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No, your students will not be texting or talking/listening to a phone in a crosswalk! Instead, they will be observing others who are.

 

A recent study (Alsaleh, Sayed, & Zaki, 2018)* found that people who were on their phones – either looking at their screens or talking/listening to their phone – took longer to cross the street. This is dangerous for a number of reasons. For example, distracted pedestrians are not on the lookout for distracted motorists. When distracted pedestrians and distracted motorists meet, distracted pedestrians always lose. Since distracted pedestrians spend more time in the crosswalk, they have a greater chance of being hit by a distracted motorist.

 

How much time does it take?

 

In urban areas, lanes should be 10 feet (3 meters) wide (National Association of City Transportation Officials, n.d.). That makes a four-lane road 40 feet (12 meters) wide. In the distraction study (Alsaleh et al., 2018), non-distracted pedestrians walked at a rate of 1.66 meters/second. That means it took them about 7 seconds to cross a four-lane road. In contrast, researchers found that phone-distracted pedestrians walked at a rate of about 1.5 meters/second, taking about 8 seconds to cross a four-lane road.

 

The activity

 

The researchers used observers on the ground to determine whether and how pedestrians were using their phones and used cameras to determine walking speed. For this activity, all measures will be done by observers.

Divide students into groups no smaller than three students. One student will determine if the pedestrian is distracted by their phone or not. Since the researchers found no difference in walking speed between looking at the phone and talking/listening, let’s keep this simple and not ask students to make the distinction. One student will be the timer. Using a stopwatch app on their own phone, the student will time how long it takes the pedestrian to cross the street. The third student will be the recorder – recording whether the pedestrian was distracted and recording the time it took the pedestrian to cross the street.

 

Students will need to make some decisions before heading out. If you would like to compile the data across groups, then you should have this discussion as a class. If you would like to discuss how each group’s decisions affected their results afterwards, then let each group decide these on their own.

 

Consider these as starter questions. When students return from the activity, they may have other issues that should have been considered in advance. That is a great opportunity to talk about the importance of pilot studies and their role in helping sort out these issues before investing time in a larger study.

 

  1. Where are they going to do their observations? Ideally, it will be a street with a lot of pedestrian traffic. The wider the street, the easier it will be see differences in the time it takes to cross.
  2. If there is a group of people waiting to cross the street, how will students determine who to time? The first person to cross? The right-most person?
  3. How will the students identify the person to each other to make sure that the student noting the phone behavior and the student doing the timing are looking at the same pedestrian?
  4. When will the timing start? When the target pedestrian lifts a foot to step off the curb? When the foot first hits the street?
  5. When will the timing stop? When the target pedestrian lifts a foot to stop onto the curb? When the last foot leaves the pavement?
  6. How will the recorder record the data? How many columns will be in the data sheet? To how many decimal places will the stopwatch times be recorded?
  7. How long will they collect data? Or how many pedestrians should they time? What if all of the pedestrians are on a phone?

 

When students return with their data, either that same class period or the next class period, have the recording student enter their data in a shared Google spreadsheet, for example. One column should be the first and last initials of each member of the group, one column is for non-distracted times, and one column is for distracted times.

 

Calculate means for the non-distracted and distracted pedestrians. If you’d like, conduct a t-test if you want to talk about statistical significance.

 

If some groups seem to have much slower or longer times than other groups, discuss the methodology they used.

Give each group an opportunity to share with the class what they would do differently if they were to conduct this observational research study again.

 

Conclusion

 

To conclude the activity, explain that if the class were to submit this study for publication, the authors would summarize the research related to this topic, explain in detail how the study was conducted, reveal the results, and finally explain what the findings mean, how they add to the body of research on this topic, and identify what could be done differently or better next time. Now is also a good time to explain the peer review process and the importance of replication.

 

References

 

Alsaleh, R., Sayed, T., & Zaki, M. H. (2018). Assessing the effect of pedestrians’ use of cell phones on their walking behavior. Transportation Research Record, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1177/0361198118780708

 

National Association of City Transportation Officials. (n.d.). Lane width. Retrieved August 17, 2018, from https://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/street-design-elements/lane-width/

 

*Note: The full article by Alsaleh et al. is available through ResearchGate.

Some years ago an NBC Television producer invited me, while in New York City, to meet in her office to brainstorm possible psychology-related segments. But a focused conversation proved difficult, because every three minutes or so she would turn away to check an incoming email or take a call—leaving me feeling a bit demeaned.

 

In today’s smartphone age, such interruptions are pervasive. In the midst of conversation, your friend’s attention is diverted by the ding of an incoming message, the buzz of a phone call, or just the urge to check email. You’re being phubbed—an Australian-coined term meaning phone-snubbed.

 

In U.S. surveys by James Roberts and Meredith David, 46 percent reported being phubbed by their partners, and 23 percent said it was a problem in their relationship. More phubbing—as when partners place the phone where they can glance at it during conversation, or check it during conversational lulls—predicted lower relationship satisfaction.

 

EmirMemedovski/E+/Getty Images

 

Could such effects of phubbing be shown experimentally? In a forthcoming study, Ryan Dwyer and his University of British Columbia colleagues recruited people to share a restaurant meal with their phones on the table or not. “When phones were present (vs. absent), participants felt more distracted, which reduced how much they enjoyed spending time with their friends/family.”

 

Another new experiment, by University of Kent psychologists Varoth Chotpitayasunondh and Karen Douglas, helps explain phubbing’s social harm. When putting themselves in the skin of one participant in an animation of a conversation, people who were phubbed felt a diminished sense of belonging, self-esteem, and control. Phubbing is micro-ostracism. It leaves someone, even while with another, suddenly alone.

 

Screenshot courtesy Karen Douglas

 

Smartphones, to be sure, are a boon to relationships as well as a bane. They connect us to people we don’t see—enlarging our sense of belonging. As one who lives thousands of miles from family members, I love Facetime and instant messaging. Yet a real touch beats being pinged. A real smile beats an emoticon. An eye-to-eye blether (as the Scots would say) beats an online chat. We are made for face-to-face relationship.

