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Science Directorate Sponsors First FABBS Science Café

The "science café," a new endeavor of the Federation's Foundation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Science (FABBS) was the first in what will become a series of events in which the public is invited to engage directly with behavioral scientists.

On August 2, the recently-opened International Spy Museum in Washington, DC was filled with people eager to learn more about propaganda and persuasion. This might not seem out of the ordinary, except that in this case psychological scientists were the ones at the podium, and the audience members were largely members of the general public. This "science café," a new endeavor of the Federation's Foundation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Science (FABBS), was sponsored by the APA Science Directorate, and was the first in what will become a series of events in which the public is invited to engage directly with behavioral scientists.

Robert Cialdini, renowned expert on persuasion and professor of psychology at Arizona State University, gave the audience an exciting look inside the world of persuasion and how behavioral scientists are able to systematically study it. He gave many real-world examples (including auto sales and pleas for charitable contributions) that helped the audience members more clearly understand the complexities of this research area. Finally, he linked studies of persuasion and influence to the intelligence community, noting that careful application of these principles could benefit the work of agents.

Visit the FABBS website for more information on this Science Café and those to come.