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91996Volume 9, Issue5September 1996

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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    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.


  • Class Discussions: Promoting Participation and Preventing Problems

    "I tried to have a discussion today, but hardly anybody said anything. You'd think a class of 95 students really would get into arguing about theory XYZ." Sound familiar? It's a common and chronic refrain of professors around the country. And many attempts to inspire class discussions use the following format: The instructor lectures, then pauses, and then asks the class "What do you think about X?" Most students either try to look busy, continue to read the newspaper, or wait for this minor irritation to pass so they can continue to take notes. The only advice we have for instructors using this approach is: Don't bother! Goals of Class Discussions A discussion is an exchange of ideas where all members of the group have an opportunity to participate and are expected to do so to some degree.