 

When I mentioned this essay to my wife, Carol, she wryly observed that I (blush) phub her “all the time.” So, what can we do, while enjoying our smartphones, to cut the phubbing? I reached out to some friends and family and got variations on these ideas:

  • “When we get together to play cards, I often put everyone's phone in the next room.”
  • “When out to dinner, I often ask friends to put their phones away. I find the presence of phones so distracting; the mere threat of interruption diminishes the conversation.” Even better: “When some of us go out to dinner, we pile up our phones; the first person to give in and reach for a phone pays for the meal.”
  • I sometimes stop talking until the person reestablishes eye-contact.” Another version: “I just wait until they stop reading.”
  • “I say, ‘I hope everything is OK.’” Or this: “I stop and ask is everything ok? Do you need a minute? I often receive an apology and the phone is put away.”
  • “I have ADHD and I am easily distracted. Thus when someone looks at their phone, and I'm distracted, I say, "I'm sorry, but I am easily distracted. Where was I?" . . . It's extremely effective, because nobody wants me to have to start over.”

 

Seeing the effects of phubbing has helped me change my own behavior. Since that unfocused conversation at NBC I have made a practice, when meeting with someone in my office, to ignore the ringing phone. Nearly always, people pause the conversation to let me take the call. But no, I explain, we are having a conversation and you have taken the time to be here with me. Whoever that is can leave a message or call back. Right now, you are who’s important.

 

Come to think of it, I should take that same attitude home.

Dog walking, according to a recent news report, is healthy for people. That little report follows three massive new research reviews that confirm earlier findings of the mental health benefits of exercise:

  • An American Journal of Psychiatry analysis of 49 studies followed 266,939 people across an average 7 years. In every part of the world, people of all ages had a lower risk of becoming depressed if physically active rather than inactive.
  • JAMA Psychiatry reports that, for teens, “regular physical activity [contributes] to positive mental health.”
  • Another JAMA Psychiatry analysis of 33 clinical trials found an additional depression-protecting effect of “resistance exercise training” (such as weight lifting and strength-building).

 

Faba-Photography/Moment/Getty Images

 

A skeptic might wonder if mentally healthy people have more energy for exercise. (Being really depressed comes with a heaviness that may entail trouble getting out of bed.) But the “prospective studies”—which follow lives through time—can discern a sequence of exercise predicting future reduced depression risk. Moreover, many clinical trial experiments—with people assigned to exercise or control conditions—confirm that exercise not only contributes to health and longevity, it also treats and protects against depression and anxiety. Mens sana in corpore sano: A healthy mind in a healthy body.

 

Indeed, given the modest benefits of antidepressant drugs, some researchers are now recommending therapeutic lifestyle change as a potentially more potent therapy for mild to moderate depression—or as a protection against such. When people modify their living to include the exercise, sunlight exposure, ample sleep, and social connections that marked our ancestors’ lives—a lifestyle for which they were bred—they tend to flourish, with greater vitality and joy. In one study, substantial depression relief was experienced by 19 percent of patients in a treatment-as-usual control group and by 68 percent undergoing therapeutic lifestyle change.

 

Finally, more good news—for dog walkers: Dog walking is said to be healthy and calming for dogs, too. But I suspect that will not surprise any dog owner or their dog.

In my last blog post, I wrote about one of the common street scams in Paris, the petition scam that relies on foot-in-the-door to work. Another common street scam is the friendship bracelet.

 

The scam

 

A person approaches the mark, wraps string around the mark’s finger, makes a string bracelet, ties it around the mark’s wrist, and then demands money in exchange for the bracelet that the mark cannot remove without a pocket knife.

Here it is in action. Notice how the mark tries to ignore the scammer and how the scammer ignores the mark’s protests and gets the string around his finger and starts twisting the string. It’s tight enough that the mark can’t get it off. At the end, another scammer demands the fee while the original scammer readies his string for the next mark – and scratches himself.

 

 

Norm of reciprocity

 

What drives the scam is the norm of reciprocity. When someone does something for us, we feel compelled to do something in return – even when what we received is not something we wanted.

 

A new research article, reported on by the British Psychological Society Research Digest, suggests that some people experience more “reciprocity anxiety” than other people do. “The scale taps two related components of reciprocity anxiety: avoidance, both of receiving favours/help/compliments and of feeling the need to reciprocate these things (factor 1) and distress, not only about not being able to reciprocate, but also at what others will think if you don’t (factor 2).” Those who scored higher on the “reciprocity anxiety” scale were more likely to say that if they were customers in a restaurant and the server gave them a “free money-off coupon,” they would be more likely to purchase the expensive dessert the server later recommended.

 

The blog post author, Christian Jarrett, pointed out – and rightly so – that he’d have more confidence in the value of the scale if the research measured actual behavior rather than hypothetical behavior.

 

Research idea

 

Imagine if we could measure reciprocity anxiety in tourists before turning them loose on Paris’ Montmarte or Rome’s Spanish Steps. Would those tourists who scored high on the avoidance subscale work harder to avoid the friendship bracelet scammers than those who scored low? Of the tourists who get fished in, would those who scored higher on the distress subscale give more money than those who scored low? If you can’t get a research grant that would take you to Paris or Rome, you could do it on your own campus – returning the money to the marks during your debriefing, of course! Volunteer participants would take a battery of self-report measures included among those is the reciprocity anxiety scale, and then the participants are turned loose. As the participants leave the building, your confederate scammers pounce on them with string. Although, there may be a floor effect on the dependent variable. How much cash do students carry?

 

In-class discussion

 

After covering the norm of reciprocity, discuss this new study on reciprocity anxiety. Ask students to consider what behaviors the reciprocity anxiety subscales might predict, and then brainstorm some ways those predictions could be tested.

“The heart has its reasons which reason does not know."

~Pascal, Pensees, 1670

 

“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.”

~Proverbs 28:26

 

“Buried deep within each and every one of us, there is an instinctive, heart-felt awareness” that can guide our behavior. So proclaimed Prince Charles in a 2000 lecture. Trust your gut instincts.

 

Prince Charles has much company. “I’m a gut player. I rely on my instincts,” explained President George W. Bush in justifying his decision to launch the Iraq war, after earlier talking with Vladimir Putin and declaring himself “able to get a sense of his soul.”

 

“Within the first minute [of meeting Kim Jong-un] I’ll know, declared President Trump. “My touch, my feel—that’s what I do.” Afterwards he added, “We had a great chemistry—you understand how I feel about chemistry.” The heart has its reasons.

