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342021Volume 34, Issue3May/June 2021
The Environment and Us
From our homes and neighborhoods to the world beyond, the environment and human behavior are mutually and inextricably dependent on each other. These five articles investigate.

About the Observer

The Observer is the online magazine of the Association for Psychological Science and covers matters affecting the research, academic, and applied disciplines of psychology. The magazine reports on issues of interest to psychologist scientists worldwide and disseminates information about the activities, policies, and scientific values of APS.

APS members receive a monthly Observer newsletter that covers the latest content in the magazine. Members also may access the online archive of Observer articles going back to 1988.

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  • Thumbnail Image for Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disasters like Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut draw massive media coverage, trauma interventions, and financial donations to victims. But psychological research shows the efforts don’t always yield the intended benefits.


Up Front

  • The Societal Divide: What Can We Do About It?

    Shinobu Kitayama It has been my privilege to serve as the APS President this past year. I have appreciated the ample opportunity to reflect on our profession, the science, and ideas for practicing it and disseminating the knowledge it produces. I wrote about some of these ideas in my columns, covering topics including racism, the COVID-19 pandemic, diversity and inclusion, the scientific goals of APS, journal publishing, and the nature of scientific progress. But I have not done much on another pressing issue we face: the societal divide by social class. In what follows, I want to discuss the global context of this divide, articulate its consequences, and explore what we can do about it.

Recent Research

  • Research Briefs

    A Tale of Two Modalities: Sign and Speech Influence Each Other in Bimodal Bilinguals Francie Manhardt, Susanne Brouwer, and Asl Özyürek Psychological Science Sign and speech appear to influence each other in bimodal bilinguals—hearing individuals who are fluent in both a sign language and a spoken language. In this experiment, when compared with hearing participants who did not know sign language, bimodal bilinguals showed the influence of sign language in their speech by expressing more specific information about the physical features of objects. Similarly, the bimodal bilinguals showed influence from speech in their signing by using fewer signs that conveyed information specific to sign language than deaf participants. Thus, exposure to both languages might enrich spoken language, which could be important for children with cochlear implants.

Government Relations

APS Spotlight

  • 2021 APS Mentor Awards

    The APS Mentor Awards recognize psychology researchers and educators who have shaped the future directions of science by fostering the careers of students and colleagues. Four APS Fellows have been selected to receive the award in 2021. Beyond their individual contributions to diverse areas of research, these scholars’ dedication to their students and colleagues has helped to foster a thriving global community of psychological scientists. Learn more about the APS Mentor Awards. BJ Casey  Yale University, United States  APS Fellow BJ Casey is internationally renowned for her groundbreaking contributions to developmental neuroscience, including the first-ever fMRI study on the healthy developing brain.


First Person

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