KEY FEATURES: A student-friendly writing style makes the content more approachable for readers to retain. Personal stories from fellows of the Association of Psychological Science (APS) convey to readers that even the most distinguished experts make mistakes that can be avoided through examination. Critical thinking questions give students the opportunity to reflect on preceding essays. Stories from all areas of psychology appeal to learners beyond subfields of psychology.

The Importance of Professional Discourse

The Importance of Professional Discourse

Jack M. Fletcher

The biggest mistake I have made in my professional career occurred when I strayed from a focus on concepts and methods to the author of the paper. I turned an argument about concepts and methods toward one that was personal and attacked the author for his writing style. In science, personal attacks, which are termed ad hominem, are always unfortunate because they address perceptions of people based on what they have written as opposed to the content of what they have written, thus shifting the focus away from scientific discourse. They also upset both the recipient of the attack and the attacker, sometimes when the response is also ad hominem.

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