March for Science

apa-march4science-banner

 “APA is proud to be an official partner of the March for Science, set to take place on Saturday April 22, 2017, in Washington D.C. We encourage all psychologists, psychology students and their allies to join this broad, nonpartisan effort to support scientific research and the use of scientific evidence for the public good.” See more on APA’s stance and plans for the Science March and beyond here.

 

With our headquarters in downtown DC, many of us here at the APA and APA Books are excited to be able to participate in this historic event. We asked around for thoughts on the march, and why people felt compelled to attend.

The opinions expressed below are those of the individuals and should not be taken to represent the official views or policies of the American Psychological Association.

“I march because I believe science is key to promoting unity. Being much more than just a set of facts, science is a way of thinking that encourages us to look beyond our ideologies and preconceived notions about ourselves and the world around us. It is through science that we can understand our tendencies toward tribalism, an “us vs. them” mentality that can limit our worldviews. My hope is that science can also help us see beyond the boundaries of our various tribes—whether they are defined by politics, religion, race, nationality, or gender—and unite us as members of the one tribe that encapsulates us all: the human tribe.”—David Becker, Development Editor, APA Books

“[I march] to celebrate why science matters and support scientists in their message that evidence-based facts are vital to inform policy and the general public. I hope the march can encourage our leaders and all Americans to value the importance of scientific information as it affects all of us, regardless of political party.”—Marla Koenigsknecht, Marketing and Publicity Specialist, APA Books

“I plan to participate in the March for Science on April 22. I fully support and defend the dissemination of alternative opinions or interpretations. But as Senator Moynihan told us, we are not entitled to our own facts. Ignoring a problem and demonizing those that raise legitimate concerns are losing propositions. We cannot make America great without education, research, funding, and a respect for truth.”—Chris Kelaher, Acquisitions Editor, APA Books

“I am marching because facts matter.”—Beth Hatch, Development Editor, APA Books

“I’m marching because climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. I believe the only way to meet that challenge is by funding research, listening to scientists, and forming evidence based policies.”—Sarah Fell, Editor, Magination Press

“I grew up with science; I spent days off school and take-your-child-to-work days filling pipette tip trays in my mom’s lab. “Bringing her work home with her” sometimes meant tubes of fruit flies in the dining room. But I don’t march because of my personal connection to science; I march because science is important no matter who you are, and because science should inform policy, not the other way around.”—Katie ten Hagen, Editor, Magination Press

“The idea that listening to scientific research will somehow harm us is a disconcerting one, and not just research that applies to mental health and psychology. I grew up in a very rural area and I’ve seen first-hand the damage that can be done by a disregard for the environment. Shoving science under the rug doesn’t make the facts untrue and I’m concerned that too many people in positions of power are trying to because they see the facts as inconvenient. And so I want to join in to show that there are people who care about these things and that our voices deserve to be a part of the conversation. I’m hoping that it will open up a new dialogue about science that is separate from our political persuasions. I want people to think about the ways that science affects their everyday lives and realize that, as a country, our decision-making should be grounded in facts. We should be funding research and then listening to what the research tells us.”—Jessica Jeffers, Assistant Marketing Manager, APA Books

science-march-title-image-

 

From APA Members:
“The science of psychology has been fractured for more than a quarter century.  I march to realign psychology with what should be its common mission, and to elevate it to its rightful place among all sciences.”—Wallace E. Dixon, Jr., Ph.D.

“I am going to the DC March for Science because science is under attack, so Scientists must act. Fake news should be replaced by science news. You can’t make America Great without science.”—Kathleen Y. Haaland, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, Professor

“I am marching because science is fundamentally a search for truth, and truth has been threatened.  Science not only helps keep America great, it makes America—and the world—become better.”—Dr. Paula P. Schnurr

Fathali Moghaddam: On Nationalism & Government

Dr. Fathali Moghaddam - moghaddf@georgetown.edu  White Gravenor Hall, 3rd floor, 301A Georgetown University  Washington, DC 2005  cell: 301 919 3226  office: 202 687 3642. Portrait for APA Monitor

Portrait for APA Monitor: photo credit Lloyd Wolf

Dr. Fathali Moghaddam is a professor of psychology at Georgetown University and editor-in-chief of Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology.  He has published many books with APA over the years on a variety of topics, including:

  • His 2008 book Multiculturalism and Intergroup Relations: Implications for Democracy in the Global Context applied psychological theories to explore intergroup relations and conflicts across the globe, seeking effective ways to manage cultural diversity and avoid intergroup violence and terrorism in a rapidly globalizing world (for a video interview with the author on this book, click here).
  • His 2013 book The Psychology of Dictatorship asked: How do countries become dictatorships?  What social, political, and interpersonal dynamics create opportunities for despots to take and maintain control?  And how are dictatorships overthrown?
  • His most recent book, The Psychology of Democracy, explores political development through the lens of psychological science, examining the factors influencing whether and how democracy develops within a society.

Now, in the latest issue of APA’s Monitor on Psychology, Dr. Moghaddam discusses the recent rise in nationalism across the world as well as within the United States, as well as threats—both external and internal—to our American form of government. He also examines the critical role that psychologists can and must play in fostering the health and growth of a democratic society.  Check out the interview!