 

But is there also wisdom to physicist Richard Feynman’s channeling the skepticism of King Solomon’s Proverb: “The first principle,” said Feynman, “is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.”

 

In sifting intuition’s powers and perils, psychological science has some wisdom.

 

First, our out-of-sight, automatic, intuitive information processing is HUGE. In Psychology, 12th Edition, Nathan DeWall and I offer some examples:

  • Automatic processing: We glide through life mostly on autopilot. Our information processing is mostly implicit, unconscious, behind the scenes—and often guided by “fast and frugal” heuristics (mental shortcuts).
  • Intuitive expertise: After mastering driving (or chess), people can react to situations intuitively, without rational analysis.
  • Reading others: We are skilled at reading “thin slices” of behavior—as when judging someone’s warmth from a 6-second video clip.
  • Blindsight: Some blind people even display “blindsight”—they can intuitively place an envelope in a mail slot they cannot consciously see.

 

Second, our intuition is perilous. Psychology is flush with examples of smart people’s predictable and sometimes tragic intuitive errors:

  • Human lie detection: People barely surpass chance when intuiting whether others are lying or truth-telling. (American presidents might want to remember this when judging Putin’s or Kim Jong-un’s trustworthiness.)
  • Intuitive prejudice: As demonstrated in some police responses to ambiguous situations, implicit biases can—without any conscious malevolent intent—affect our perceptions and reactions. (Is that man pulling out a gun or a phone?)
  • Intuitive fears: We fear things that kill people vividly and memorably (because we intuitively judge risks by how readily images of a threat come to mind). Thus we may—mistakenly—fear flying more than driving, shark attacks more than drowning, school mass shootings more than street and home shootings.
  • The “interview illusion”: Given our ability to read warmth from thin slices, it’s understandable that employment interviewers routinely overestimate their ability to predict future job success from unstructured get-acquainted interviews. But aptitude tests, work samples, job-knowledge tests, and peer ratings of past job performance are all better predictors. (Even the lengthiest of interviews—the mate-selection process—is a fragile predictor of long-term marital success.)

 

The bottom line: Intuition—automatic, implicit, unreasoned thoughts and feelings—grows from our experience, feeds our creativity, and guides our lives. Intuition is powerful. But it also is perilous, especially when we overfeel and underthink. Unchecked, uncritical intuition sometimes leads us into ill-fated relationships, feeds overconfident predictions, and even leads us into war.

Before taking my first trip to Paris earlier this month, I was told to beware of some of the common street scams.

I was targeted for the petition scam twice. The petition scam uses foot-in-the-door and, sometimes as a bonus, diverted attention.

 

The scam

 

In the petition scam, the thief approaches a likely mark with a clipboard in hand and asks, “Do you speak English?” When the mark says, “Yes,” the thief asks something like, “Would you sign this petition to support people who are deaf and mute?” When the mark says they are indeed willing, the thief hands over the clipboard and a pen. After the mark signs, the thief asks for a donation to support the cause. The money “donated” does not go to a cause other than the thief’s own. Foot-in-the-door research shows that, for example, people are more willing after signing a petition, to put ugly signs in their yards (Freedman & Fraser, 1966) or donate more money to a cause (Schwarzwald, Bizman, & Raz, 1983).

 

Foot-in-the-door

 

The foot-in-the-door technique starts with an innocuous question: “Do you speak English?” The mark’s response of “yes” is the foot getting in the door. The response also quickly identifies the mark as a tourist. Although, frankly, tourists are not that hard to spot. They’re the ones standing on sidewalks looking at maps. With their foot in the door, the thief aims to wedge it in even farther. The thief next asks the mark to sign a petition for a good cause. After all, who doesn’t want to support people are deaf and mute? Most people have a pretty easy time signing their name to support a cause – and the door is opened even wider. And now comes the “sales pitch.” “Donate some money to the cause – you know, that cause that you just signed your name to supporting.” The thief hopes that the person wants to avoid the dissonance caused by saying one thing (“I support this cause”) but doing something else (“I’m not going to donate any money”) by actually handing over money.

 

Pickpocket bonus

 

Sometimes the petitioners work with an accomplice. While the mark holds the clipboard with one hand and signs with the other – distracted by the task and with their hands off their belongings, an accomplice rifles through the mark’s bags or pockets.

 

If the mark donates money, the thief and their accomplice see which pocket or area in a bag the money comes from and follows the mark waiting for another opportunity to pickpocket. Distraction caused by a staged commotion by other accomplices makes for easy pickings.

 

My experience

The first petitioner who approached me in the Latin Quarter, asked if I spoke English. I said, “Yes.” She asked if I’d sign her petition to support people who are deaf and mute. That’s when alarm bells went off in my head. I’m in France. Who is she petitioning that she needs English-speakers? And “supporting” a group isn’t much of a petition. It helped that I was aware of the foot-in-the-door literature, so the only endings I could see were either being asked to donate money or being asked to put an ugly sign in my yard.

 

I immediately declined her invitation to sign while simultaneously retaining a firm grip on my bag. When the second petitioner, this time on the Champs-Élysées, approached with the same “do you speak English” question, I said in my best French accent which, admittedly, is not very good, “Non.” She looked at me as if she didn’t believe me – probably because she just saw me holding a Paris guidebook written in English and because she heard me speaking English to my wife. Either way she knew I wasn’t going to fall for it and decided not to waste her time.

 

I regret not finding a shady spot and watching these women in action. I guess the only choice I have is to go back to Paris.

 

References

 

Freedman, J. L., & Fraser, S. C. (1966). Compliance without pressure: The foot-in-the-door technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0023552

 

Schwarzwald, J., Bizman, A., & Raz, M. (1983). The Foot-in-the-Door Paradigm: Effects of Second Request Size on Donation Probability and Donor Generosity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 9(3), 443–450. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167283093015

Recent U.S. school shootings outraged the nation and produced calls for action. One response, from the International Society for Research on Aggression, was the formation of a Youth Violence Commission, composed of 16 experts led by Ohio State social psychologist Brad Bushman. Their task: To identify factors that do, and do not, predict youth violence—behavior committed by a 15- to 20-year old that’s intended to cause unwanted harm.

 

 

Hélène Desplechin/Moment/Getty Images

 

The Commission has just released its final report, which it has shared with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Education Secretary DeVos, and all governors, senators, and congressional representatives.

