I love my job as a psychology textbook author—sharing my life-relevant science with millions of students worldwide. Every day I get to play with and organize ideas, make words march up a screen, and then sculpt those words with cadence and imagery that I hope will engage and give pleasure to our student readers.
But before playing with the words, the greater work is the reading—from several dozen psychological science and science news periodicals. Thanks to this continuing education, I am privileged to learn something new nearly every day.
Yesterday, for example, I harvested these gems from the American Journal of Psychiatry:
- a review of “neurocognitive” investigations of transgender people,
- a meta-analysis of the efficacy of psychodynamic therapy,
- a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled drug trials for treating acute schizophrenia,
- an experiment on bright-light therapy for treating bipolar depression, and
- a study indicating the effectiveness of ketamine for reducing suicidal ideation.
The latest issue of Nature reported, from an analysis of 1.5 million medical research papers, that women authors are more likely to include sex and gender variables in their analyses. Another Nature study reported that brain imaging can help predict suicidal ideation.
Perhaps most interesting, in today’s climate of political hate speech, was a new Aggressive Behavior report of two large national U.S. surveys. The title says it all: “Exposure to hate speech increases prejudice through desensitization.”
With such information in hand, I then print and file each report in a cubbyhole system organized by our books’ chapter topics. When the time comes to make those words march up the screen for a new edition, most of the needed information will be readily at hand. And then I get to start all over again filling up those cubby holes. What a great job.
The accumulated new materials for one recent edition of our Psychology text.