 

Congratulations!

If there’s one question psychologists are always asking, it’s:

When will I be invited to the Academy Awards?

starsFor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Psychology Department at Temple University, the answer was: this year!  Her son Benj Pasek was nominated for Best Original Song, for La La Land’s “City of Stars.”  And when he won the Oscar, he thanked his mother—who was there in the audience—in a very moving speech.

hirsch-pasekDr. Hirsh-Pasek’s research examines the development of early language and literacy, as well as the role of play in learning. With her long-term collaborator, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, she recently published Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children.

To read an interview with Drs. Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek about their book, click here.

Congratulations, Benj, and to Kathy!

 

 

Women’s Day: Be Bold for Change

International Women’s Day is March 8, and the theme of this year’s holiday is “Be Bold for Change.” The campaign challenges us to help forge a more inclusive, gender-equal world. In particular, it calls on people everywhere to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, challenge conscious and unconscious bias, promote gender-balanced leadership, value women and men’s contributions equally, and create flexible inclusive cultures. womens-day-2110797_1920

Although feminism and the psychology of women began with an emphasis on White, middle-class women, they have become much broader in recent years. Increasingly, scholarly work in this area focuses on the intersection of women’s multiple social identities, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, and age.

APA Books’ Psychology of Women series is designed to support and disseminate feminist scholarship that can improve the lives of women and other disempowered groups. The series explicitly seeks to promote a more diverse feminism.

A recent volume in the series, Womanist and Mujerista Psychologies: Voices of Fire, Acts of Courage, edited by Thema Bryant-Davis and Lillian Comas-Díaz, introduces the psychologies of womanists and mujeristas—African American women and Latinas, respectively, who have a broad and inclusive approach to feminism and liberation. Although the two psychologies differ (most notably in their racial and ethnic roots and histories of activism), they share an emphasis on spirituality and connection, creativity, self-definition, resiliency, and the liberation of all oppressed peoples. The book explores the thoughts, feelings, behavior, learning, and development of African American and Latina women and girls, the risks and traumas they frequently experience, as well as the unique cultural strengths that can help promote fulfillment and empowerment.

 

Online Dating: Blessing or Curse?

me4by Katie ten Hagen

Let’s talk about dating. And by dating, I mean: online dating.

Online dating is both loved and reviled. Sites like Tinder and OKCupid make meeting new people easier than ever. But sifting through thousands of matches, starting and abandoning conversations like half-written novels, and repeatedly ditching bad first dates, can be draining.  Many yearn for a return to “simpler” days, and want to meet someone the “old fashioned way,” no matter how nostalgia-based and romanticized this yearning may be.

But still, these sites are still thriving. Those who are exhausted from the search for love keep going back, time and time again. What makes us do this? Why do we put ourselves through the heartbreak and stress again and again?

heart-1990963_1920There’s no simple answer other than that this is how the world is evolving. We shop for everything on the internet, from food to clothes to things to do. So why not love as well?  There is undeniable appeal to being able to “preview” a person before really trying them out. Why waste a night on a bad date if you can establish from a profile or a few sentences of conversation that there’s no possibility? Even sites like Tinder, where a match is based simply on mutual physical appeal, allow for quick weeding-out based on preliminary conversation.

Some may claim online dating is just a game, or a cure for boredom. People may join simply to peruse, with no intention of starting a relationship or even meeting someone. I had a friend who joined Tinder solely to talk to people about their dogs. (This was a bit disingenuous; she was in a happy, committed relationship, and the people she was “matching” with were presumably looking for slightly more than for her to just ask “what kind of dog is that?” But to be fair, her profile did clearly (and only) state “I swipe for dogs.”)

But online dating sites aren’t just for millennials. In fact, the main characteristics that people are looking for on dating sites don’t seem to vary by age. One study, (Menkin, Robles, Wiley, & Gonzaga, 2015) of users ranging from 20-95 on eHarmony, “found that users consistently valued communication and characteristics such as personality or kindness more than sexual attraction.” The researchers also found that “there was little evidence that older users valued companionship more,” and that older users valued sexual appeal just as highly as younger users.  This finding is echoed in the work of Nancy Schlossberg, whose LifeTools books Retire Smart, Retire Happy: Finding Your True Path in Life, and Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships, and Purpose examine themes of “positive aging.”  Her forthcoming book, Too Young to Be Old: Love, Learn, Work, and Play as You Age (to be released in April, 2017), tackles the world of online dating for retirees head-on.

At the same time, Menkin et al. cautioned that their results were “similar to the finding that across the life span, people generally want to experience more low-arousal positive emotions (such as the warmth and comfort companionship provides) compared to high-arousal positive emotions (such as the excitement associated with sexual attraction).” This came as a surprise to me when I first read it, but makes sense upon reflection; plenty of people like to flirt with no intention of anything more.

Perhaps this explains people like my friend, who only swipe for dogs.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

References

Menkin, J. A., Robles, T. F., Wiley, J. F., & Gonzaga, G. C. (2015). Online dating across the life span: Users’ relationship goals. Psychology and Aging, 30(4), 987-993. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0039722