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Volume 27, Issue5May/June, 2014

Eye-Tuned

Integrative research explores what the eyes can tell us about mood disorders, learning disabilities, and cognitive impairment. More

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Volume 27, Issue5May/June, 2014

Books to Check Out: May/June 2014

To submit a new book, email apsobserver@psychologicalscience.org. Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It (2nd ed.) by Sandra Mashihi and Kenneth Nowack; Envisia Learning Inc., 2013. Coming to Our Senses: Perceiving Complexity to Avoid Catastrophes by Viki McCabe; Oxford University Press, March 3, 2014. The SAGE Handbook of Applied More

The Society of Experimental Psychologists Meets at UCLA

The 109th Annual Meeting of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP) was held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), April 10–12, 2014. Barbara Knowlton of UCLA served as chair of the event. At the meeting, it was announced that APS Fellow Gordon Logan of Vanderbilt University was winner More

Psychology Needs to Take Scientific Method Seriously

In this brief commentary, I propose an important reform: that psychological scientists should take scientific method seriously. By this, I mean that they should be knowledgeable about, and be guided in their research by, theories of scientific method. I say “theories” because they are the primary vehicles for conveying knowledge More

The Importance of Divergent Thinking for Research in Graduate School and Beyond

As undergraduates, we are generally encouraged to practice concrete thought. Our goal is to find the “right” answers. In the context of undergraduate education, our success is often determined by our ability to spit back the information provided in textbooks and lectures; taking new divergent approaches to problems is rarely More

Eye-Tuned

Integrative research explores what the eyes can tell us about mood disorders, learning disabilities, and cognitive impairment. More

Achieving Diversity

Psychological research has shown the value of diversity in improving the quality of decisions while also promoting social and cultural goals of providing equal opportunity regardless of social-group membership. Although we generally think of diversity goals as assuring that every person of equal talent has an equal chance of being More

Step Up to the Mic

If knowledge is power, then psychological scientists have enormous untapped power to change the world. Psychologists study something of interest to everyone on the planet — namely, people.  We try to understand why people behave as they do and how we can encourage them to change their behavior to improve More

Calling for a Change in the STEM Climate

What accounts for women’s lower participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) compared to men? Discussion of this important topic has moved beyond the notion of gender differences in ability, and to some extent beyond women’s “lack of interest” in or “choice” to avoid STEM. Instead, the conversation (and More

Snap-Judgment Science

You’ve spent hours preparing for the job interview. You’ve tried to anticipate everything your potential new employers may ask you. You think hard about every detail: Remember to sit up straight, look them in the eye, give a firm handshake, tell them what they want to hear. But despite all More

Making the Most of Science, In and Out of the Classroom

In 1995, a man named Ronald Cotton provided a blood sample intended to prove his guilt. By all accounts, he was culpable for breaking into the homes of two young women, stealing their belongings, and raping them on a humid July night in 1984. One of the victims, Jennifer Thompson More

2014 APS Mentor Awards

The APS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement recognizes those who have significantly fostered the careers of others, honoring APS members who masterfully help students and others find their own voices and discover their own research and career goals. Four psychological scientists have been selected to receive the 2014 APS Mentor More

APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions

The APS Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2014 recipients of the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. The award recognizes the creativity and innovative work of promising scientists who represent the future of psychological science. This award is a fitting tribute to its More

‘Sensitive’-Topics Research: Is It Really Harmful to Participants?

One undesirable side effect of the mental hygiene movement and the overall tradition of dynamic psychiatry has been the development among educated persons of what I call the “spun-glass theory of the mind.” This is the doctrine that the human organism, adult or child, is constituted of such frail material More

Champions of Psychological Science: Brian Nosek

This is the full, unedited version of an interview in the May/June edition of the Observer. APS Fellow Brian Nosek received a PhD in from Yale University in 2002 and is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. In 2007, he received early career awards More

Transforming the Future of Education With Research

Scientists across all subfields of psychology have theories and findings on how students learn and on factors within the education system that can improve student outcomes. In addition, psychological scientists have experience with a rich set of methodologies and data analysis techniques that have the potential to be useful for More

Remembering Nathan Kogan

APS Charter Member and Fellow Nathan Kogan died on April 28, 2013, at the age of 86. Nat was professor emeritus of psychology at the New School for Social Research and visiting scholar at Educational Testing Service (ETS). I met Nat in 1960 when I arrived at ETS. We worked More

Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science

Aimed at integrating cutting-edge psychological science into the classroom, Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science offers advice and how-to guidance about teaching a particular area of research or topic in psychological science that has been the focus of an article in the APS journal Current Directions in Psychological Science. Current More

Classifying Cognitive Style Across Disciplines

Educators have tried to boost learning by focusing on differences in learning styles. Management consultants tout the impact that different decision-making styles have on productivity.  Various fields have developed diverse approaches to understanding the way people process information. A new report from psychological scientists aims to integrate these disciplines by More

Multiple Methods Reveal the Complexities of Neurocognitive Development

The adult brain is often used as a model for understanding both typical and atypical development, but in reality the brain is different in infancy and is constantly changing in response to both genetic and environmental influences. The importance of understanding the timeline and nature of these interactions on neural More

Robinson to Speak on Motivation, Addiction

APS Fellow Terry E. Robinson is the recipient of a 2014 William James Fellow Award. Robinson, Elliot S. Valenstein Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, will deliver his award address on “Individual Variation in Resisting Temptation: Implications for Addiction” at the 2014 APS Annual More

It was the best of times, the most indulgent of times

Young Americans have gotten a fair share of criticism in recent decades. College students in particular—and those leaving college to enter the work force—have been described as self-absorbed and entitled, grandiose in their sense of their own importance. For the harshest critics, it’s a generation of narcissistic brats. I know. More

Items From Classic Experiment on Display at the 2014 APS Convention

Original uniforms and other artifacts from the historic Stanford Prison Experiment, in which social psychology pioneer and APS Fellow Philip G. Zimbardo examined how college students reacted to being placed in a simulated prison environment as either guards or inmates, will be on display at the 2014 APS Convention in More