New Content From Current Directions in Psychological Science

Promoting Savings for Financial Resilience: Expanding the Psychological Perspective
Crystal C. Hall

Policymakers struggle to encourage families to save “for a rainy day.” Hall argues that psychological science, namely personality and social research, can offer insights into the design of interventions to increase individual savings. The author discusses examples of prior interventions to increase saving and describes other opportunities that researchers have not thoroughly explored. Some of these strategies include leveraging individual differences, understanding culture and context, and acknowledging power and privilege, which can be explored by research in personality psychology and social psychology.

Pornography Use and Psychological Science: A Call for Consideration
Joshua B. Grubbs and Shane W. Kraus

Grubbs and Kraus review how research on pornography use may be relevant to several domains in psychological science, including relationship research, adolescent development research, and clinical science. Specifically, Grubbs and Kraus note that research on pornography use can be important for research on sexual and romantic satisfaction and adolescent sexual development. Also, research on the potential risks of pornography when it is excessive or when it creates moral incongruence can be relevant for clinical science.

A Motivational Perspective on the Development of Social Essentialism
Gil Diesendruck

Social essentialism is the tendency to view social groups as essentially different categories whose membership is determined by some intrinsic essence shared by all members and responsible for members’ features. This tendency is already present at ages 4 to 6, and Diesendruck proposes that motivations, especially the need to belong, may be foundational for its development. The author reviews literature supporting the developmental plausibility of motivations as the basis for social essentialism and explains how this hypothesis might explain children’s tendency to consider the behaviors of in-group members as normative.

Learning by Drawing Visual Representations: Potential, Purposes, and Practical Implications
Shaaron E. Ainsworth and Katharina Scheiter

Using drawing to learn can be an efficient strategy. Ainsworth and Scheiter discuss diverse purposes for drawing, including active purposes (e.g., to retrieve information from memory), constructive purposes (e.g., to create visual representations that go beyond the information given), and interactive purposes (e.g., to collaborate). They suggest that these purposes could be integrated to foster engagement and learning. Ainsworth and Scheiter add that to make the most of drawing for learning, teachers should note that what students draw matters and should be assessed according to task demands.

Progress in Joint-Action Research
Natalie Sebanz and Günther Knoblich

Joint action occurs when individuals coordinate their actions to achieve joint goals. It requires partners to form representations of each other’s actions that predict each other’s upcoming actions. Research indicates that partners can effectively coordinate a joint action by monitoring whether the actions’ outcomes correspond to what was planned, predicting action parameters on the basis of familiarity, communicating new information to partners, and enabling perceptual-information flow between partners. Sebanz and Knoblich suggest that future research in joint action may attempt to understand the evolutionary roots of joint action and the communication and decision-making processes involved in it.

Mapping the Imaginative Mind: Charting New Paths Forward
Jessica R. Andrews-Hanna and Matthew D. Grilli

Human imagination captures the ability to recall past experiences, consider the future, and understand other people’s minds and forms of creative thinking. Andrews-Hanna and Grilli propose a framework to explain how components of a core brain network may integrate features of imagination that compose what they call the mind’s eye (contextual, detailed, concrete, specific, image-based) and the mind’s mind (reflective, abstract, general, verbal or auditory). In the brain, the mind’s eye is linked to the medial temporal lobe and a default network, whereas the mind’s mind is linked to the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex and another default network.