Psyber Security: Thwarting Hackers with Behavioral Science

From viruses to ransomware and password phishing scams, cyber fraud and other digital security threats are escalating worldwide — learn how psychological scientists help safeguard data.

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Volume 30, Issue9November 2017

Presidential Column

Suparna Rajaram
Suparna Rajaram
Stony Brook University, The State University of New York
APS President 2017 - 2018
All columns

In this Issue:
Finding Our Fundamentals

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 the Observer newsletter and may access the online archive going back to 1988.

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  • This is a photo of a piece of paper torn to reveal the phrase "uncover the facts"

    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


  • A renowned developmental neuroscientist and APS Past Board Member is celebrated for her influential studies on the mechanisms that foster developmental change — and her passion for bringing that science to the public.

  • APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Robert J. DeRubeis is applying actuarial modeling to mental health care to improve treatment selection and ensure that patients receive care that meets their individual needs.

Up Front


  • Finding Our Fundamentals

    I want to really understand the fundamentals of programming. -Masako Wakamiya Curious to know who Masako Wakamiya is? After retiring from her job as a bank clerk in Japan, Masako Wakamiya decided to learn programming and, at age 82, is now the world’s oldest app developer. Her app creation, a game called Hinadan, earned her a recent invitation to Apple's prestigious Worldwide Developers Conference, as well as an introduction to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Wakamiya’s success is just one of many inspiring examples that caught my recent attention. I also see it in a sport I love, tennis. Since bursting on the professional tennis scene 20 years ago, the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, continue to dominate the game by adapting to new playing styles and a fresh crop of opponents.

APS Spotlight


  • Variations of Loneliness Include Implicit Anti-Black Bias

    When picturing someone “lonely,” you might imagine a solitary figure walking down a dark street at night or someone sitting at home with nowhere to go and no one to see. We often equate loneliness with being alone, but it’s just as much an emotion as a physical state. Four scientists discussed what author Janet Fitch calls “the human condition,” including its origins, varieties, and consequences, at the 2017 International Convention of Psychological Science in Vienna, Austria. APS Board Member Stacey Sinclair, an experimental social psychologist at Princeton University, and her collaborator, Drew Jacoby-Senghor at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, study a unique basis of social exclusion among Whites: implicit anti-Black bias.

Practice


  • 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 Directions is a peer-reviewed bimonthly journal featuring reviews by leading experts covering all of scientific psychology and its applications and allowing readers to stay apprised of important developments across subfields beyond their areas of expertise. Its articles are written to be accessible to nonexperts, making them ideally suited for use in the classroom. Visit the column for supplementary components, including classroom activities and demonstrations. Visit David G. Myers at his blog “Talk Psych”.

First Person


  • Influencing Evidence-Based Policy as a Graduate Student

    Few processes impact the lives of everyday people as strongly as the creation of public policy. Public policy may be defined concretely as specific legislation, or it may be thought of more abstractly as the social principles upon which the law is based (McKnight, Sechrest, & McKnight, 2005). In both cases, it aims to impact human behavior to satisfy the greater good of society. Given that the study of human behavior is the foundation of psychological science, psychologists have a unique role in shaping public policy. Although influencing governmental decisions may seem intriguing, such work also might feel daunting to students: Many are still developing their own lines of research and may not feel as though their work is important enough to impact society at large.

More From This Issue


  • A Conversation With Nour Kteily and Emile Bruneau

    Nour Kteily and Emile Bruneau are authors of the article “Darker Demons of our Our Nature: The Need to (Re)Focus Attention on Blatant Forms of Dehumanization” in the October 2017 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science. In your article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, you and coauthor Emile Bruneau suggest that psychological research has focused heavily on implicit forms of dehumanization and overlooked the more overt or blatant forms of it. Why do you think this has happened?

  • Remembering Annette Karmiloff-Smith

    A renowned developmental neuroscientist and APS Past Board Member is celebrated for her influential studies on the mechanisms that foster developmental change — and her passion for bringing that science to the public.

  • Bringing Precision Treatment to Mental Health Care

    APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Robert J. DeRubeis is applying actuarial modeling to mental health care to improve treatment selection and ensure that patients receive care that meets their individual needs.

  • Sidebar: The Dot-Probe Task

    In the dot-probe task, participants viewed a pair of emotionally evocative images or words presented simultaneously. The stimuli were then immediately removed, and a probe replaced one of the images on the screen. Participants were instructed to hit the computer key that corresponded to the probe as quickly as possible. The faster individuals respond, the more likely it is that they have been paying attention to the image that was located in same position as the probe.

  • Société Française de Psychologie Fosters Science–Practice Links

    The Société Française de Psychologie has been undertaking initiatives emphasizing a dialogue between the scientific community and practitioners of psychology. The Observer recently interviewed the Society’s leadership about its history and its activities. What is SFP’s mission? Our main objective is to promote the research and practice of psychology with respect to scientific and ethical principles.