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Volume 34, Issue2March/April 2021
Emerging Methods in Neuroscience Research
The human brain contains more than 100 billion neurons and trillions of connections. In these six articles, we explore how psychological scientists are unpacking its mysteries in research labs all over the world.

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.

APS members receive online and print subscriptions to the Observer, including the online archive going back to 1988. The print edition is a member-only benefit.

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    Myths and Misinformation

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

Featured


Up Front


  • Innovative Methods and Scientific Progress

    Shinobu Kitayama We are living in a time of unprecedented methodological innovations in psychology. Neuroscience has come onto center stage in the field. Epigenetics, an area of science that examines how environments influence genes, is no longer a mere theoretical possibility. Big data is increasingly common, which has forced rapid progress in advanced statistics. And many of us are increasingly aware of the need to sample subject populations widely and broadly, both to represent everyone around the globe in our science and, simultaneously, to enrich and improve our theories. Our time, I believe, is remarkable because of these methodological innovations. Or is it?   To explore this question, it is worth reflecting on what methodological innovations in science might do to both the field and the scientists working in it. Why are methodological innovations so essential?

Recent Research


  • Research Briefs

    Narratives Shape Cognitive Representations of Immigrants and Immigration-Policy Preferences  Joel E. Martinez, Lauren A. Feldman, Mallory J. Feldman, and Mina Cikara  Psychological Science  Different narratives about immigrants can shape public perceptions and policy preferences involving immigrants, this research suggests. Adult U.S. residents read short stories about the achievement, criminality, or struggles of German, Russian, Syrian, and Mexican male immigrants. Reading achievement stories led participants to homogenize individual immigrants’ representations, making them less based on racial differences, whereas criminality and struggle stories led participants to racialize immigrants according to their “Whiteness” by creating two groups: immigrants from Germany and Russia and those from Syria and Mexico.

Government Relations


APS Spotlight


  • 2021 APS Janet Taylor Spence Awards

    Every year since 2010, the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions has honored the most creative and promising researchers who embody the future of psychological science. The award, named for APS’s first elected president, recognizes seven psychological scientists in 2021 for their innovative research impacting areas ranging from understanding the mechanisms that can contribute to antisocial behavior to facilitating greater access to evidence-based psychological interventions for common conditions such as depression and anxiety.  The Observer asked recipients to share their proudest achievements and ongoing research. Learn more about the Spence Awards, and see past recipients.

Practice


First Person


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