Feature

Having published under every editor of Psychological Review since 1972, John R. Anderson, PhD, feels not only ready to edit the journal, but honored to have the chance to repay it.

"In my mind, this has always been the cream of the crop, the premier journal of the field," says Anderson, the R.K. Mellon professor of psychology and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, of Psychological Review. "Authors save their best work for publication in this journal," first published in 1894.

Still, he admits he'd like to nudge the journal in some new directions and counter a few myths about the publication. For starters, he says many potential authors have the misperception that the journal seeks only articles concerned with mathematical/computational models. In truth, the journal welcomes a broad range of papers and articles that aim to advance psychological theory, including those covering original empirical research.

He also plans to encourage authors to write succinctly, a strategy he hopes will cut down the amount of time it takes for articles to clear the review process.

"Many articles often contain too much material that is not relevant to why the paper is an important contribution," says Anderson. "The journal will especially value papers that focus on communicating their core contributions, rather than being encyclopedic."

Anderson is best known for ACT-R, his computational theory of human cognition. His most recent work applies cognitive psychology and ACT-R to mathematics education by using fMRI to observe how adolescents learn math. Currently, 500,000 U.S. students are using his research-based, computer-based cognitive tutoring system for mathematics.

Anderson has been an associate editor of Cognitive Science, and a consulting editor for Psychological Review and he has been a professor at Carnegie Mellon since 1978. He earned his PhD in 1972 at Stanford University, where he studied under eminent cognitive psychologist Gordon H. Bower, PhD.