Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | April 21, 2012

Saturday Surprise – April 21, 2012

So, the Friday Five obviously didn’t happen yesterday.

My day was rather busy with writing up a recent conference presentation that is to be included in the published Conference Proceedings, and then a meeting to discuss proposals for another conference.  Round out the day with teaching two classes and a faculty committee meeting, and I barely had time to eat lunch.

When I got home, I had a letter waiting for me telling me that, as of next academic year, I have been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. (For those not familiar with faculty ranks, Full Professor is the highest rank one can achieve as a faculty member.) So, I went out to celebrate.

If it weren’t for my students needing a post in order to complete their assignment for this week, I’d be very tempted to skip a post this week. But, they are relying on me, and I appreciate their efforts, so here are a few links for this week:

The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Percolator (Tom Bartlett) – April 17, 2012

I had several links to this information over the course of the week. In his column for The Chronicle, Tom Bartlett talks about the Reproducibility Project and how it aims to replicate EVERY study published in 2008 in Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, or the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Interesting undertaking. There’s not much replication within the discipline, that we know of, because it’s not profitable in terms of publications. I’m not surprised that the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology wound up on the list, despite it being the top journal in my discipline. I agree with Tom Bartlett that Diederik Stapel’s actions cast a lot of doubt on the field in the recent year.

I have to admit that I’m interested to see what comes of these replications, and what happens with weak and tricky effects that will work with one sample, but might not work upon replication with a different sample. Psychology (Kendra Cherry) – April 19, 2012

This link is more directed to my students, but it’s applicable to anyone who is thinking about a career in psychology. The eCourse is a 10-week course, so it will not give you an answer on careers in psychology immediately. But if you have the time, it might be just the motivation to keep you searching for the right career for you.

As I have often told students and their parents at an Open House: it’s not so much a question of what can you do with a degree in psychology, it’s a question of what CAN’T you do. There are tons of careers where psychology majors can succeed.

I’ve signed up the eCourse out of curiosity. The fist week’s assignment was a self-assessment in terms of what career might be of interest to me. In my opinion it’s pretty accurate. The top suggestion was an Experimental Psychologist, followed by Cognitive Psychologist and Social Psychologist. Hmm, the junction of those three describes my graduate research.

New York Times: Education Life (Annie Murphy Paul) – April 13, 2012

A reminder to my students that there are only two weeks left of classes, then we’re into finals.

This column in the New York Times gives advice on how to be a better test taker. It’s focusing primarily on relieving some the anxiety that can interfere with taking a test. But the very end of the article mentions studying.



  1. Careers in Psychology eCourse
    I thought this to be very helpful. I want to become a psychologist, but i’m confused in what kind of Psychologist. I took the psychology quiz and it suggested me to consider a career in Industrial Organizational Psychologist, a Forensic Psychologist, and a Sports Psychologist. The only one out of those three that i found interesting was the Forensic Psychologist, but as I read more about it, I didn’t really want to deal with crazy criminals. I subscribed to the website, and hopefully this will help me find what I want to be?..
    How to Be a Better Test Taker
    I had to read this article. After the last exam, I’ve just been paranoid on how I’ll do in my next exam! I’m a horrible test taker and it’s so annoying. As much as I study,all the anxiety i have gets to me, and results in me doing poorly on an exam. I’ll try to be a bit more positive the next exam, and study even more. Hopefully I’ll do great in this next exam.

  2. How to Be a Better Test-Taker
    I thought this article was interesting because of the two different types of personality explained. Luckily, I think I’m in the low-anxiety group because I’m much more nervous when it comes to a presentation. I do find it interesting how cortisol affects the two personalities differently, which is an example which I can understand about how people are neurologically different.

    is Psychology About to Come Undone?
    I think this is an important development for the Psychology field because there are so many questions as to whether or not their findings actually are real or not. There are a lot of people who doubt psychology’s findings in general. Personally, I think that Bem’s study was a load of hoo-ha. I understand that in the sciences it’s publish or die, but what’s the point of publishing something that could destroy your career later on?

  3. How to Be a Better Test-Taker
    How to become a better test taker all depends on the way you study. Having certain feelings or emotions when it comes to take the test may have impact on your grade. Those who feel nervous may second-guess themselves and this is a bad habit I face myself with on all my tests. Those who are anxious and ready for the test are the ones who go into the test with confidence as if they created the test themselves.Depending who you are feelings may impact the grade you get on the test but in reality it always comes down to the way you study. Studying in sections is the best way to retain the best memory and information. Your brain can only take in and retain a certain amount of memory and this is the best way to understand the material and re-collect it if needed .
    Is Psychology About to Come Undone?
    Psychology should be for the benefit of the people. Psychology should be logically and true. A lot of the theories and research have lead psychology to something we depend on. I really hope no corrupt or bias research gets out there because it is not right at all. If it can’t be replicated don’t try to fool me.

  4. How to Be a Better Test-Taker

    This article caught my attention. Classes are not that bad until test day comes. Everyone dreads test day. So i wonder, how do i become a better test-taker? Control your stress and hormone levels. Another interesting idea was to write how you feel about the test on a piece of paper. This is to try and clear your mind of all the stress that is on your mind to focus on the test. I am going to use these ideas now to see if they work and see if i see results.

    Is Psychology About to Come Undone?

