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Volume 19, Issue5May, 2006
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Volume 19, Issue5May, 2006

Basic Behavioral Science at NIH: A Chronology

This is a long and complicated story, so we thought a chronology of major milestones might help. Remember that what you have here is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the hours of work — the meetings, discussions, drafting, negotiating — behind each of these events. 1998 More

NIMH Might Be (Partly) Right

Tom Insel has a point. As director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), he is charged with developing effective treatments for severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia and major depression. Insel knows that basic behavioral research is extremely important. He understands that such research may one day contribute to More

Sports Complex: The Science Behind Fanatic Behavior

Only one month after April 3rd’s opening day, baseball fans from Boston to Oakland are beginning to hear a familiar cry: “Yankees suck!” These words — chanted in unison, with clapping hands and stomping feet — are the mantra of many spectators who support opposing teams. Such vocal expressions of More

Early Development of Estimation Skills

Approximately how much is 192 times 12? About how much will each teammate have to pay to buy a $50 present for the coach? Roughly how many marbles are in this jar? Learning how to estimate is important, not only because estimating is something we need to do all the More

Learning From Symbolic Objects

Perhaps the most important challenge of early-childhood education is helping children to master a variety of symbol systems. Within a few short years, children must learn to understand and use letters, numbers, mathematical symbols, maps, and other symbol systems. Parents, educators, and researchers naturally want to find the most effective More

Building a Sense of Community in Undergraduate Psychology Departments

Imagine you are a student sitting among 300 others in your psychology class. You look around and wonder, “How am I going to fit in? Will I ever make friends in this department? Will my professors ever know my name?” Although feelings of disconnectedness are common among students, these experiences More

Physical Traits Affect Death Sentence Decisions

Numerous studies of our legal system have found race to be a powerful factor in who is arrested and charged for crimes, who is found guilty or innocent, and how defendants are punished. The links between race and the death penalty are particularly notorious: Murderers of white victims are more More

Real-Life Total Recall

The silver stirring pot of memories, known as a “Pensieve” to fans of Harry Potter, contains Professor Dumbledore’s overflow memories. When his brain becomes too full, he physically pulls out a memory and swirls it into the Pensieve for safekeeping. While the concept is one of fantasy and imagination, a More

When 007 Meets PhD

Describing the work I do can be as challenging as the work itself. I envy people who can glibly describe their career field in three words or less: cardiologist, high school teacher, taxi cab driver. Mine is not so easy. Even within psychology, I find that the nature of my More

Basic Behavioral Research in Flux at NIH

Basic behavioral research — which in the case of health means the study of fundamental psychological and social processes not aimed at a specific illness or condition — may be about to enter a new era at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In early May, Congress was expecting NIH More

All Clones Are Not the Same

It has been weeks since President Bush’s State of the Union speech, and I have not heard any outcry over his policy statement on cloning: “Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms.” I can only More

Small Grants, Big Opportunities

I was very excited to see the type and scope of projects the new APS Teaching Fund is supporting in its first round of initiatives as described in the March 2006 issue. In particular, I am interested in the small grants program for promoting teaching activities. This new grants program More

Better Together

Many things are just better in pairs. Can you imagine Strunk without White? Baskin without Robbins? Liz Taylor without [insert favorite ex hubby here]? But new research shows that people work better as a duo even when they think they don’t, at least when it comes to coordinating tasks involving More

Fellowship to Honor Thayer

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Foundation has announced an annual fellowship, which honors former long-time APS Treasurer Paul Thayer. Beginning in 2007, the Leslie W. Joyce and Paul W. Thayer Graduate Fellowship in Industrial and Organizational Psychology will assist a doctoral I/O student each academic year. The More

Students Benefit From Ethnic Diversity

Fifty-two years after the Supreme Court ruling on Brown v. Board of Education, psychological science measures just how far we’ve come. The decision that opened the door for classroom diversity has also yielded feelings of safety and social satisfaction among American middle schoolers, a recent study shows. Janna Juvonen, Adrienne More

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Convention Attendees

Planning your first attendance at a large national convention? The experience is unquestionably exciting. However, without a little advanced preparation, excitement can rapidly turn to over stimulation. People can only tolerate so much sensory input, and conventions have visual and auditory stimulation in spades. To top it off, there’s little More

Champions of Psychology: Elizabeth Loftus

In an ongoing series in which the APS Student Caucus talks with highly recognized professors, Elizabeth Loftus recently shared her advice for facing challenges in graduate school and achieving professional success. Loftus is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine. Her research examines how memory can be influenced More