Research, in the early stages, is a generative process; results can be conflicting, messy, and difficult to interpret, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t thought provoking and worthy of being shared.
The editors of Perspectives on Psychological Science believe science should be strong — hence the APS journal’s initiative to replicate important psychological findings while also being supportive of new ideas. With this in mind, Perspectives has launched a new “Forward Thinking” section dedicated to publishing short, conceptual articles that focus on new ideas based on incomplete or still-developing empirical work. The inaugural article — “Predatory Personalities as Behavioral Mimics and Parasites: Mimicry–Deception Theory,” by Daniel N. Jones — appeared in the journal’s July issue.
In his article, Jones writes that examining the mimicry and parasitic behaviors of microorganisms and nonhuman animals can foster better understanding, recognition, and reduction of these types of behaviors in humans. Jones posits that there are four different characteristics that help define predatory and parasitic deception: the complexity of the deception, the rate of resource extraction, the level of host integration, and the risk of detection.
The differences in these characteristics between long- and short-term deception strategies provide the basis for mimicry–deception theory. This theory’s ability to define the boundaries of predatory behaviors means it can serve as a framework for future research examining parasitism in humans. In the future, this area of research could help scientists better recognize and combat deceptive behavior such as credit card fraud, identity theft, and embezzlement.
The editors of Perspectives hope this will be the first in a series of innovative articles. Although articles from the general submission pool will be considered for inclusion as “Forward Thinking” articles, direct submissions to this section are also welcome. According to the editors, articles should be about 7 to 8 pages in length (apart from the abstract, references, tables, figures, etc.) and should present novel ideas in a succinct way.
Keep a lookout for more of these articles appearing in future Perspectives issues. Those wishing to know more about submitting to Perspectives on Psychological Science can view the submission guidelines here.