Current Directions in Psychological Science, the second oldest journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes reviews by leading experts covering all of scientific psychology and its applications. Editor Robert Goldstone interviews various authors to get deeper insights into the most compelling research published in the journal.
The Promise and Peril of Genetics
Scientists can now comprehensively scan the genome, testing variation across millions of genetic markers. Large consortia of scientists are analyzing data from millions of individuals. Multivariate methods enable scientists to identify genes involved in “normal” processes rather than specific disorders or traits. These advances can have a widespread effect on medicine and society. However, such rapid progress brings ethical, social, and legal challenges, including the need for increased diversity to ensure that all people benefit from advances in the field. To discuss this research, Dr. Teresa Treat, Professor of Psychology at University of Iowa, interviews Danielle M. Dick, Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and researcher at the Rutgers Addiction Research Center, at Rutgers University.
Personality Change Through Digital-Coaching Interventions
By definition, personality traits are relatively stable, but recent research has begun to investigate whether individuals can intentionally change their personalities. One intervention that might lead to personality change relies on the use of digital applications to coach people on achieving their desired personality change. Allemand and Flückiger provided a rationale for nonclinical personality-change interventions, noting that personality traits predict several life outcomes, personality change can lead to better health, and many studies have already indicated that personality traits are malleable.
Robert Goldstone of the Percepts and Concepts Laboratory at Indiana University and editor of the APS journal Current Directions in Psychological Science interviews Mathias Allemand, Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Zurich in Switzerland.
Field Experiments on Social Media
Studying online behavior can further understanding of misinformation and political psychology. Mosleh and colleagues discuseds the strengths, weaknesses, and ethical constraints of two approaches to studying online behavior: hybrid lab-field experiments and field experiments. In hybrid lab-field studies, researchers can control and randomize participants’ exposure to social-media content in the lab and then, in the field, survey participants’ attitudes and beliefs as well as observe their online behavior. In field experiments, researchers can use the online environment to manipulate social media exposure (e.g., via private messages or public posts) without disclosing their research and then observe the effects of the manipulation on participants’ online behavior.
Robert Goldstone of the Percepts and Concepts Laboratory at Indiana University and editor of the APS journal Current Directions in Psychological Science interviews Mohsen Mosleh, Lecturer at the University of Exeter Business School, a Fellow at Alan Turing Institute, and a Research Affiliate at MIT Sloan School of Management.
Daylong Mobile Audio Recordings Reveal Multitimescale Dynamics in Infants’ Vocal Productions and Auditory Experiences
Warlaumont and colleagues reviewed recent research about how infants’ vocal productions and auditory experiences are organized over a day, with implications for development. Everyday vocalizations appear to be clustered hierarchically in time (e.g., there is more difference in vocalization quantity from one hour to the next hour than from one 5-min interval to the next). Vocalizations also appear to be a type of exploratory foraging for social responses, with patterns of vocal exploration changing as children develop. Regarding the sounds infants encounter, different musical frequencies may foster learning about category generalization.
Robert Goldstone of the Percepts and Concepts Laboratory at Indiana University and editor of the APS journal Current Directions in Psychological Science interviews Anne Warlaumont, Professor in the Department of Communication at University of California, Los Angeles.
What’s to Come of All This Tracking “Who We Are”? The Intelligence Example
Despite increased requirements and encouragements to track what we do and how we do it in different areas of our lives, from job performance to sleep and diet, evidence suggests that constant tracking might not help that much with health and well-being and instead might have dire social consequences. Johnson uses human intelligence, which has been the object of efforts to track for more than 100 years, as an example of tracking’s social consequences. The author suggests the potential for tracking activities to lead society into a dystopian future, much like the one portrayed in Huxley’s Brave New World.
Robert Goldstone of the Percepts and Concepts Laboratory at Indiana University and editor of the APS journal Current Directions in Psychological Science interviews Wendy Johnson, Professor in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.
Do Social Networking Sites Influence Well-Being? The Extended Active-Passive Model
According to the active-passive model, social networking sites (SNSs) can increase well-being when used actively to interact with others but can decrease well-being when their content is passively consumed. However, this distinction might not fully capture the sites’ nuanced effects on well-being. Verduyn and colleagues propose the extended active-passive model of SNS use, which organizes active use into reciprocity and communion facets, organizes passive use into achievement and self-relevance facets, and crosses all usage types with user characteristics. Thus, active use may not always be positive, and passive use may not always be negative.
Robert Goldstone of the Percepts and Concepts Laboratory at Indiana University and editor of the APS journal Current Directions in Psychological Science interviews Philippe Verduyn, Professor in the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Maastricht.
Pithy and to the point
Concise interviews with articulate authors! Excellent rate of information per minute.