 

The Commission first notes big differences between highly publicized mass shootings (rare, occurring mostly in smaller towns and suburbs, using varied legal guns) and street shootings (more common, concentrated in inner cities, using illegal handguns).  It then addresses the factors that do and do not predict youth violence.

 

RISK FACTORS THAT PREDICT YOUTH VIOLENCE

 

Personal Factors:

  • Gender—related to male biology and masculinity norms.
  • Early childhood aggressive behavior—past behavior predicts future behavior.
  • Personality—low anger control, often manifested in four “dark” personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and sadism.
  • Obsessions with weapons or death.

 

Environmental Factors:

  • Easy access to guns.
  • Social exclusion and isolation—sometimes including being bullied.
  • Family and neighborhood—family separation, child maltreatment, neighborhood violence.
  • Media violence—a link “found in every country where studies have been conducted.”
  • School characteristics—with large class sizes contributing to social isolation.
  • Substance use—a factor in street shootings but not school shootings.
  • Stressful events—including frustration, provocation, and heat.

 

FACTORS THAT DO NOT PREDICT YOUTH VIOLENCE

 

The commission found that the following do not substantially predict youth violence:

  • Mental health problems—most people with mental illness are not violent, and most violent people are not mentally ill (with substance abuse and psychotic delusions being exceptions).
  • Low self-esteem—people prone to violence actually tend to have inflated or narcissistic self-esteem.
  • Armed teachers—more guns = more risk, and they send a message that schools are unsafe.

 

The concluding good news is that training programs can increase youth self-control, enhance empathy and conflict resolution, and reduce delinquency. Moreover, mass media could help by reducing attention to shootings, thereby minimizing the opportunity for modeling and social scripts that such portrayals provide to at-risk youth.

“When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it; this is knowledge.”
~Confucius (551–479 B.C.E.), Analects

One of the pleasures of joining seventeen scholars from six countries at last week’s 20th Sydney Symposium on Social Psychology was getting to know the affable and articulate David Dunning.

 

David DunningDunning (shown here) recapped a stream of studies on human overconfidence. When judging the accuracy of their factual beliefs (“Did Shakespeare write more than 30 plays?”) or when predicting future events (such as the year-end stock market value), people are typically more confident than correct. Such cognitive conceit fuels stockbrokers’ beliefs that they can outperform the market—which, as a group, they cannot. And it feeds the planning fallacy—the tendency of contractors, students, and others to overestimate how quickly they will complete projects.

 

To this list of studies, Dunning and Justin Kruger added their own discovery, now known as the Dunning-Kruger effect: Those who score lowest on various tests of knowledge, logic, and grammar are often ignorant of their own ignorance. Never realizing all the word possibilities I miss when playing Scrabble, I may overestimate my verbal competence.

 

Likewise—to make this even more personal—those of us with hearing loss often are the last to recognize such . . . not because we are repressing our loss, but simply because we are unaware of what we haven’t heard (and of what others do hear). To Daniel Kahneman’s kindred observation that we are “blind to our [cognitive] blindness,” I would add that we can also be literally deaf to our deafness. We don’t know what we don’t know.

 

Thus ironically, and often tragically, those who lack expertise in an area suffer a double-curse—they make misjudgments, which they fail to recognize as errors. This leads them, notes Dunning, to conclude “they are doing just fine.”

 

Note what Dunning is not saying—that some people are just plain stupid, a la Warren Buffett:

Warren Buffett

 

Rather, all of us have domains of inexpertise, in which we are ignorant of our ignorance.

 

But there are two remedies. When people express strong views of topics on which they lack expertise, we can, researcher Philip Fernbach found, ask them to explain the details: “So exactly how would a cap-and-trade carbon emissions tax work?” A stumbling response can raise their self-awareness of their ignorance, lessening their certainty.

 

Second, we can, for our own part, embrace humility. For anything that matters, we can welcome criticism and advice. Another personal example: As I write about psychological science, I confess to savoring my own words. As I draft this essay, I am taking joy in creating the flow of ideas, playing with the phrasing, and then fine-tuning the product to seeming perfection. Surely, this time my editors—Kathryn Brownson and Nancy Fleming—will, for once, find nothing to improve upon? But always they find glitches, ambiguities, or infelicities to which I was blind.

 

Perhaps that is your story, too? Your best work, when reviewed by others . . . your best tentative decisions, when assessed by your peers . . . your best plans, when judged by consultants . . . turn into something even better than you, working solo, could have created. Our colleagues, friends, and spouses often save us from ourselves. The pack is greater than the wolf.

 

In response to my wondering if his famed phenomenon had impacted his life, Dunning acknowledged that he has received—and in all but one instance rebuffed—a stream of journalist pleas: Could he please apply the blindness-to-one’s-own-incompetence principle to today’s American political leadership?

 

But stay tuned. Dunning is putting the finishing touches on a general audience trade book (with one possible title: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know—and Why It Matters).

In my previous blog post, I wrote, “All 25,000+ entries of the American Psychological Association (APA) Dictionary of Psychology are now freely available online. You may just want to let your students know that this resource exists and may be more trustworthy than other sources of definitions for psychological terms students find through a Google search.” Then I described an activity where students would look up terms and identify the most interesting ones to share with the class.

 

The APA Dictionary of Psychology can also be used for source terms in a popular ice breaker. In the Name Game ice breaker, when introducing themselves, the student says their first name and some word in a given category that starts with the first initial of their first name. If the category is animals, I would introduce myself as Sue the Snake. If the category is adjectives, I would introduce myself as Surprising Sue. If the category is hobbies, I would introduce myself as Skydiving Sue. No, I haven’t skydived, but I bet people would remember my name, though! The idea is to attach some imagery or emotion to a person and their name that will act as a retrieval cue later. Students may not remember “Sue,” but if they remember snake, surprising, or skydiving, the “s” may be enough of a retrieval cue to recall “Sue.” (If you do the Name Game ice breaker, consider revisiting why it works when you get to the memory chapter.)

