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I Love My Job! Cool New Things I Learned Just Yesterday While Reporting on Psychological Science

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I love my job as a psychology textbook author—sharing my life-relevant science with millions of students worldwide. Every day I get to play with and organize ideas, make words march up a screen, and then sculpt those words with cadence and imagery that I hope will engage and give pleasure to our student readers.

 

But before playing with the words, the greater work is the reading—from several dozen psychological science and science news periodicals. Thanks to this continuing education, I am privileged to learn something new nearly every day.

 

Yesterday, for example, I harvested these gems from the American Journal of Psychiatry:

  • review of “neurocognitive” investigations of transgender people,
  • a meta-analysis of the efficacy of psychodynamic therapy,
  • a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled drug trials for treating acute schizophrenia,
  • an experiment on bright-light therapy for treating bipolar depression, and
  • a study indicating the effectiveness of ketamine for reducing suicidal ideation.

 

The latest issue of Nature reported, from an analysis of 1.5 million medical research papers, that women authors are more likely to include sex and gender variables in their analyses. Another Nature study reported that brain imaging can help predict suicidal ideation.

 

Perhaps most interesting, in today’s climate of political hate speech, was a new Aggressive Behavior report of two large national U.S. surveys. The title says it all: “Exposure to hate speech increases prejudice through desensitization.”

 

With such information in hand, I then print and file each report in a cubbyhole system organized by our books’ chapter topics. When the time comes to make those words march up the screen for a new edition, most of the needed information will be readily at hand. And then I get to start all over again filling up those cubby holes. What a great job. Smiley Happy

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The accumulated new materials for one recent edition of our Psychology text.

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I have to say, I absolutely LOVE your textbook!!!! I am an adult college student who has been chipping away at classes for several years now, and am only just now taking intro to psych, and yours is bar none the most enjoyable textbook I have ever read. It is well written and beautifully organized. I greatly appreciate the inclusion of SQ3R methods so that I can easily retain the material. The little quotes and cartoons in the margins are entertaining and thought-provoking. The class I am taking covers the entire textbook from beginning to end, so we are reading all of the modules anyway, but even if we weren't, I would want to finish the book on my own. Every topic is interesting and engaging, and David, you have the courage to be funny in a textbook! Why aren't more people funny in textbooks!? It's wonderful! I utterly adore your little asides (like the April Fool's Day footnote... I initially did a double take and then actually laughed out loud in surprise and delight; and the cookie thief story...), and your stock of folk sayings, and many plays on language. I notice all of them and they are fantastic. It is a treat to pick up the book, and I have learned so much more than I ever expected to in a 100 level Psych class. Thank you thank you thank you for this work that you do!

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Author

Thank you, Sarah, for your very kind--and much appreciated--words of encouragement. What a kind person you are (and what a pleasure it is for my co-author, editors, and me to support your engaging the wisdom of psychological science).

David Myers

www.davidmyers.org

About the Author
David Myers has spent his entire teaching career at Hope College, Michigan, where he has been voted “outstanding professor” and has been selected by students to deliver the commencement address. His award-winning research and writings have appeared in over three dozen scientific periodicals and numerous publications for the general public. He also has authored five general audience books, including The Pursuit of Happiness and Intuition: Its Powers and Perils. David Myers has chaired his city's Human Relations Commission, helped found a thriving assistance center for families in poverty, and spoken to hundreds of college and community groups. Drawing on his experience, he also has written articles and a book (A Quiet World) about hearing loss, and he is advocating a transformation in American assistive listening technology (see www.hearingloop.org).