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332020Volume 33, Issue3March 2020

About the Observer

The Observer is the online magazine of the Association for Psychological Science and covers matters affecting the research, academic, and applied disciplines of psychology. The magazine reports on issues of interest to psychologist scientists worldwide and disseminates information about the activities, policies, and scientific values of APS.

APS members receive a monthly Observer newsletter that covers the latest content in the magazine. Members also may access the online archive of Observer articles going back to 1988.

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  • Thumbnail Image for Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disasters like Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut draw massive media coverage, trauma interventions, and financial donations to victims. But psychological research shows the efforts don’t always yield the intended benefits.


  • MIT researcher Kim Scott describes a new platform that lets developmental researchers conduct online studies for babies and children. Families participate from home, on their own computers and their own schedules.

  • Inspiration for remaking psychological science can be found by returning to our roots, suggests Lisa Feldman Barrett. Drawing from Darwin and James, could the variation that we dismiss as error actually be the phenomena of interest? [OBSERVER March 2020]

  • In an age in which most of us are accustomed to, why do we still search for research findings the old-fashioned way? Virginia Commonwealth University’s Frank A. Bosco positions metaBUS as an answer.

Up Front

  • Forward into the Past

    An advantage of being APS president is that I hear lots of opinions on the state of our science. One common refrain, particularly from people concerned with the credibility of our scientific enterprise, involves shaking up the field, or even burning it to the ground, so that a better science of psychology can emerge from the ashes. Translation: Some of our colleagues want a Kuhnian-style scientific revolution. If you share this view, this month’s president’s column is for you. To date, discussions about remaking psychological science have largely focused on how scientists behave. Best practices are important, of course, but let’s go beyond that to consider how scientists think.

Government Relations

  • Help Guide NIH Strategic Priorities in Behavioral Science

    The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), which coordinates and advances health relevant behavioral research at NIH, is preparing to develop a new strategic plan that will guide the office’s trajectory over the next five years. OBSSR has asked APS members to suggest new research directions that could advance and transform the health impact of behavioral science. To share your ideas, visit OBSSR’s crowdsourcing IdeaScale website. You can also see others’ ideas, browse and respond to comments that have already been submitted, and vote for your favorite ideas. Responses must be submitted by March 29, 2020.


  • Three Cutting-Edge Approaches to Addressing Critical Issues in Meta-Analyses

    The March issue of Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science concludes a special focus on multilevel modeling and meta-analysis begun in the September issue, and includes three articles exploring novel approaches to enhancing the rigor of meta-analyses. In Advancing Meta-Analysis With Knowledge-Management Platforms: Using metaBUS in Psychology, Frank Bosco (Virginia Commonwealth University), James G. Field (West Virginia University), Kai R. Larsen (University ofColorado Boulder), Yingyi Chang (Virginia Commonwealth University), and Krista Uggerslev (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) introduce an online interactive tool that enables researchers to search from more than a million research results and obtain instant meta-analytical data. MetaBUS relies on standards-based protocols in combination with human coding to organize and provide an accessible database of research findings, offering the potential to advance research and education in psychological science, the researchers say. In Enriching Meta-Analytic Models of Summary Data: A Thought Experiment and Case Study, Blakeley B.

First Person

More From This Issue

  • APS Fellows Carey, Aslin Receive NAS Atkinson Prize

    The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has awarded the 2020 Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences to APS William James Award Fellow Susan Elizabeth Carey for revolutionizing the study of the origins of cognition and to APS Fellow Richard N. Aslin for his groundbreaking contributions to understanding infant learning and development. The Atkinson Prize is named for APS William James Fellow Richard C.

  • Much More Online

    Articles featured include pieces on how web-based technology is revolutionizing data collection, the science of goals, and improving study accessibility for participants with disabilities.