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.

Separating Data-Based From Non-Data-Based Evaluations

Separating Data-Based From Non-Data-Based Evaluations

Harry P. Bahrick

I describe how undocumented assumptions/beliefs shaped memory research and how my ignorance of these effects influenced my career.

Before the 19th century, psychological phenomena were assumed to involve the soul, a theological construct not suitable for scientific study. In the 19th century, biologists and physicists initiated psychophysical investigations relating sensory experiences to physical stimuli. Their success encouraged other scientists to study more complex conscious processes.

Scientific study of memory began with Ebbinghaus’s seminal finding that retention of lists of syllables followed a predictable course over time. Ebbinghaus used experimentation, the preferred method of 19th-century physics. His demonstration helped to gain acceptance of psychology as a scientific discipline in universities. It not only made ...

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