White House released its budget proposal for fiscal year 2004 in early February. Problem was, Congress hadn't quite finished the 2003 budget. The situation was ameliorated when Congress approved a 2003 fiscal year omnibus spending bill on Feburary 13, and sent it to the White House for approval. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH President's Budget Comparison Fiscal Year 2003 vs.

  • NIAAA Puts Science Into Real-World Treatments

    America has a drinking problem and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is helping the scientific community do something about it. There is a great deal of knowledge gained in laboratories about the abnormal behaviors of alcohol abuse and how to treat and prevent them and the suffering they cause. NIAAA is now promoting a pair of program announcements that urge researchers to answer key questions that will help build bridges across which that knowledge can travel between the laboratory and "real world" treatment settings.