Volume 11, Number 1

March, 2007

Submissions Welcome!

The Editors encourage submission of any announcements, and/or letters to the editors, regarding psychological science. 

Comments on the content and presentation of the newsletter are also appreciated.

Submit to:


Editors, The Experimental Psychology Bulletin

Kristi S. Multhaup

Davidson College

(704) 894-2008


Mark E. Faust

Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte

(704) 687-3564


 Humor Needed…

Why waste your time subjecting your family and friends to your humor when you can elicit guffaws from your colleagues?  Send us your science related humor: krmulthaup@davidson.edu 

Division 3 E-mail Listserve Access

Subscribe to the Division 3 E-mail network to keep informed about Division 3 and issues regarding psychological science.  This is a monitored network to keep the number of e-mails down.

Subscribe:  Send an e-mail to listserv@lists.apa.org.  Leave the Subject line blank and type “subscribe div3” in the body of the message.

Send a Message (once subscribed):  div3@lists.apa.org

Questions:  Send e-mail to Neal Johnson, Ohio State University, johnson.64@osu.edu

Division Representatives



Howard Egeth

Johns Hopkins University

(410) 516-5324



Ed Wasserman

University of Iowa

(319) 335-2445


Past President

Thomas R. Zentall

University of Kentucky

(859) 257-4076



Angelo Santi

Wilfrid Laurier University

(519) 884-0710


Members-At-Large of the

Executive Committee

Gil Einstein (8/06-09)

Furman University

(864) 294-3214


Karen Hollis (8/06-09)

Mount Holyoke College

(413) 538-2296


Mark A. McDaniel (8/05-08)

Washington University, St. Louis

(314) 935-8030


Valerie F. Reyna (8/05-08)

Cornell University

(607) 254-1247


Nelson Cowan (8/04-07)

University of Missouri

(573) 882-7710


Ralph R. Miller (8/04-07)

Binghamton Univ., SUNY

(607) 777-2291


Graduate Student Representative

Rebecca Singer

University of Kentucky

(859) 257-9640


Representative to APA Council

Lewis P. Lipsitt (8/04-07)

Brown University

(401) 863-2332


Thomas R. Zentall (1/07-09)

University of Kentucky

(859) 257-4076


Committee Chairs

Irving Biederman (Awards)

University of Southern California

(213) 740-6094


Linda Parker (Fellows)

University of Guelph

(519) 824-4120


Anne Cleary (Program)

Colorado State University

(970) 491-7701



Charles L. Brewer

Furman University

(803) 294-3216



Advocating for the Future of Experimental Psychology

Howard Egeth, Division 3 President


I don’t know whether it’s a natural consequence of aging, or has something more to do with one’s position on a professional career track, but it’s clear that a person’s concerns and perspective change over time. Early in my career I was very concerned with the success of my own endeavors (articles, grant proposals, etc.). I still am, of course, but somewhat less so than before. However, there may be a conservation principle at play here, because as concern for my own endeavors has decreased, broader concerns for the field have increased. I would like to briefly discuss here concerns at the level of the Division/APA and of the field at large.

 Division 3 membership has held relatively steady over the past few years, but I’m not sure that is a good thing. Looking through the rolls on the APA website it seems that many of the members listed are retired and in a few cases the member listed is actually deceased. (The lack of good record keeping by APA is a separate issue with which I am not concerned today.) I haven’t had time to calculate the mean age, but it is clearly quite high. We need to bring in more young members. One program we have instituted is the annual New Investigator Awards, for the best paper in each of the JEPs that is authored or co-authored by a recent Ph. D. The Division underwrites one year’s membership in the American Psychological Association and five year’s membership in Division 3 for each of these award winners.



(Humor from members and the internet)

Dear Fellow Scientist:

This letter has been around the world at least seven times. It has been to many major conferences. Now it has come to you. It will bring you good fortune. This is true even if you don't believe it. But you must follow these instructions:

  • include in your next journal article the citations below.

  • remove the first citation from the list and add a citation to your journal article at the bottom.

  • make ten copies and send them to colleagues.

Within one year, you will be cited up to 10,000 times! This will amaze your fellow faculty, assure your promotion and improve your sex life. In addition, you will bring joy to many colleagues. Do not break the reference loop, but send this letter on today.