 

For the Intro Psych Name Game ice breaker, students are to look up, using their web-enabled device, APA Dictionary of Psychology terms that start with the first letter of their first name. Students are looking for something in the definition of the term that connects with themselves. When students introduce themselves to the class (or introduce themselves to a group if you have a large section), students need to explain the term and why they chose it. Use this opportunity to talk more about the concept and what chapter it will appear in if it’s covered in your course. If it’s not a term your course covers, you can talk about what chapter it would appear in or what advanced psychology course it may appear in. (If your students are introducing themselves in groups, mingle with the groups to listen for the terms that they use. After groups are done with their introductions, share some of the terms you heard with the class as a whole.)

 

Before turning students loose to do this activity, use yourself as an example. Here are some examples I could use for me. I’ve specifically chosen these terms because I cover them in my course.

 

  • Somatosensory Area Sue. Soma means body. The somatosensory area of the brain is responsible for things like the sense of touch and kinesthesia (knowing where my limbs are positioned). It allows me to feel this marker and know that my arm is raised. We’ll cover the somatosensory area in the neuroscience chapter.

  • Sleep Hygiene Sue. Sleep hygiene is doing what you need to do in order to get good sleep. I chose it because getting good sleep is incredibly important. We’ll cover sleep in the neuroscience chapter.

  • Social Learning Sue. Social learning is the learning that “is facilitated through social interactions with other individuals.” I chose it because in this course, you’re going to be working a lot in groups and learning with and through your peers. We’ll cover social learning in the learning chapter.

  • Social Psychology Sue. Social psychology is about how we influence others and how others influence us. I chose it because my degree is in social psychology. That means that I’m not a psychotherapist. We’ll cover social psychology in the… wait for it… social psychology chapter.

As I wrote in the previous blog post on using the , “With over 25,000 terms in this dictionary, it’s likely that students will come up with something you’ve never heard of. Now is a good time to practice the humility that’s necessary when teaching Intro Psych. Students generate a lot of questions in this course. The chances that they will ask something you don’t know about is very likely. It’s okay to say, ‘I don’t know.’ If it’s in the area of something that you do know, add what you do know.”

 

The conclusion is the same as the previous post.

 

“Through this activity, students will get a sense of how broad of a field psychology is and how much area the Intro Psych course is going to cover, and you will learn a bunch of new concepts. What’s not to love about that?”

It’s well-established that:

  • brain cells survive for a time after cardiac arrest and even after declared death.
  • some people have been resuscitated after cardiac arrest— even hours after, if they were linked to blood-oxygenating and heart-massaging machines.
  • a fraction of resuscitated people have reported experiencing a bright light, a tunnel, a replay of old memories, and/or out-of-body sensations. For some, these experiences later enhanced their spirituality or personal growth.

 

Recently, I enjoyed listening to and questioning a university physician who is launching a major multi-site study of cardiac arrest, resuscitation, and near-death experiences. As a dualist (one who assumes mind and body are distinct, though interacting), he is impressed by survivors’ reports of floating up to the ceiling, looking down on the scene below, and observing efforts to revive them. Thus, his study seeks to determine whether such patients can—while presumably separated from their supine body—perceive and later recall images displayed on an elevated, ceiling-facing iPad.

 

Care to predict the result?

 

My own prediction is based on three lines of research:

  • Parapsychological efforts have failed to confirm out-of-body travel with remote viewing.
  • A mountain of cognitive neuroscience findings link brain and mind.
  • Scientific observations show that brain oxygen deprivation and hallucinogenic drugs can cause similar mystical experiences (complete with the tunnel, beam of light, and so forth).

Thus, I expect there will be no replicable evidence of near-death minds viewing events remote from the body.

 

Setting my assumptions and expectations aside, I asked the physician-researcher about some of his assumptions:

  1. For how long do you think the mind would survive clinical death? Minutes? Hours? Forever? (His answer, if I understood, was uncertainty.)
  2. When resuscitated, the mind would rejoin and travel again with the body, yes? When the patient is wheeled to a new room, the mind rides along? (That assumption was not contested.)
  3. What about the Hiroshima victims whose bodies were instantly vaporized? Are you assuming that–for at least a time—their consciousness or mind survived that instant and complete loss of their brain and body? (His clear answer: Yes.)

 

That made me wonder: If a mind could post-date the body, could it also predate it? Or does the body create the mind, which grows with it, but which then, like dandelion seeds, floats away from it?

 

The brain-mind relationship appeared in another presentation at the same session. A European university philosopher of mind argued that, in addition to the dualist view (which he regards as “dead”) and the reductionist view (Francis Crick: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons”), there is a third option. This is the nonreductive physicalist view—“nonreductive” because the mind has its own integrity and top-down causal properties, and “physicalist” because the mind emerges from the brain and is bound to the brain.

 

The 20th century’s final decade was “the decade of the brain,” and the 21st century’s first decade was “the decade of the mind.” Perhaps we could say that today’s science and philosophy mark this as a decade of the brain-mind relationship? For these scholars, there are miles to go before they enter their final sleep—or should I say until their body evicts their mind?

 

Addendum for those with religious interests: Two of my friends—British cognitive neuroscientist Malcolm Jeeves and American developmental psychologist Thomas Ludwig—reflect on these and other matters in their just-published book, Psychological Science and Christian Faith. If you think that biblical religion assumes a death-denying dualism (a la Plato’s immortal soul) prepare to be surprised.

All 25,000+ entries of the American Psychological Association (APA) Dictionary of Psychology are now freely available online.

 

You may just want to let your students know that this resource exists and may be more trustworthy than other sources of definitions for psychological terms students find through a Google search.

 

If you’re looking for a different way to start your Intro Psych course, you can ask students to hop on their web-enabled device and browse this dictionary looking at words that begin with the first initial of their first name and the first initial of their last name. (If they have more than one first or last name, they can choose which initials they use.)

 

Students will then choose one word from each section. If their first and last initials are the same, they will choose two words from that section and read the definitions. Students will share what they found with one or two other students. As a group, students are to identify the most interesting term the  members of their group found, and then, looking at the table of contents for your textbook or the list of topics in the syllabus, guess where that concept could be covered in the course. Walk around to each group, answering any questions students may have.

 

Finally, ask each group to report out to the class. What term did they choose? What is the APA dictionary definition (display it via instructor’s computer)? Why did they choose it? And where in the course do they think it best fits? If this will be a concept covered in the course, you can talk more about it and whether the group was right in guessing where it will be covered. If it’s not a concept that will be covered, you can say in what kind of course it would be covered, e.g., a graduate course on statistics.

