New Content From Perspectives on Psychological Science

Is Open Science Neoliberal?
Duygu Uygun Tunç, Mehmet Necip Tunç, and Ziya Batuhan Eper  

Tunç and colleagues consider that psychological science needs more nuanced accounts of the sociopolitical underpinnings of open science. Such nuanced accounts could counteract criticisms of open science as neoliberal. These criticisms likely result from a lack of sufficient engagement with the reform literature. The authors propose a model for the analysis of reform proposals. This model represents scientific methodology, axiology, science policy, and ideology as interconnected but relatively distinct domains and thus allows for recognizing the movement’s divergent tendencies and particular proposals’ uniqueness. 

A Call to Action on Assessing and Mitigating Bias in Artificial Intelligence Applications for Mental Health
Adela C. Timmons et al.

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds the potential to both enhance the diagnosis and treatment of people experiencing mental health problems and increase the reach and impact of mental health care. However, AI models biased against marginalized and/or underrepresented groups of peoplecould reinforce existing inequities if these models create legacies that differentially impact who is diagnosed and treated, and how effectively. Timmons and colleagues review the health-equity implications of applying AI to mental health problems, outline state-of-the-art methods for assessing and mitigating algorithmic bias, and present a call to action to guide the development of fair-aware AI in psychological science.  

See a related article in the January/February Observer.   

Coping or Thriving? Reviewing Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Societal Factors Associated With Well-Being in Singlehood From a Within-Group Perspective
Yuthika U. Girme, Yoobin Park, and Geoff MacDonald  

The experiences of single individuals (not in a romantic relationship) are diverse and heterogeneous. In this review, Girme and colleagues describe what is and is not known about factors associated with the well-being of individuals who are single. They examine three factors related to well-being in singlehood: (a) intrapersonal factors (characteristics of the individual), (b) interpersonal experiences (qualities of one’s social relationships and experiences), and (c) societal influences (features related to one’s broader social or cultural context). The authors highlight the importance of researchers considering diversity among singlehood experiences. 

Interactionally Embedded Gestalt Principles of Multimodal Human Communication
James P. Trujillo and Judith Holler  

Human interaction requires producing and processing different signals, including speech, hand and head gestures, and facial expressions. Trujillo and Holler introduce the notion of interactionally embedded, affordance-driven gestalt perception as a framework to explain how this rapid and efficient processing of multimodal signals is achieved. In this framework high-level gestalt predictions are continuously updated by incoming sensory input, such as unfolding speech and visual signals. Trujillo and Holler provide testable predictions that arise from this multimodal interactionally embedded gestalt-perception framework.   

Enriching Psychology by Zooming Out to General Mindsets and Practices in Natural Habitats
Evert Van de Vliert, Lucian G. Conway, and Paul A. M. Van Lange  

Van de Vliert and colleagues argue that psychology has been “zooming in” on individuals, dyads, and groups to the exclusion of “zooming out,” or placing the targeted phenomena within more distal layers of influential context.  Here, they plea for a paradigm shift, illustrating how zooming out can be applied to adaptations to extreme climates as one of the most distal layers of the natural habitat. The researchers integrate two zooming-out perspectives into a complementary framework that helps identify explanatory mechanisms and demonstrates the broader added value of embedding zooming-in approaches within zooming-out approaches.   

Mnemicity: A Cognitive Gadget?
Johannes B. Mahr, Penny van Bergen, John Sutton, Daniel L. Schacter, and Cecilia Heyes  

Episodic memory representations can be entertained either as “remembered” or “imagined.” Mahr and colleagues argue that this results from humans’ metacognitive capacity to determine the mnemicity of mental event simulations. They propose that mnemicity attribution is a “cognitive gadget”—a distinctively human ability made possible by cultural learning (a type of social learning in which traits are inherited through social interaction). In the case of mnemicity, one culturally learns to discriminate metacognitive “feelings of remembering” from other feelings; to interpret feelings of remembering as indicators of memory rather than imagination; and to broadcast the interpreted feelings in culture- and context-specific ways, such as “I was there” or “I witnessed it myself.”   

Music in the Middle: A Culture-Cognition-Mediator Model of Musical Functionality
Noah R. Fram  

Music is both universal and culture-specific. Fram presents a culture-cognition-mediator model that situates music as a mediator in the cycle of cultures and selves representing the ways individuals both shape and are shaped by their cultural environments. This model draws on concepts of musical grammars and schema, on contemporary theories in developmental and cultural psychology that blur the distinction between nature and nurture, and on recent advances in cognitive neuroscience. Fram discusses the epistemological consequences of this model, specifically regarding transdisciplinarity, hybrid research methods, empirical applications and testable predictions, and the evolutionary origins of music itself. 

Rejoinder to Commentaries on Woo et al. (2022)
Sang Eun Woo, Melissa G. Keith, Louis Tay, and James M. LeBreton  

In a previous article, Woo and colleagues reviewed evidence of validity, bias, and fairness issues associated with measurements used to inform graduate-school admissions decisions, including GRE scores, grade point averages, personal statements, resumes/curriculum vitae, letters of recommendation, and interviews. This article motivated four commentaries. Here, Woo and colleagues discuss several areas of agreement and divergence among the commentaries and their authors. They also discuss practical solutions and challenges for improving the validity and fairness of graduate admissions and conclude with a call for intellectual humility and openness in further advancing the field’s discussions on this topic.  
See this article about a related panel discussion during the 2022 APS Annual Convention. 

Inaccuracy in the Scientific Record and Open Postpublication Critique
Chris R. Brewin

Brewin suggests a mechanism that could help psychological science correct itself. The author describes common errors in published psychological literature—involving citations, methodologies, statistics, and interpretations—and reviews standard mechanisms that journals use to correct them (e.g., peer review). He concludes that these mechanisms have limitations and could be improved by a mechanism akin to a postpublication open peer review that allows the psychological community to rapidly correct and discuss errors in published articles online. Such a mechanism, which would enable open postpublication critique, is well established in medicine and the life sciences.   

Placebo and Nocebo Effects as Bayesian-Brain Phenomena: The Overlooked Role of Likelihood and Attention
Francesco Pagnini et al. 

The Bayesian-brain framework applied to placebo responses suggests that placebos’ effects on the body result from the interaction between priors, such as expectations and learning, and likelihood, such as somatosensorial information. Pagnini and colleagues suggest that attention can influence the likelihood’s precision and position (i.e., the relative distance from the priors) by focusing on specific components of the somatosensorial information. They propose that two forms of attention are particularly relevant: mindful attention and selective attention. Relying on attentional strategies as “amplifiers” or “silencers” of sensorial information could encourage individuals to take a more active role in shaping their care process and health.   

Adjusting for Baseline Measurements of the Mediators and Outcome as a First Step Toward Eliminating Confounding Biases in Mediation Analysis
Wen Wei Loh and Dongning Ren

Mediation analysis can help researchers identify the mechanisms through which treatment affects outcomes. Loh and Ren suggest a relatively easy way to mitigate the risks of incorrect inferences in mediator analysis resulting from unmeasured confoundings: Include both the mediator(s)’ pretreatment measurements and the outcome as baseline covariates. They propose that adjusting for pretreatment baseline measurements is a first step toward eliminating confounding biases. Such a practice may encourage explication, justification, and reflection of the causal assumptions underpinning mediation analysis toward improving the validity of causal inferences in psychology research. 

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