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Volume 9, Issue2March 1996

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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Up Front

  • Behavioral Science is Key to NIDA Mission

    In 1995, the NIDA-supported "Monitoring the Future" annual survey found that the use of cigarettes and most illicit drugs had increased significantly among 8th, 10th, and 12th-graders over the previous year. At the same time, the perceived risk of drug use among high school students decreased and has been declining since 1991 . No longer can anyone deny that drug abuse remains one of the nation's greatest health problems. NIDA, as the largest organization in the world devoted to drug abuse research, recently instituted a number of changes to enhance its ability to respond to fast-changing trends in drug abuse, understand the behavioral and neurobiological underpinnings of drug abuse, develop prevention efforts, and discover better behavioral and pharmacological treatments for drug abuse and addiction.


  • Improving Your Students’ Writing: Arts and Drafts

    More and more psychology instructors are having students write multiple drafts of research papers. This process leads to better final papers and is closer to what psychologists do when they write their own scientific work. However, faculty members are often frustrated by the enormous amounts of time needed to comb through and respond to rough drafts. Likewise, students become frustrated and overwhelmed when their papers are returned with a mass of red ink, with every extraneous comma circled, and with each page littered with multiple occurrences of "AWK," as if the paper were annotated by a tropical bird. Assumptions This Teaching Tip column provides instructors with advice on how to improve the scientific writing of their students. We start with two assumptions. First, writing well is not so much a matter of correct grammar as it is a matter of expressing ideas well.