When Timothy B. Baker, PhD, takes over the leadership of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology this winter, the changes he'll make will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.
Baker, professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin and associate director of the university's Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, has always been impressed with the high quality content of the journal, which has often led the way for major changes in the field. This is a testament, he says, to the outstanding job done by previous editors.
Baker has lengthy experience with this journal, having served as a member of the editorial board, as an associate editor for four years and as editor of a special issue on theories of addictive disorders.
The journal, founded in 1906 and acquired by APA in 1926, has been an instigator of many shifts in the thinking on psychology, from early articles on psychodynamics, moving through later discussion on personality and behavior, says Baker. And in more recent years, the journal has published vital articles on developmental psychopathology and cognitive approaches to experimental psychopathology.
And, he says, as the premiere outlet for research relevant to psychopathology, the journal holds an important position in terms of public policy. Its papers look at issues with broad societal impact such as environmental and genetic influences on psychopathology and persistence of behavioral problems over the life-span.
In addition, Baker says, the journal has published seminal theoretical papers that have had influence "downstream" on the way disorders are treated. In recent years, topics have included sex biases in the diagnosis of personality disorders, gender differences in the development of depression and the epistemology and conceptual basis of the concept of "disorder."
Baker says he will adopt an even "more parochial approach" in ensuring that articles focus on psychopathology, rather than on treatment mechanisms. By prior agreement, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology is considered the outlet for papers on the diagnosis or treatment of abnormal behavior.
He also says that in light of his years as a researcher and a grant reviewer, it's clear "transdisciplinary research is the wave of the future." That means he is searching for "research that is comprised of diverse, but integrated, assessment and analytic approaches such as behavioral, genetic and genetic strategies, imaging techniques, neuropsychological assessment, ecological momentary assessment, random coefficients modeling and so on."
Along this line, he wants to develop an editorial board comprised of a broad array of scientists and to encourage biological scientists and neuroscientists to submit papers.
"The old days of thinking in terms of the mind-body dichotomy are over," says Baker. We "have to provide the readers with an integrated view of psychopathology."
Manuscripts for the journal should be submitted to: Timothy B. Baker, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1202 West Johnson St., Madison, WI 53706.
Goodman-Delahunty takes reins of public policy journal
Publication offers a comprehensive discussion on psychology and law.
BY KATHRYN FOXHALL
Jane Goodman-Delahunty, PhD, JD, named recently as the second editor in the five-year history of Psychology, Public Policy and Law (PPPL), says she will continue the model of the APA journal as a forum for discussion of psychology as a science, related scientific information, and public policy and the law.
As the journal's founding editor, Bruce D. Sales, PhD, JD, explained in the journal's first issue, attorneys read law journals, psychologists read psychology journals and rarely did the twain meet, even when the subject matter was of real interest to the other profession.
But PPPL, says Goodman-Delahunty, has "very rapidly" emerged as a popular resource for both psychologists and lawyers as well as for other public policy scholars and researchers.
In addition, while other journals publish tightly constructed research articles on psychology and law, PPPL allows for more comprehensive discussion of policy, encouraging theoretical, conceptual and critical reviews. In this line, Goodman-Delahunty will continue to accept submissions of more than 75 manuscript pages. The maximum allowed by other journals is about 35, she notes.
"A vital strength of the journal is the opportunity it provides for rich, elaborated theoretical exposition," says Goodman-Delahunty. The publication also has the unique stature, she points out, of being both a peer-reviewed psychology journal published by APA and a law review of the law schools of the University of Arizona and the University of Miami. That dual status gives people in both professions incentive to publish in the journal.
The journal's topics in its first five years have included sex offenders, treatment of mentally disoriented offenders, competence of adolescents to stand trial, jurors' comprehension of a judge's instructions, and pretrial publicity.
One change Goodman-Delahunty does plan is to expand the number of topics covered in each issue and to rely less on the current one-theme issue format. That, she says, will not delay publication of important articles that may not fit with a particular theme.
She intends to broaden the content to include more articles on global, international and multicultural issues; implications of various legal developments for all psychologists; and the needs of special populations, including the underserved.