    I am not going to lie when i say Psychology is not my favorite. It is interesting though. It is interesting to learn about the mind of a baby all the way up to an adult. But it is something that can be held without.

  5. “How to be a Better Test Taker,” is a very good article that can definitely be helpful to many students. It is interesting that worrying actually takes up space in memory that is needed for taking your test. This makes sense in another situation as well. Public speaking is difficult for many people and sometimes, students will get up to do their speech and completely forget what they were going to say. This occurrence could possibly be due to the same circumstances. By writing down the concerns you have for the test or not making your symptoms connect with stress of the test, students can clear their memory to create space for information that will be helpful on the test.

    “Is Psychology About to Come Undone,” is an article which discussing a man’s plan to replicate all of the experiments published in three major psych journals to see if they are actually truthful. This is something that could hurt some of the psychologist reputation if they are found to have published false information, however, I believe that it is necessary so that people are not getting false information. When a study in published in a major psych journal, most people will believe the information that is presented. It could have negative effects on people if what the psychologists have published is false.

  6. •Is Psychology About to Come Undone?
    I am all for the replication of experiments. I think that if someone is to publish something, it should be factual. This will help prove who is phony and who actually had significant findings. I do not believe it will hurt the field of psychology at all.

    •How to Be a Better Test Taker
    I am definetly one who chokes on tests. There are many times that I do poorly on a test I prepared for and cared about but I do well on a test i wasnt’t worried about and didn’t put much effort into. I cannot see myself writing all my feelings down about the test before I take it but I should go into tests excited and confident that I will succeed.

  7. Careers in Psychology eCourse
    I am actually going to take this in consideration. I am a psychology major. I know for a fact that i want to interact with people, help and educate in some type of way. I also find health science and public health to be super fascinating. Hopefully after taking the few lessons, it gives me a clear idea of what i really need to get into in order to reach my goal. And be able to utilize every interest into the field

    How to Be a Better Test Taker
    I am a terrible test taker.I always perform poorly no matter how much i study. This happens to me in my Physiological Psychology class. I know the material. I really hate how most of the time i really know the answer and i think about the word, then when the question shows up, i forget the word or am unable to spell it. This is highly frustrating because i know for a fact that i know the material enough to get over a 70, yet i perform at or below a 60 😦
    Therefor i am going to try the techniques mentions in the article. Hopefully i can make better progress and pass the class with a reasonable grade

  8. How to be a better test taker:
    I can really relate to this article! It has always seemed to me the less i worry about a test the better i do. A lot of people get themselves so worked up when they have a test that they are too focused on worrying, and not enough on solving the problem at hand. Also i would like to try the memory techniques. I always find myself trying so hard to remember one thing that i forget the other two all together.

    Is psychology about to come undone:
    I really enjoyed this article. I feel as though in recent times there are so many studies that come out everyday that it is hard to keep track of them! Most of which completely contradict other studies that have been done. One of the first rules in the scientific community is that for test results to be valid it MUST be able to be recreated. For so many articles to come out on so many different topics with out being retested, that leaves so much room for error and misinformation.

  9. Careers in Psychology:
    This article caught my eye as soon as I read the title, I want to have a degree in Psychology. I was surprised how short this was, and I actually wanted to read on. Students who are in high school should already be thinking about what they want to become in life, and what they want to get out of it. The article states that “it is important to learn as much as you can about the options that are available” and I couldn’t agree more. If I could go back in time to where I was a freshman in high school I would already be thinking about what I want to do with my life. I would have started to look at colleges,all the different degrees that they have to offer and figure out where I want to go. Also what I need to make sure I can get into the college of my choice.

    How to Be a Better Test-Taker:
    This article also caught my eyes as soon as I read the title. I am not the stingiest test-taker there is. I actually happen to freakout before the test and then while i’m taking it my mind will go blank, it’s quite annoying if you ask me. I really liked reading this article though, I believe it will help me out if I save this article to remind me.

  10. How to Be a Better Test-Taker
    I was interested by this article, because of the two different types of personality explained. Personally, I think I’m in the low-anxiety group because I’m a lot more nervous when it comes to a presentation or tests. I do find it interesting how cortisol affects the two personalities differently, which is an example which I can understand about how people are neurologically different.

    Is Psychology About to Come Undone?
    I am for the replication of experiments to prove their truths but I think if someone is to publish something, it should be true and not contain false information. This will help prove who are the liars and who actually had significant findings. I don’t believe it will hurt the field of psychology but the publisher itself is where the damage will be done to.

  11. •How to Be a Better Test Taker
    this article is very interesting and sure did caught my attention while reading it. The fact about the anxious level take up room in your memory space. Thats something i will never guess or probably think it was an old saying a parent will say. Also i can understand writting your feelings about the test to clear your head is understandable. I usually just walk around, read or watch something else.

    •Is Psychology About to Come Undone?
    i understand with the change of how to publish a psychology study. it challenges the psychologist and make them work harder. its better to let the study do the talking instead of your name do the talking.

  12. •Is Psychology About to Come Undone?
    I think it is important to replicate some experiments because its necessary to prove that the conclusions are correct. Also, as time passes by, things that were relevant then, may not be now, and vice versa. It never hurts to go back and check.

    •How to Be a Better Test Taker
    This is a really good article, because I am a horrible test taker. When I take test I get nervous and forget almost everything I studied. It makes sense that anxiety takes up space in your memory. The tips in this article will help me out though.


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