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Volume 25, Issue5May/June, 2012

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Speaking Your Mind

In much of the world, speaking multiple languages is the norm. Virtually everyone in the Netherlands and Norway speaks passable English, and it’s possible to travel, or even get a doctorate, in many European countries without speaking the local language at all. Despite widespread multilingualism, most research on the psychology More

Diversity Makes Better Science

I’m honored to co-author this column with my colleague and friend Carol Lee. Among Carol’s many honors is having been President of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). – DLM It’s not news that minorities are severely underrepresented in both science and science education. Efforts to increase diversity typically fall More

Remembering the Father of Cognitive Psychology

Ulric (Dick) Neisser was the “father of cognitive psychology” and an advocate for ecological approaches to cognitive research. Neisser was a brilliant synthesizer of diverse thoughts and findings. He was an elegant, clear, and persuasive writer. Neisser was also a relentlessly creative researcher, constantly striving to invent methods to explore More

Funding for Basic Psychological Science at the National Cancer Institute

The Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch (BBPSB) is housed within the Behavioral Research Program (BRP) [1] which has long been known as the home for psychological and behavioral sciences within the National Cancer Institute (NCI). While BRP also supports and conducts applied research, BBPSB largely funds basic psychological science. More

Do Great Results in the Lab Hold Up in the Field?

It was good news in 1999, when Craig A. Anderson and his colleagues compared laboratory and field research on 38 topics in 21 meta-analyses and found a lot of agreement between the results. Greg Mitchell, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia School of Law, wanted to know if More

White House Appoints APS Fellow as Neuroscience Research Coordinator

In March, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced that APS Fellow Philip Rubin was named as the first-ever White House coordinator on neuroscience research. In his role as Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences in OSTP, Rubin has taken charge of a new More

Daydreams and Working Memory

It’s the end of the day, and you’ve read the beginning of that article for journal club three times, but whenever you get to the middle of the introduction, your thoughts keep turning to that experiment you’re going to run in the morning. Whether we like it or not, our More

The Perils of Trying to Unlearn

Some psychological scientists may be drawing bigger conclusions than they should from their data, say the authors of a new paper published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Studies that claim to reverse some learned response may not be reversing a life-long response More

Two Flavors of Relief

Whether you just miss getting struck by a car or click the Send button for the final revision of a journal article, the feeling you have is the same — it’s relief. Yet even though this feeling is very common, scientists know relatively little about it. Attempting to deconstruct this More

Hard Hat One Day, Suit the Next

As a scientist in the human factors practice, my work is focused on evaluating and understanding human performance and safety in product and system use. By working to understand the limitations and abilities of people’s cognitive and human behavioral characteristics, such as perception reaction time, anthropometrics, attention, and memory, we More

Puzzles, Grand Ideas, and Science

Digging into the history of psychological science, the Observer has retrieved classic interviews with prominent psychological scientists for an ongoing series Psychology (Yesterday and) Today. Each interview is introduced by a contemporary psychological scientist, and the full text of the interview is available on the Observer website. We invite you More

Improving Students’ Writing With Wikipedia

Most students don’t like writing papers. Honestly, how many of us like grading papers? But to learn how to think critically, they need to learn how to ask questions, find good sources using the library’s abundant resources, read and understand journal articles, and write about those journal articles intelligently. In More

Lexicon in the Laboratory

Not many psychological scientists can list a dictionary on their CV. As Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, APS Fellow and word guru, Steven Pinker leads a group of 200 language experts (including novelists, journalists, and even humorists) who weigh in on the appropriate use and More

Basic Clinical Psychological Science? NSF Says “Yes!”

Following months of discussion with APS and Congress, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has changed the rules for its prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) to allow students from clinical psychology programs to apply. A number of clinical psychological science students have already been funded as a result. NSF is More

The Science of Swearing

Why would a psychological scientist study swearing? Expertise in such an area has different practical significance inside and outside the community of psychological science. Outside the scientific community, expertise on taboo language is justification for frequent consultation about contemporary issues that are perennial: Is swearing harmful? Should children be allowed More

Reversal of Fortune

Perhaps no argument made the case for changing NSF policy as clearly as what a heroic first-year graduate student had to suffer through last year. Lily Brown is in the clinical program at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), but her clinical status went undetected as her application made its More

New Policy Eliminates Funding Hurdle for Promising Graduate Student

Edmarie Guzman-Velez studies emotions and memory in dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease specifically, looking at whether patients with dementia continue to experience emotions even when they don’t remember the event that caused the emotion. During her second year in University of Iowa’s clinical psychology training program, she submitted an application More