Goodman-Delahunty, who begins reviewing manuscripts for the journal this month, is both a psychologist and an attorney. She is currently an administrative judge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Los Angeles, and a private mediator and arbitrator with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services. Among other appointments, she taught and conducted research for seven years in the University of Washington psychology department.
Although the journal has fallen behind schedule, five issues are currently in production, and Goodman-Delahunty plans to return to a normal mailing schedule by the beginning of next year.
Submissions should go to Jane Goodman-Delahunty, PhD, JD, Psychology, Public Policy and Law, 2407 Calle Madiera, San Clemente, CA 92672, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Devine encourages psychologists to expand their vision
Crossdisciplinary research is where the excitement lies, says new editor of Attitudes and Social Cognition.
BY JAMIE CHAMBERLIN
Appropriately, the new editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP): Attitudes and Social Cognition, Patricia Devine, PhD, is thinking about stereotypes. She wants authors to avoid thinking only formulaic articles belong in Attitudes and Social Cognition. Her goal is to include more progressive, crossdisciplinary pieces.
"What I hope is that people will break away from formulas and start to think about topics that would be really exciting for the field to explore more fully," says Devine, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin. "I want to expand our vision of what's appropriate for the journal--I don't want people to be shy about exploring new areas and pushing the frontiers."
Beginning this month, Devine will edit Attitudes and Social Cognition, the part of JPSP that covers the interface of attitudes and cognition with overt behavior, affect and motivation, and includes research on stereotypes, the self-concept, self-regulation, emotion and the influence of attitudes and cognition on persuasion, communication, prejudice and cultural trends. Devine, who has served as an associate editor for the section for four years, wants to intrigue readers and publish manuscripts that "move the field forward in theoretically compelling and novel directions," she says.
Devine is especially interested in articles that "explore the role of attitudes and social cognition for illuminating the social issues that provide much of the grist for social psychology's mill."
She believes that exciting discoveries in social psychology can result from researchers exploring how the subfield relates to other disciplines, including sociology and anthropology, or subfields within psychology, such as neuroscience and cognitive and developmental psychology.
"People who study neurobiology want to study neurobiology, not how it may inform our understanding of social behavior and social dynamics," she says. "But to me, that is where the real excitement lies."
Administratively, Devine is exploring the possibility of managing the entire peer-review process on the Internet. In addition, she aims to fine-tune the editorial process to improve authors' already positive experiences with the journal, such as keeping authors more up-to-date on the status of their manuscripts.
Devine is looking forward to working with her two associate editors--David Dunning, PhD, whose areas of expertise include social judgment and psychology and law, and Timothy Wilson, PhD, who studies attitudes and decision-making. The three will have the breadth of the field covered, says Devine, whose own research has focused on eyewitness identification, prejudice, stereotyping and social perception and attitudes.
As a team, they are particularly interested in helping young investigators become contributing members of the discipline.
"But our main goal is to ensure JPSP is an exciting read--that people look forward to getting the journal."
Manuscripts for JPSP: Attitudes and Social Cognition can be sent to Devine at the Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson St., Madison, WI 53706-1611.
Professional journal's focus grows ever more applied
Journal's new editor seeks more coverage of what works in practice.
BY BRIDGET MURRAY
As incoming editor of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Mary Beth Kenkel, PhD, wants to give practitioners, students and trainers more of what they seek in the journal: research findings they can use.
The journal, currently edited by APA President Pat DeLeon, PhD, JD, accepts articles from both researchers and clinicians. In recent years, its focus has grown increasingly applied and its articles more succinct, with practice implications taking precedence over background and detailed descriptions of methodology.
"Professional Psychology bridges the gulf between science and practice by saying not only that this is the finding, but that this is what you as practitioners and educators should do, or could do with this information," says Kenkel. "I find that an exciting mission, and I feel protective of that mission."
In fact, when she starts accepting manuscripts this month, Kenkel seeks to enhance that pragmatism by publishing even more articles by clinicians, especially ones about new niches and directions. Among the topics she favors are assessing treatment outcomes, collaborating with health-care providers and negotiating the changing health-care market.
Kenkel's position as chancellor of the California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno, has also attuned her to professional training issues--she hopes to publish articles about keeping training current, for example, and creating and placing students in internships. In addition, she aims to shorten the time it takes to consider and accept manuscripts for publication.