 

Examples

 

A student has my initials, S and F.

 

Skimming the S section, the student picks schadenfreude, “the gaining of pleasure or satisfaction from the misfortune of others.”

 

The student shares these with their group, and the group selects schadenfreude as the term they found most interesting. A volunteer from the group would define the term, explain why the group chose it, and guesses that the concept would be covered in the disorders chapter. A response from the instructor could be:

 

Doing this is not a sign of a psychological disorder, but is a very common experience. There is an ingroup/outgroup component to this – concepts we’ll talk about in the social psychology chapter. Have a favorite sports team? Your team and the fans of your team are one of your many ingroups. That makes other teams and their fans one of your many outgroups. Have you ever felt joy when your team’s rival did poorly? That’s schadenfreude.

 

Skimming the F section, the student picks face recognition, “the identification of a specific face. A specialized face-recognition region in the temporal lobe has been demonstrated by brain imaging; injury to this region results in such deficits as prosopagnosia, a failure to recognize previously familiar faces.”

 

If the group selected face recognition as the term they found most interesting, again, a volunteer from the group would define the term, explain why they chose it, and, this time, the group guesses that face recognition would be covered in the neuroscience chapter. A response from the instructor could be:

 

Indeed, we will be talking about this in the neuroscience chapter. Not only do some people have prosopagnosia – face blindness – but some people are the exact opposite: super recognizers. Super recognizers can remember faces extremely well, so well that they can look at faces in poor-quality video, remember those faces, and spot those faces in a crowd. You’ll be reading an article on that, and you’ll have the opportunity to take a test to see if you are a super recognizer (short test embedded in this article; longer test). (Note: this might not be a bad time to introduce students to the concept of the normal curve where those with prosopagnosia are in one tail, super recognizers are in the other, and most of us somewhere in between.)

 

Concepts you’ve never heard of?

 

With over 25,000 terms in this dictionary, it’s likely that students will come up with something you’ve never heard of. Now is a good time to practice the humility that’s necessary when teaching Intro Psych. Students generate a lot of questions in this course. The chances that they will ask something you don’t know about is very likely. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” If it’s in the area of something that you do know, add what you do know.  

 

If students chose from the S section, for example, sangue dormido, “a culture-bound syndrome found among inhabitants (indigenous and immigrant) of Cape Verde. Symptoms include pain, numbness, tremor, paralysis, convulsions, stroke, blindness, heart attack, infection, and miscarriage.” Since this is a concept I’ve not heard of, I would say something like

 

I’ve never heard of that, but if we covered it, it’d probably be in either the social psychology chapter or the psychological disorders chapter. “Culture-bound” means that this is something that is only seen in this or similar cultures, but not anywhere else. (In the displayed definition, since “culture-bound” is a link, I’d click through on that, and then probably click through on some of the other culture-bound syndromes listed within that definition.)

 

Conclusion

 

Through this activity, students will get a sense of how broad of a field psychology is and how much area the Intro Psych course is going to cover, and you will learn a bunch of new concepts. What’s not to love about that?

For my Intro Psych course, I spend a lot of time thinking about what the future medical professionals, engineers, business leaders, and politicians taking my classes need to know about psychology. In the disorders chapter, I ask students to raise their hands if they, a friend, or a family member has been diagnosed with a psychological disorder. About 2/3 of the hands go up. My students or someone they know could benefit from seeing a psychotherapist. Intro Psych textbooks include information about what psychotherapy is, but how often do they cover how to find a psychotherapist?

 

The American Psychological Association (APA) provides a “how to choose a psychologist” page, a page that “may be reproduced and distributed for noncommercial purposes with credit given to the American Psychological Association.”  At minimum, provide a link to this page in your course management system. If you have the resources, print and distribute to your students.

 

If time allows, this topic lends itself to a jigsaw classroom. Divide your students into 6 groups. If that would make your group size too large (say, over 5 per group), divide your students into 12 or 18 groups. Each group gets one of the “questions to ask” a psychologist bullets from the “how to choose a psychologist” page with the following instructions.

 

Group A:

 

“Are you a licensed psychologist? How many years have you been practicing psychology?”

 

Using the Internet, find out what it takes to become a licensed psychologist (in our state, province, country – use whatever geographic dimension applies to your location). If licensure includes a doctoral degree or internship accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), find out what a university or internship needs to do to receive that accreditation.

 

Group B:

 

“I have been feeling (anxious, tense, depressed, etc.) and I'm having problems (with my job, my marriage, eating, sleeping, etc.). What experience do you have helping people with these types of problems?”

 

Refer to the examples at the end of this page. How would each of the people in these examples ask this question. Identify five problems that are commonly experienced by students. For each problem, write out how a student could phrase the issue to a practicing psychologist.

 

Group C:

 

“What are your areas of expertise — for example, working with children and families?”

 

Referring to this chapter of your textbook, what areas of expertise might a practicing psychologist identify? (Hint: think populations of people who may benefit from psychotherapy and the types of issues people may have.)

 

For each of the examples given at the end of the page, what areas of expertise should the practicing psychologist have?

 

Group D:

 

“What kinds of treatments do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my kind of problem or issue?”

 

Using the information in this chapter, identify at least five different treatments that a practicing psychologist might use.

 

For each of the examples given at the end of this page, identify the treatment or treatments that may be appropriate.

 

Group E:

 

“What are your fees? (Fees are usually based on a 45-minute to 50-minute session.) Do you have a sliding-scale fee policy?”

 

Using the Internet, identify the typical fees charged by practicing psychologists in our area. What is a sliding-scale fee and how does it work? How often can one expect to attend therapy sessions? How many sessions can one expect to attend?

 

Group F:

 

“What types of insurance do you accept? Will you accept direct billing to or payment from my insurance company? Are you affiliated with any managed care organizations? Do you accept Medicare or Medicaid insurance?”

 

This document provides more information about insurance and psychotherapy: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/parity-guide.pdf. Summarize the major issues to consider. What questions should you ask your insurance carrier before contacting a practicing psychologist?

 

Mingle amongst the groups, answering any questions that arise.

 

After the groups have finished answering their questions, students are to make sure that everyone in their group knows the answers. Reconfigure the groups so that one person from each A to F group is in a new group together. One relatively quick way to do this is to give the members of each group a different colored index card or half sheet of paper. Group A, for example, gets aqua, Group B get dark blue, Group C gets cherry red. When the groups get split up and reassembled, members of the new group will hold up their colors. There should be at least one person for each of the six colors in the new group. Any group who is missing a color can yell for that color: “We need an aqua!”

