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332020Volume 33, Issue7September 2020

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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Latest Under the Cortex Podcast

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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 Open-Access Model of Journal Publishing

    Over the past few decades, there has been a trend toward open access (OA) as a new academic publication model. Most journals in psychology, especially those published by APS and the American Psychological Association, have not adopted this model. However, there may come a time when that changes. The newest APS journal, Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science (AMPPS), will turn OA in 2021. I want to take this opportunity to discuss what OA is, how it works, and what it might entail. The more I think about OA, the more intrigued I am by its many facets. Some facets pertain to the nature of the collective human activity we call “science.” Some raise the question of what it is about OA that motivates people to publish research. And some others dive straight into the heart of fairness and equity concerns. Shinobu Kitayama What Is Open Access?

Recent Research

  • Research Briefs

    Education and Cognitive Functioning Across the Life Span Martin Lövdén, Laura Fratiglioni, M. Maria Glymour, Ulman Lindenberger, and Elliot M. Tucker-Drob Psychological Science in the Public Interest Although education appears to affect cognitive ability, it does not necessarily attenuate the declines in cognition associated with aging. Rather, education can influence elderly people's cognitive functioning by contributing to the enhanced cognitive skills that emerge in their early adulthood and persist into their older age. Lövdén and colleagues present a review of the literature on education’s associations with levels of and changes in cognitive functioning related to aging and dementia. Overall, education appears to promote cognitive functioning in old age, “but not because it simply attenuates cognitive decline.

Government Relations

APS Spotlight


  • Teaching: Benefits of Education / Rewards of Regret

    Edited by C. Nathan DeWall Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science offers advice and guidance about teaching a particular area of research or topic covered in this peer-reviewed APS bimonthly journal, which features reviews covering all of scientific psychology and its applications. Education Matters: Making the Mind's Muscles Reaping the Rewards of Regret Education Matters: Making the Mind's Muscles By David G. Myers Bunge, S. A., & Leib, E. R. (2020). How does education hone reasoning ability? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(2), 167–173. As athletic coaches and trainers understand, training matters. Skill practice, weight training, and aerobic conditioning transfer to enhanced performance on the field or the court. Does educational training similarly help students learn, reason, and solve problems?

First Person

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