"The goal is to get to the meat of recent findings, and to get this information out to practitioners more quickly," says Kenkel.
She plans to preserve much of what Professional Psychology already does, keeping, for example, its articles on important legislative and public policy initiatives and its 60/40 mix of empirical versus conceptual articles. But unless the manuscript provides significant new information, she will steer away from topics that have been frequently covered by the journal, such as the repressed memories controversy and surveys indicating the need for educational programs to offer a particular type of course.
She'd like, however, to publish more on how practitioners handle various problems in a new department she's adding, called "Practitioners' Dilemmas." It will be, she says, a place for considering legal, ethical and business problems, such as caps on reimbursement for services and boundary violations between therapists and clients.
She even hopes to hit some contentious issues, such as psychology's uneasy relationship with religion and with master's practitioners and managed care.
Finally, Kenkel favors articles about training students to work with an increasingly diverse U.S. population.
"We're working," she says, "to make psychology more sensitive to a variety of cultures, races and other forms of diversity."
Manuscripts for the journal can be sent to Kenkel at Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, care of California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno, CA 93727.
Mischel sees Psychological Review as forum to connect with new fields
This editor hopes to break down artificial barriers in the field of psychology and beyond.
BY LISA RABASCA
Sometimes, says Psychological Review incoming editor Walter Mischel, PhD, researchers try to reinvent the wheel rather than building on existing theories creatively and developing new ones that are useful improvements. Mischel wants to challenge authors to "build on, innovate, create and go beyond" theories that have already been developed, rather than renaming them.
"We psychologists treat our theories like self-respecting people treat their toothbrush," Mischel says. "Nobody wants to use anyone else's. But if originality is claimed in a theory, it should be original and better than what was offered before."
Mischel, the Robert Johnston Niven professor of humane letters in psychology at Columbia University, begins considering manuscripts for the journal this month. He has been a consulting editor of the journal for the last decade.
Exciting discoveries are being made at the edges of the field where psychology connects to newer areas of study, such as neuroscience, behavioral genetics and vision science, Mischel says. But, as each becomes a scientific discipline in its own right, it tends to split away from psychology.
The hazard, he says, is that the new field and psychology can each become impoverished. The challenge for Psychological Review is to provide a platform, on which psychological theory can connect with these new fields and attempt conceptual integration for mutual benefit, he says. Topics might range from developments in basic principles and models emerging from research in behavioral medicine on the effects of stress and the processes that control it, to work in cognitive neuroscience on the emotional brain in rodents and brain injuries in patients.
The journal can also be a forum for addressing intersections within psychology at the theoretical level. For example, he says, there are artificial and archaic divisions among social, personality, clinical and developmental psychology.
"Each of these becomes isolated from the other and there's a great deal of redundancy, overlap and disconnect between them that doesn't allow each to benefit from relevant developments in the others," he says. "These divisions don't necessarily carve nature at its natural joints; often they reflect the history and politics of the disciplines, rather than the basic processes that underlie the phenomena of interest."
Mischel hopes to help break down these artificial barriers.
"My intention is to have all doors open, to encourage a wide range of creative theory-building activity as long as it's based on serious scholarship and deep scientific work," he says. "I would like to encourage people to take chances on potentially important ideas that still aren't perfectly safe. A manuscript doesn't have to be long and heavy to be significant."
He promises to respond to manuscripts as quickly as possible.
"Science journals should have a rapid turnaround," he says. " If ideas are good, they shouldn't have to wait forever. There is a time urgency that should be respected."
Mischel will be working with a team of associate editors: Susan Andersen, PhD, Barbara Dosher, PhD, Susan Carey, PhD, and Lynn Nadel, PhD.
Manuscripts for Psychology Review can be sent to Mischel at the Department of Psychology, Columbia University, 406 Schermerhorn Hall, New York, NY 10027. Please include six hard copies. Or manuscripts can be e-mailed to him at email@example.com.
Memory serves, but exactly how?
New JEP:LMC editor says shorter articles will no longer be ignored.