 

In their new groups, each student reports what they learned about their bullet point. Again, mingle amongst the groups, answering questions.

 

After students have finished sharing within their groups, bring the class back together, and ask students if they feel more informed about choosing a psychotherapist than they did before class started. Answer any remaining questions.

 

Now that students know the questions to ask a psychotherapist, they still need to find a psychotherapist to ask. For people who live in the US or Canada, APA offers a helpful locator service: https://locator.apa.org/. At the time of this writing (June 2018), the website reports that it is “currently undergoing renovations.” Use the drop-down menu to select a US state, a US territory, or a Canadian province. Visitors are redirected to the websites of those state, territorial, or provincial psychological organizations that have their own searchable provider databases.

 

Remind students that one way they may be able to help a loved one is by, with the loved one’s permission, doing the legwork to find a practicing psychologist for them. When you’re struggling and everything feels impossible, finding a practicing psychologist could feel like an impossible task (Murphy, 2018).

 

Crisis Text Line

 

For immediate help, for themselves or a loved one, students can contact the Crisis Text Line.

 

In the US, text HOME to 741741.

In Canada, text HOME to 686868.

 

The Crisis Text Line is coming to the UK in 2018.

 

For students who are looking for volunteer opportunities in the US, Canada, or the UK, the Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteer counselors. Each volunteer receives a “30-hour web-based training” and is asked to commit to four hours of service each week with an overall 200-hour commitment.  

 

Also consider sharing local crisis hotline numbers with your students. A valuable service-learning-type project for your students would be advertising on your campus the Crisis Text Line as well as local hotlines or other national hotlines. 

Money matters. For entering U.S. collegians, the number one life goal—surpassing “helping others in difficulty,” “raising a family,” and 17 other aspirations—is “being very well off financially.” In the most recent UCLA “American Freshman” survey, 82 percent rated being very well off as “essential” or “very important.” Think of it as today’s American dream: life, liberty, and the purchase of happiness.

 

For human flourishing, fiscal fitness indeed matters . . . up to a point. In repeated surveys across nations, a middle-class income—and being able to control one’s life—beats being poor. Moreover, people in developed nations tend to be happier and more satisfied than those in the poorest of nations.

 

Beyond the middle-class level, we seem to have an income “satiation point,” at which the income-happiness correlation tapers off and happiness no longer increases. For individuals in poor countries, that point is close to $40,000; for those in rich countries, about $90,000, reports a new analysis of 1.7 million Gallup interviews by Andrew Jebb and colleagues.

 

And consider: The average U.S.  per-person disposable income, adjusted for inflation, has happily tripled over the last 60 years, enabling most Americans to enjoy today’s wonderments, from home air conditioning to wintertime fresh fruit to smart phones. “Happily,” because few of us wish to return to yesteryear. Yet not that happily, because psychological well-being has not floated upward with the rising economic tide. The number of “very happy” adults has remained at 3 in 10, and depression has been on the rise.

 

What triggers the diminishing psychological payoff from excess income? Two factors:

  • Our human capacity for adaptation: Continual pleasures subside.
  • Our tendency to assess our own circumstances by “social comparison” with those around us—and more often those above us. People with a $40,000 income tend to think $80,000 would enable them to feel wealthy—whereas those at $80,000 say they would need substantially more. Become a millionaire and move to a rich neighborhood, you still may not feel rich. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

 

The outer limit of the wealth–well-being relationship also appears in two new surveys (by Grant Donnelly, Tianyl Zheng, Emily Haisley, and Michael Norton) of an international bank’s high net-worth clients. As you can see in figures I created from their data, having $2 million and $10 million are about the same, psychologically speaking.

 

If wealth increases well-being only up to a point—and much evidence indicates that is so—and if extreme inequality is socially toxic (great inequality in a community or country predicts lower life quality and more social pathology), then could societies increase human flourishing with economic and tax policies that spread wealth?

 

Let’s make this personal: If earning, accumulating, and spending money increases our happiness only to a satiation point, then why do we spend our money for (quoting the prophet Isaiah) “that which is not bread” and our “labor for that which does not satisfy?” Quite apart from moral considerations, what’s to be lost by sharing our wealth above the income-happiness satiation point?

 

And if one is blessed with wealth, what’s to be gained by showering inherited wealth, above the satiation point, on our children? (Consider, too, another Donnelly and colleagues finding: Inherited wealth entails less happiness than earned wealth.)

 

Ergo, whether we and our children drive BMWs or Honda Fits, swim in our backyard pool or at the local Y, eat filet mignon or fish filet sandwiches, hardly matters. That fact of life, combined with the more important facts of the world’s needs, makes the case for philanthropy.

Change is hard. Once you’ve learned to do something one way, it can be very difficult to do it a different way, even when you know that that different way would be better. Heck, we all know we should exercise more, eat better, and sleep – both more and better. Physicians used to think that all they had to do was educate their patients, and their patients would make those changes. People, of course, are not that simple. That’s one reason that integrated healthcare is becoming popular. Having a psychologist on the team – someone who understands behavior – can make a big difference in someone’s health outcomes.

 

We know what good study strategies look like (Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, & Willingham, 2013). We share these with our students, our students think they are all good ideas, but how many students actually make the change? It’s a risky move to give up a less-than-ideal study strategy that will probably get a C for a never-tried study strategy.

 

We’re psychologists. We know that an effective route to behavioral change is through baby steps, foot-in-the-door, if you will.

 

Toshiya Miyatsu and colleagues (2018) have identified some of the most popular study strategies that students are already using and have made recommendations of how students can tweak them to use them more effectively. Below is a summary of their recommendations.

 

Rereading, used by 78% of students in the studies identified by Miyatsu, et al. (2018).

 

Because rereading is usually passive, we expect poorer learning outcomes. If students are going to reread, they should space out their rereading (spacing effect), and before rereading they should try to recall all that they remember from their last reading session (retrieval practice).

 

Underlining and highlighting, used by 53% of students in the studies identified by Miyatsu, et al. (2018).

