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Volume 24, Issue3March, 2011

Why do you teach the way you do? As psychological scientists, we are trained to use high-quality evidence when making decisions. You might overhear me telling my students: “Today we are going to use a jigsaw technique, in which each of you teach a portion of the material to each More


One of the themes of my work this year has been to encourage psychological scientists to actively engage in improving the public understanding of our science. On one end of the spectrum is the APS Wikipedia Initiative, which we’ve launched in order to improve the quality of information about psychological More


In January, President Obama presented APS Fellows Julio Ramirez and Marigold Linton with Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. They were recognized for their outstanding contributions and effort in enhancing opportunities for participation by typically underrepresented individuals (women, minorities, and persons with disabilities) in science, technology More


We all have our lucky charms. Whether it’s a four leaf clover, rabbit’s foot, or that “lucky” T-shirt we can’t seem to part with, our charms are with us in times of need. Superstitions may seem like irrational hocus-pocus, but a study published in Psychological Science found that having a More

Psychological interventions to treat mental health issues have developed remarkably in the past few decades. Yet this progress often neglects a central goal—namely, to reduce the burden of mental illness and related conditions. The need for psychological services is enormous, and only a small proportion of individuals in need actually More


Wouldn’t life be easy if everything happened as we anticipated? Luckily we have the orbitofrontal cortex, the area of the brain that adapts to the unexpected to make and monitor predictions about the world. Patients with damage to this area confuse memories with reality and continue to anticipate events that More

The University of Texas Limerick Committee article reminded me of our graduate student double-dactyl committee in the 1960s at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Here is the one that has never left my memory: Higgeldy Piggeldy, David A. Eckerman, Neobehaviorist, Couldn’t go wrong. Faced with the problem More

Crankiness is a widespread phenomenon among academics. Some might even see it as distinctive of the trade, similar to absent-mindedness, obliviousness, and other clichéd mental traits. However, it usually is the crankiness of professors that potentially drives deans, chancellors, fellow professors, and students crazy. It costs time, nerves, money, and More


New Years has come and gone. For many of us, so have our diet resolutions. Each year people turn to weight loss programs to drop the unwanted pounds. As director of the Obesity and Eating Disorders Research Program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, my graduate students, staff and I are More


David Peter McCabe, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Colorado State University, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on January 11, 2011. His death is a great loss to his family, friends, and colleagues, and also to the field of psychological science. Dave has left a lasting impression on us all and More


APS Fellow Andrew Baum died on November 22, 2010 at the age of 62. Baum was a distinguished professor and researcher at The University of Texas Arlington’s Department of Psychology where he made pioneering contributions to the field of health psychology, particularly in behavioral medicine, oncology, and cancer control. Before More

The online magazine Slate has a largely political audience, so last May when it showed readers a picture of Barack Obama shaking hands with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a United Nations conference, many were familiar with the momentous occasion. In the image, a straight-faced and upright Obama receives the hand of More


Years ago, in the early days of what’s now known as behavioral economics, researchers began to recognize that people often made decisions rational economic theory failed to predict. Many of these decisions were characterized by extremely negative responses to loss. When a person possessed an item, for instance, he demanded More

As graduate students, we are indoctrinated to value those three little words: research, teaching, and service. Not the words you had in mind? Welcome to graduate school. Though most of us get plenty of research experience and numerous opportunities for service, teaching experiences may not be as easily available. Given More

In 1992, a team at the University of Parma, Italy discovered what have been termed “mirror neurons” in macaque monkeys: cells that fire both when the monkey took an action (like holding a banana) and saw it performed (when a man held a banana). Giacomo Rizzolati, the celebrated discoverer, will More