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Volume 19, Issue3March, 2006

Within the past few years, there has been a great upsurge of interest and excitement about basic and translational research in instruction and learning. Much of the credit belongs to psychologist Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst, director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), in the US Department of Education. Whitehurst More

There is a long history of eminent psychologists — Woodworth, Cattell, Thorndike, G. Stanley Hall, Skinner, Bruner, Piaget — devoted to human education. Ironically, cognitive scientists — who have perhaps the most to offer through well-researched principles of learning and memory — have, only recently, felt in position to contribute. More

The key idea underlying our research is that frequent classroom testing (and student self-testing) can greatly improve education from kindergarten through university. This is a bold claim that runs counter to current wisdom in educational circles, where many teachers and administrators decry emphasis on standardized testing in the schools and More

Students’ performance during instruction is commonly viewed as a measure of learning and a basis for evaluating and selecting instructional practices. Laboratory findings question that view: Conditions of practice that appear optimal during instruction can fail to support long-term retention and transfer of knowledge and, remarkably, conditions that introduce difficulties More

Studies going back a century and more have found that spacing learning episodes across time sometimes enhances memory. The so-called spacing effect is the topic of hundreds of articles, and one might assume that we know all we need to know about it. However, the subtitle of an article on More

With just a few clicks of the mouse, there they are: over 250 of the most historic works in the history of psychology. The site, Classics in the History of Psychology (, was developed by Christopher Green at Toronto’s York University. It is a collection of texts ranging from Bandura’s More

The inaugural issue of APS’s new journal, Perspectives on Psychological Science, arrives in mailboxes this month. This much awaited, new addition to APS’s journals will be distributed to all current APS members as a benefit of membership at no additional charge. Look for an extensive selection of articles this quarterly More

While the idea of a “favorite textbook” may be an oxymoron for students, a good one can affect more than just a grade. Spurred by a New York Times writer who claimed that no one remembered a favorite text or curriculum, John Kihlstrom (University of California, Berkeley) set about exploring More

“Just Published” announces new books by APS Members. If you have published a book within the past year, e-mail a brief description of the book to Brain Gender Melissa Hines 2005 Oxford University Press ISBN: 019518836-5 307 pages How important are biological factors, such as sex hormones, in shaping More

A team of behavioral researchers has published a study that questions the authenticity of a chapter from Lauren Slater’s book, Opening Skinner’s Box, in which the author resurrects a volatile experiment that for years damaged the public’s faith in psychiatric assessment. In the November 2005 issue of the Journal of More

Mavis Hetherington, pioneer explorer of family dynamics, is a victim of happenstance. She really wanted to write fiction, taking psychology courses only to help with characterization. Luckily for science, the Anglo Saxon course she needed wasn’t offered by the University of British Columbia the year she was to take it More

In this issue and in the May issue, APS Members will have the opportunity to learn about new work by psychologists who are bringing their research out of the laboratory and into a variety of education settings (e.g., elementary school classrooms, Web-based tutoring systems, etc.). Their work represents some of More

I was pleased to see a historically oriented piece in the January 2006 issue of the APS Observer [“William James’ Shaky Sojourn in Stanford”]. Many readers probably enjoyed learning about William James’ 1906 visit to Stanford and his various observations on the fledgling university, just 15 years old at the More

Every student hates tests, and teachers often aren’t fond of them either. A pain to study for and a pain to take, they are also time-consuming to give and to grade. No wonder then, that many college professors give tests so infrequently, sometimes just twice or three times in a More

Later this month the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s annual School for Successful Ranching will include a session on “Cow Sense — Understanding Bovine Psychology.” Fourth-generation rancher and career cowboy Joel Ham of Big Lake, Texas, will lead a session on the key to successful low-stress cattle handling. Ham More

Six months after Hurricane Katrina displaced residents of the Gulf Coast areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, relief efforts are still underway. By now, most of the thousands of faculty and students have returned to their home institutions — despite the reality that it still may be some time before they More

The APS Teaching Fund invites applications for small (up to $5,000), non-renewable grants to launch new projects that are designed to achieve any of the following: a) disseminate resources that support the effective teaching of psychology and the development of effective psychology teachers; b) facilitate communication among teachers of psychology More

The APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science has established a program of small grants for activities relating to the teaching of psychology. Robert Hendersen, Grand Valley State University, is the new chair of the steering committee that oversees the APS Teaching Fund. “When someone first begins More

In October, 2005, two things came together: 1) the APS Teaching Fund which encouraged psychologists from around the country to plan conferences on the teaching of psychology, and 2) my long held conviction that an active, hands-on approach to teaching is much more effective than the traditional lecture method. After More

How can psychology contribute to the public good? The Human Capital Initiative (HCI) report, prepared with the assistance of APS, cites an important means of doing so: helping people to improve their statistical reasoning. “The goal of learning statistical reasoning” it notes, “should be to develop better statistical ‘instincts,’ not More

It takes Malcolm Gladwell exactly one sentence into the first chapter of his book, Blink, to mention a psychologist. That’s not counting the three others he already mentioned in the book’s introduction. In Blink, Gladwell discusses the power of first impressions, so one’s attention is drawn to these early psychological More