 

This strategy can also be passive. Lesser-skilled readers have a hard time identifying what is important in a text resulting in too much or too little underlined or highlighted. Teaching students how to identify the important information in a text makes a difference. Students should wait until their second reading to underline/highlight. After reading a chapter or a section of a chapter, it’s easier to identify the important content (elaborative processing). Also, teach students how to see the structure of the text (see outlining next).

 

Outlining, used by 23% of students in the studies identified by Miyatsu, et al. (2018).

 

If instructors give the outline or give a partial outline, students do better. If the students create the outline, they don’t do better as compared to other study techniques, unless they received training in how to outline. Seeing the structure of the text helps readers find the key points. After having the outline, students can use it for it retrieval practice, e.g., “What were the supporting ideas for point B in this section?” Remind students to look at the outline at the beginning of the chapters of their textbooks. Taking 30 seconds to read through it will give the students a framework that will help them structure what they will be reading.

 

Note-taking, used by 30% of students in the studies identified by Miyatsu, et al. (2018).

 

The big questions about note-taking are how students take notes and whether they are permitted to review their notes before recall. If notes are hand-written, students tend to condense what they are learning and convert it into their own words – fewer notes, but more elaborative processing. If notes are typed on a computer, students tend to transcribe – more notes, but less elaborative processing. On recall tests where the notes are not reviewed, the hand-written note-takers out-perform the typists. If the note-takers are permitted to review their notes prior to recall, the typists may or may not out-perform the hand-writers. Because the research in this area is still pretty scant, the best recommendation to students is, “Review your notes.”

 

Flash cards, used by 55% of students in the studies identified by Miyatsu, et al. (2018).

 

Flash cards are all about retrieval practice. Students should continue to practice recalling items they’ve already learned. Flash card sessions should be spaced out (spacing effect).

 

Message to students: You’ve been using “My Study Strategies v. 1.0.” You don’t have to throw those out if you’re not ready to, but it is time to use your study strategies more effectively. Up your game to “My Study Strategies v. 2.0” by heeding these recommendations.

 

References

 

Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Supplement, 14(1), 4–58. https://doi.org/10.1177/1529100612453266

 

Miyatsu, T., Nguyen, K., & McDaniel, M. A. (2018). Five popular study strategies: Their pitfalls and optimal implementations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13(3), 390–407. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617710510

“The most famous psychological studies are often wrong, fraudulent, or outdated.” With this headline, Vox joins critics that question the reproducibility and integrity of psychological science’s findings.

 

Are many psychology findings indeed untrustworthy? In 2008, news from a mass replication study—that only 36 percent of nearly 100 psychological science studies successfully reproduced the previous findings—rattled our field. Some challenged the conclusion: “Our analysis completely invalidates the pessimistic conclusions that many have drawn from this landmark study,” said Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert.

 

For introductory psychology teachers, those supposed failures to replicate need not have been a huge concern. Introductory psych textbooks focus on major, well-established findings and ideas. (For example, only one of the 60+ unreplicated studies were among the 5,174 references in my text at the time, necessitating a deletion of only one-half sentence in its next edition.)

 

But here are more recent criticisms—about six famous and favorite studies:

  • Philip Zimbardo stage-managed the Stanford prison study to get his wished-for results, and those who volunteer for such an experiment may be atypically aggressive and authoritarian (see here and here). Moreover, as Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslaam showed, when they recreated a prison experiment with the BBC (albeit as reality TV rather than a replication), groups don’t necessarily corrupt—people can collectively choose to behave in varied ways. For such reasons, the Stanford prison study may in the future disappear from more intro psych texts. But for the present, some teachers still use this study as a vivid illustration of the potential corrupting power of evil situations. (Moreover, Philip Zimbardo and colleagues have released responses here.)
  • Muzafer Sherif similarly managed his famed boys’ camp study of conflict and cooperation to produce desired results (see here). Yet my friend Stephen Reicher, whom I met over coffee in St. Andrews two weeks ago, still considers the Sherif study a demonstration (even if somewhat staged) of the toxicity of competition and the benefits of cooperation.
  • The facial-feedback effect—the tendency of facial muscles to trigger associated feelings—doesn’t replicate (see here). The failure to reproduce that favorite study (which my students and I have experienced by holding a pencil with our teeth vs. our pouting lips) wiped a smile off my face. But then the original researcher, Fritz Strack, pointed us to 20 successful replications. And a new study sleuths a crucial difference (self-awareness effects due to camera proximity) between the studies that do and don’t reproduce the facial feedback phenomenon. Even without a pencil in my mouth, I am smiling again.
  • The ego-depletion effect—that self-control is like a muscle (weakened by exercise, replenished with rest, and strengthened with exercise)—also failed a multi-lab replication (here). But a massive new 40-lab study, with data analyzed by an independent consultant—“innovative, rigorous” science, said Center for Open Science founder Brian Nosek—did show evidence of a small depletion phenomenon.
  • Kitty Genovese wasn’t actually murdered in front of 38 apartment bystanders who were all nonresponsive (see here). Indeed. Nevertheless, the unresponsive bystander narrative—initiated by police after the Genovese murder—inspired important experiments on the conditions under which bystanders will notice and respond in crisis situations.
  • Mischel’s marshmallow study (children who delay gratification enjoy future success) got roasted by a big new failure to replicate. As I explain in last week’s www.TalkPsych.com essay, the researchers did find an association between 4½-year-olds’ ability to delay gratification and later school achievement, but it was modest and related to other factors. The take-home lesson: Psychological research does not show that a single act of behavior is a reliable predictor of a child’s life trajectory. Yet life success does grow from impulse restraint. When deciding whether to study or party, whether to spend now or save for retirement, foregoing small pleasures can lead to bigger rewards later.

 

One positive outcome of these challenges to psychological science has been new scientific reporting standards that enable replications, along with the establishment of the Center for Open Science that aims to increase scientific openness, integrity, and reproducibility. (I was pleased recently to recommend to fellow Templeton World Charity Foundation trustees a multi-million dollar grant which will support the Center’s mission.)

 

The big picture: Regardless of findings, research replications are part of good science. Science, like mountain climbing, is a process that leads us upward, but with times of feeling like we have lost ground along the way. Any single study provides initial evidence, which can inspire follow-up research that enables us to refine a phenomenon and to understand its scope. Through replication—by winnowing the chaff and refining the wheat—psychological science marches forward.