7 Common Pop Psychology Myths, Fidget Spinners and more in this week’s news roundup!

Unicorn and rainbow with text "News Roundup"

7 Common Pop Psychology Myths You Might Be Spreading
The latest findings in psychology—about our deep-seated thoughts, emotions, and behaviors—get a lot of media attention. Unfortunately, they often turn out to be flawed or false.

Fidget Spinners: What They Are, How They Work and Why the Controversy
(Live Science)
This season’s hottest toy is marketed as an antidote for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and autism — but it’s also being banned in classrooms across the country.

The psychology behind that popular new comic from ‘The Oatmeal’
(Southern California Public Radio – audio story)
Sometimes, you need to be pretty creative to get an idea across.That’s the approach cartoonist Matthew Inman often takes in his popular webcomic, The Oatmeal. And Inman pretty much nails it with his latest effort, titled “You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you.”

Reaching Students With Emotional Disturbances
A seasoned educator shares four ideas for supporting students who have suffered emotional trauma.

Critical thinking and information fluency: Fake news in the classroom
(Psychology Teacher Network)
Opportunities for teaching scientific and information literacy.

School Bullying Is Down. Why Don’t Students Believe It?
(NPR Ed)

A big new study shows half as many student reports of bullying — including physical bullying, threats and cyberbullying — compared with a decade earlier.

You’re not too old to learn that
(Science Daily)
New theory suggests that adults can combat cognitive aging by learning like an infant

Could Robots Handle Peer Review?
(Inside Higher Ed)
Technologist argues that artificial intelligence could make publishing decisions in milliseconds.

Advice for gaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval on research projects with students
(Psychology Teacher Network)
Mentoring student research is a highly rewarding experience, especially when the project can then be shared at a science fair, conference, or through publication. However, engaging in the IRB process can be daunting, especially for students. Here are a few words of advice for faculty mentors and their student researchers when navigating the IRB.

“All Politics is Local”: 5 Simple Tips for Becoming a Better Advocate
(Psychology Benefits Society)

Interest in our political process has dramatically increased across the U.S. since the last election. People want accountability from their elected representatives and are ready to engage on complex issues such as health care coverage, immigration, and tax reform.

The psychology of the to-do list – why your brain loves ordered tasks
(The Guardian)
Studies have shown that people perform better when they have written down what they need to do. What makes the to-do list such an effective productivity tool?

Teachers Weave Social-Emotional Learning Into Academics
(Education Week)
In Susannah Young’s 2nd grade classroom, the first step in a student’s writing process isn’t a rough draft; it’s a conversation with a peer.

What Is Pseudoscience?
Drawing the boundary between science and pseudoscience isn’t always straightforward.

Rapid Visual Processing of Scenes and Objects
(APA PeePs)
The ability to rapidly recognize objects in our surroundings has obvious advantages for ensuring an appropriate and rapid response. For instance, the ability to rapidly distinguish a cat from a raccoon on my porch ensures that I open the door to let my cat inside, or slam the door to prevent a raccoon invasion.

About the Author

Hunter Clary
Hunter is a communications professional who came of age in the digital revolution, and has witnessed big changes in how we communicate. In his eclectic 20 year career he’s seen vast changes across multiple industries from advertising, B2C, professional services, publishing, and now non-profit. During his time at APA Hunter has watched the growth of in the organization’s web presence; a shift from print to digital media; and the pickup of social channels like the PsychLearningCurve. A tech geek at heart, Hunter is naturally drawn to all things shiny and new especially when it comes to communicating – particularly social media and apps. Hunter seeks to understand the world around him -- add in a penchant for creative design and a reporter’s curiosity and you’ve got Hunter. Through this blog he hopes to help translate quality psychological science into practical uses for educators, students, and parents.