American Psychological Association News

Examining the Force of Habits, Seen and Unseen

August 12th, 2014
New research is helping scientists figure out the neurobiology behind habit formation. Wendy Wood, Ph.D., a social psychologist at the University of Southern California, said, "much of our daily lives are taken up by habits that we've formed over our lifetime." In a presentation at the ...

Can Reading Fiction Improve Empathy?

August 12th, 2014
An emerging theory suggests exposure to narrative fiction can improve an individual’s ability to understand what other people are thinking or feeling. Dr. Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, said, "we understand stories using basic cognitive functions, and there is ...

Less Materialism May Be Good for Consumers And Environment

August 11th, 2014
Research in positive psychology, or the study of happiness, well-being, and quality of life, suggests that the pursuit of true happiness can lead people to lifestyles that will not only be more satisfying but better for the environment as well. "For decades, consumerism has been ...

Engineering Work Climate Remains Hostile to Women

August 11th, 2014
Despite a 21st century professional environment that touts equal opportunity, research presented at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention suggests that nearly 40 percent of women who earn engineering degrees quit the profession or never enter the field. Common reasons for getting out ...

Frequent Marijuana Use Bad for Teens’ Brains

August 10th, 2014
Smoking marijuana just once a week can have a “significant” negative effect on the brains of teenagers and young adults, including cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ, according to psychologists discussing the health implications of legalizing marijuana at the ...

Music Training Can Strengthen Kids’ Learning Ability

August 10th, 2014
New research shows that musical training can help offset some academic achievement gaps for disadvantaged kids. The study, which involved hundreds of disadvantaged kids in musical training programs in public schools in Los Angeles and Chicago, spotlights how learning to play a musical ...

Fitness Helps Middle-School Girls Avoid Depression

August 8th, 2014
A new study suggests that physically fit sixth-graders -- especially girls -- are less likely to report feeling depressed when they reach seventh grade. The research was presented at the American Psychological Association's Annual Convention. Investigators discovered that sixth-grade girls who performed better on ...

Video Games Can Help Boost Social, Memory & Cognitive Skills

November 26th, 2013
Video Games Help Boost Social & Cognitive SkillsA new review on the positive effects of playing video games finds that the interaction may boost children's learning, health and social skills. The American Psychological Association (APA) study ...

Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy Improves Sexual Health for Postmenopausal Women

August 17th, 2013
Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy Improves Sexual Health for Postmenopausal Women A new study has found that hypnotic relaxation therapy can improve sexual health in postmenopausal women who have moderate to severe hot flashes. The Baylor ...

Video Game Researchers Probe Aggression Via Attention, Cognition

August 5th, 2013
Video Game Researchers Probe Aggression Via Attention, Cognition The psychosocial effects of video games have been studied for decades, but consensus remains out of reach. Opinion is mixed on whether ...