New Content From Current Directions in Psychological Science

Neurocognitive Psychometrics of Intelligence: How Measurement Advancements Unveiled the Role of Mental Speed in Intelligence Differences
Anna-Lena Schubert and Gidon T. Frischkorn

What is the relationship between mental speed and intelligence? To identify elementary processes underlying intelligence differences and how the processes might be related to the multiple processes represented by mental speed, Schubert and Frischkorn present a neurocognitive-psychometrics account of mental speed. This account combines mathematical models of cognition and neural correlates of cognitive processes. Results suggest that smarter individuals have faster higher-order processing, which may reflect an advantageous organization of brain networks. The authors conclude that adopting a similar account for other processes associated with intelligence (e.g., working memory) may help to better understand the basic processes of intelligence.

The Sexualization–Objectification Link: Sexualization Affects the Way People See and Feel Toward Others
Philippe Bernard, Carlotta Cogoni, and Andrea Carnaghi

Research has found that sexualized individuals—people whose sexual appearance and physical beauty are emphasized—are more likely to be seen and categorized as objects. They also are perceived as possessing fewer human traits (e.g., fewer intentions or emotions). Bernard and colleagues review findings from electroencephalography and behavioral tasks showing that the brain processes sexualized individuals differently from nonsexualized ones, and that sexualized individuals are perceived as possessing less intellect and agency. These findings clarify some mechanisms that might underlie violence, and the acceptance of violence, toward sexualized individuals.

Identity Research That Engages Contextual Forces to Reduce Socioeconomic Disparities in Education
Mesmin Destin

Peers, parents, instructors, and institutions can be leveraged in ways that have positive effects on student outcomes, with benefits for science and society, Destin proposes. Several studies show how socioeconomic resources and opportunities shape students’ identities, especially how they imagine their lives in the future. These identities, in turn, affect how students perform in school. Connecting identity with academic outcomes is more meaningful when we consider the people and institutions that surround the students—an approach that might help to reduce socioeconomic disparities in education, Destin suggests.

How Does Education Hone Reasoning Ability?
Silvia A. Bunge and Elena R. Leib

Does schooling improve reasoning skills that can prepare individuals for the modern workforce and daily living? Bunge and Leib review evidence indicating that educational experiences that are both broad and specific (e.g., preparing for a law-school entrance exam) benefit reasoning, highlighting studies that elucidate some underlying mechanisms of learning. They call for a deeper exploration of curricula that encourage deep understanding and draw attention to the structure of problems, which might offer promise for fostering reasoning ability.

The Pathway From Social Status to Physical Health: Taking a Closer Look at Stress as a Mediator
Jenny M. Cundiff, Jennifer Morozink Boylan, and Keely A. Muscatell

Low social status is thought to contribute to disease, in part because it increases stress exposure. However, there is little direct evidence that stress is a pathway between social status and disease, Cundiff and colleagues argue. Measuring stress exposures specifically associated with social status (e.g., financial stress, domineering relationships), through both self-reporting and laboratory studies, could increase our understanding of how stress influences health disparities, they suggest.

Collective Emotions
Amit Goldenberg, David Garcia, Eran Halperin, and James J. Gross

When multiple people experience emotions together, macrolevel affective phenomena known as collective emotions occur. Analyzing the emotions of each individual in the situation renders an incomplete analysis, Goldenberg and colleagues say. These collective emotions emerge from the emotional dynamics among individuals, such as emotion contagion or polarization, that result in features that are not apparent at the individual level. The authors discuss the properties of collective emotions and future directions for their study.

Studying the Intergenerational Transmission of Risk for Depression: Current Status and Future Directions
Ian H. Gotlib, Sherryl H. Goodman, and Kathryn L. Humphreys

Gotlib and colleagues assess the current status of research on the transmission of risk for depression. The offspring of depressed mothers are 3 to 6 times more likely to develop depression than are their low-risk peers. These offspring also tend to exhibit difficulties in interpersonal relationships and abnormalities in stress reactivity, which appear to be early markers of risk for major depressive disorder and occur across an individual’s development. The authors discuss the mechanisms that might underlie the transmission of risk for depression and provide recommendations for future research.

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.