Dr. H. received this letter and within a year after passing it on she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Prof. M. threw this letter away and was denied tenure. In Japan, Dr. I. received this letter and put it aside. His article for Trans. on Nephrology was rejected. He found the letter and passed it on, and his article was published that year in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the Midwest, Prof. K. failed to pass on the letter, and in a budget cutback his entire department was eliminated. This could happen to you if you break the chain of citations.

1. Miller, J. (1992). Post-modern neo-cubism and the wave theory of light. Journal of Cognitive Artifacts, 8, 113-117.

2. Johnson, S. (1991). Micturition in the canid family: the irresistable pull of the hydrant. Physics Quarterly, 33, 203-220.

3. Anderson, R. (1990). Your place or mine?: an empirical comparison of two models of human mating behavior. Psychology Yesterday 12, 63-77.

4. David, E. (1994). Modern Approaches to Chaotic Heuristic Optimization: Means of Analyzing Non-Linear Intelligent Networks with Emergent Symbolic Structure. (doctoral dissertation, University of California at Santa Royale El Camino del Rey Mar Vista by-the-sea.)

Jim Chinnis


Retrieved 4/03/07


Recently, the Executive Committee has taken some steps to more directly involve graduate students. We now have a graduate student representative on the Division 3 Executive Committee, Rebecca Singer of the University of Kentucky (see her column in this Newsletter). Her term is 2006-2007; at the end of her term the next representative will be Dan Brooks of the University of Iowa. We have also instituted a prize for the best poster by a graduate student in a divisional poster session at the APA convention in San Francisco. Additionally, at that convention we have taken a two-hour time slot that would ordinarily be filled with a symposium or with two invited addresses, and turned it into a hybrid event combining two invited addresses and a poster session on a single topic. The topic this year will be memory dynamics and the optimization of instruction. The opening talks will be given by Elizabeth Ligon Bjork and Robert Bjork. Following the talks there will be a poster session with thirteen presentations authored or co-authored by graduate students. We think these innovations will improve the appeal of the convention (and hence of APA and the Division) to graduate students. We hope to continue and expand such activities in the future. If you have thoughts about this effort, please let me know. You are encouraged to get your graduate students to apply for membership in Division 3; the application form is available on the Division website.

At the level of the field my thoughts have been heavily influenced by my association with the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences (and with its relatively new spinoff, the Foundation for the Advancement of the Psychological and Brain Sciences). These organizations are devoted to bolstering the positions of psychology and related sciences. This is an ongoing struggle. If you are not familiar with the efforts of these two organizations I would urge you to check out their websites: www.thefederationonline.org, and www.fabbs.org. One of our major efforts is to improve the public image of our sciences. In my previous column as President of the Division I mentioned that Jim Pomerantz and I were interested in getting an X-Prize for psychology. (Jim is currently President of FABBS.)  In that column I asked for suggestions. I think it would be fair to characterize the response as underwhelming. But that task had very specific and very demanding requirements. So let me try again with another topic that Jim and I are interested in pursuing. We call it the Rodney Dangerfield Project in honor of the comedian whose trademark line was “I don’t get no respect.” The premise underlying the endeavor is the belief that it is best to know one’s enemies, that as much as we might be tempted to dismiss misconceptions about us as foolish and misguided, these myths seem to persist. Our goal is to take them apart and better understand their origin, so that we might better counter them. Pretending they don't exist or are not worthy of our attention may be the worst way of dealing with the issue, which affects not just people's opinions of us but their willingness to fund us. Jim wrote a brilliant first draft listing numerous reasons why psychology may be undervalued both by the “man-on-the-street” and by other scientists. (Sample reason: “It’s all common sense, after all,” or to put the point differently, “Everyone is a psychologist.”) An exhaustive listing of the reasons we may be undervalued is just the start of the project. More important is the next step, coming up with concrete suggestions for overcoming the negative image psychology has in many, although fortunately not all, quarters. Of course many people are already trying to do something about this; they write good textbooks, they appear as guests on radio and TV shows, they testify before Congressional committees, etc. What we are especially interested in are any fresh new ideas you may have on this topic. You can reach me at egeth@jhu.edu.