BY PATRICK A. MCGUIRE
In ancient days, Aristotle spoke of "learning by heart," because he believed that's where memories were stored. Since then, it seems, analogies about memory have tended to be based on the hottest theory or technology of the day, from a comparison to pigeonholes in the Middle Ages, to the music box during the time of Mozart, to the railroad train, and eventually to today's favorite metaphor: the computer.
For Thomas O. Nelson, PhD, new editor of the bimonthly Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition--or JEP:LMC--that metaphorical history reminds him of how important memory used to be.
"In the Middle Ages," he notes, "people had to memorize everything, because most did not write, paper was scarce and computers were unknown. Memory was considered one of the major components of intelligence."
And though it may now seem that we've all outsourced our memory needs to hard drives and software, the basic human processes of memory, cognition, learning and decision making, says Nelson, are still prime research territory. Thus, reports from the field in these areas will continue under his editorship.
So, too, will articles on the subject he is best known for: metacognition.
"I'm interested," he says, "in the process of how people monitor what they're learning, to the point they think they've mastered some information enough to go onto the next set of items."
Metacognition, including "meta-memory," has for years intrigued Nelson--a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland--and dozens of other researchers, who have looked to JEP:LMC as psychology's most highly cited empirical journal in the area of learning and human memory.
This month, when he accepts manuscripts for 2001, Nelson hopes to enhance that reputation by breaking with a current policy of accepting mainly multiple-experiment articles. "I would like to change that policy and show no prejudice anymore as to the length of an article. A short article is as welcome as a long article. The focus will be on the quality of the article."
He says some researchers feel obligated to submit longer articles because they know that's what is being accepted. For example, he says, articles will cite an experiment that involved 20 subjects, and then go into detail about an almost identical experiment involving 30 subjects. In fact, it was essentially one experiment involving 50 subjects.
But his real reason for the change, he says, is that "right now, JEP:LMC is just missing out on a lot of very good short articles. I'd like it to be the case that people will send their top quality short articles to us and not feel they had to send them to other journals."
Manuscripts should be sent to Nelson at the Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742.
West sees animals as role models for excellence
An Indiana bird expert will head Comparative Psychology journal.
BY JOE VOLZ
Meredith West, PhD, believes that humans are very arrogant and could learn a lot by studying animal behavior.
And that is just what the Indiana University psychology professor, who takes over editorship of the Journal of Comparative Psychology (JCP) this month, has been doing. She studies the singing of birds and how they learn. That doesn't mean, though, that she ignores humans. Also a subject of her research is human prelinguistic behavior.
But animals fascinate her and they will continue to be the stars of JCP under her editorship. "What animals do with their bodies is fascinating," she says. "Watch a bird swoop down and catch a fish or watch a cat walk on a narrow fence without falling off. These actions are beautiful. We really should be looking at animals, not as surrogates for humans, but as role models comparing examples of behavioral solutions."
Why does she want to take on the time-consuming role of editor?
"I am concerned about the future of research on behavior, and I believe JCP has an important role to play," she says. "Compared to other APA journals that include measures of animal behavior, JCP maintains the broadest perspective on the diversity of behavioral form and function."
She adds, "The task of identifying and understanding the diversification of behavior within and across species is as important now as 100 years ago when the concept of variation took on new meaning in light of Darwinian theory."
"Sometimes, humans looked to other animals to find evidence of our biological roots, to seek comfort in the idea that aggression or intelligence is in our genes and thus out of our hands to change," she explains. "Sometimes, humans looked to other animals to find evidence of human superiority or to show how humans qualitatively differ from other animals. The increasing interest in evolutionary psychology is also igniting new reasons to think about other animals."
West wants diversity to continue. "I'd like to see more articles that integrate social and cognitive behavior from a comparative perspective."
West was the American editor of Animal Behaviour from 1991 to 1994, responsible for the fate of 400 manuscripts.
She believes in tender handling of contributors.
"I tried to focus discussion on addressing weaknesses and strengths in the written manuscript, not in terms of characteristics of the author," she says. "Perhaps, the best compliment I got was from someone who said I wrote the nicest rejection letter he had ever received."
Manuscripts for JCP can be sent to West at the Department of Psychology, 1101 E. 10th St., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-7007.