APS Observer Essays

Teaching current directions in psychological science (bimonthly essays in the Association for Psychological Science Observer). These are David’s contributions:


January: Teaching the testing effect, pp. 14-15.

February: Morality matters, p. 35.

March: Teaching students about how simple, positive activities can increase well-being,pp. 36-37.

April: Demonstrating wishful perceiving, p. 51.

May/June: Submitting the teen brain to a student jury, pp. 51, 55.

September: The upside of being down, pp. 39-40.

October: Why smart people can make not-so-smart judgments, pp. 37-38.

November: How psychological science can support smarter medical decisions, pp. 39-40.

December: Thinking smarter about intelligence, pp. 31-32.


January: Does low self-esteem feed depression?, pp. 33-34.

February: Selfish genes or native prosociality, pp. 31-32.

March: Can brief psychological interventions really work?, pp. 27-29.

April: What explains the home-field advantage?, pp. 25-27.

May/June: Teaching sexual orientation, pp. 42-43.

September: Inspiring interest in interests, pp. 43-44.

October: The story of my life and yours: Stability and change, pp. 27-28.

November: The psychology of extremism, pp. 29-30.

December: Lets hear a good word for self-esteem, pp. 33-34.


January: Happy marriages and healthy bodies, pp. 36-37.

February: Health psychology meets neuroscience: Brain<->Body, pp. 35-36.

March: Psychological science meets religious faith, pp. 35-37.

April: How close relationships foster health and heartache, pp. 25-26.

May/June: Feeling good before and after doing bad, pp. 35-36.

September: The powers and perils of optimism, pp. 35-36.

October: Love sees loveliness, pp. 32-33.

December: Does viewing mental disorders as biological phenomena reduce or increase stigma?, pp. 32-33.


January: Following lives through time: As at 7, so at 70?, pp. 36-38.

February: What makes a really smart group?, pp. 36-37.

March: Is narcissism extreme self-esteem?, pp. 35-36.

April: Correcting our stereotype of stereotypes, pp. 33-34.

May/June: The ritual animal, pp. 36-37.

September: Ask and ye shall receive: Underestimating our social power, pp. 36-37.

October: Simulating cultural evolution, pp. 36-37.

November: Conservatives, liberals, and the distrust of science, pp. 35-36.

December: A science of meaning in life, pp. 38-39.


February: People need people: Why close relationships predict health, pp. 42-43.

May/June: To err is human: The psychological science of voting mistakes, pp. 36-37.

September: Misinformation, misconceptions, and our teaching mission, pp. 38-39.

October: Religious engagement and the good life, p. 37.


January: Why people believe in God–or don’t, pp. 34-35.

February: Why people believe conspiracy theories, pp. 32-33.

April: The net result: Do social media boost or reduce well-being?. pp. 42-43.

September: Reflecting on 5 Years of teaching Current Directions (with C. Nathan DeWall), pp. 42-43.

October: How psychological science can influence climate-change attitudes and actions,pp. 28-29.

December: The gaps among us: Understanding and assessing inequality, pp. 38-39.


March: The two-way traffic between sexual and relationship satisfaction, pp. 38-39.

May: The likely aftermath of adversity: harm, resilience, or growth?, pp. 50-51.

October: Digital-media use and mental health: A teachable example of psychological science shining its light, pp. 34-35.

November: Teaching Sleep to the Sleep-Deprived, pp. 36-37.

December: Psychology science’s contribution to a sustainable future, pp. 34-35.


February: Human strengths amid the challenges of poverty, pp. 36-37.

May/June: Teaching social psychology under the coronavirus, pp. 52-53.

September: https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/teaching-current-directions-education-regret, pp. 44-45.

November: The toxic stress stew: Adversity + reactivity + rumination + time, pp. 48-49.

December: Building new cultures of sustainability, pp. 46-47.


March/April: Attending to attentional control, pp. 66-67.

May/June: Pornography’s prevalence, purposes, and perils, pp. 76-77.

September/October: The sociable science of speaking with strangers, pp. 82-83.

November/December: The art of the steal, pp. 84-85.


March/April: When does social networking uplift—and dispirit—us?, pp. 71-72.