Feature

With its broad, exciting and dynamic focus on the person, personality is the hub of all psychology, believes Laura A. King, PhD.

"Personality psychology is the place where every other place in psychology meets," says King, who this month became the editor of APA's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "We are talking about the person and the characteristics that make each person who they are and explain why they do the things they do."

King wants to share her enthusiasm for the field by attracting more exciting, cutting-edge articles to the Personality and Individual Differences section of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

While she doesn't seek to make drastic changes in the types of articles the journal publishes, she will change the publishing process so that the most innovative articles are published as quickly as possible.

"I want scholars to think about Journal of Personality and Social Psychology as the first place they want to take something that is really hot, that is really interesting," says King, a professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

"I want them to feel like they have the chance to have that paper have a decision made in a timely fashion so that it's not dying on the vine through seven rounds of review, beaten to death, and then finally accepted."

To do that, she hopes to refine the review process so editors and reviewers can avoid micromanaging.

She also wants to encourage more budding psychologists to submit papers. She has received her fair share of rejection letters over her career and knows how discouraging the publishing process can be, especially for students trying to publish theses and dissertations. King will acknowledge young scholars' work with letters that detail the competitive nature of publishing in the journal and encourage them to continue submitting papers for publication.

"Publishing is so hard, and there's nobody who submits a paper to any journal who thinks the paper deserves to be rejected. All of us are passionate about what we do," King says. "The vast majority of papers that are submitted to Journal of Personality and Social Psychology will be rejected, but we can't have all those people say, 'We give up, what's the point?'"