Have you had enough of the scandals in Washington, D.C., the impeachment hearings, the impeachment trial, the never-ending series of interviews with politicians, roundtables of political pundits, the Drudge Report
, three-hour state of the union addresses, four-year campaigns for president? Have you opened the window and yelled, "I've had enough and I'm not going to take it any longer." Do you yearn to know what's happening in the world of psychology? We have great news for you, so close your window and climb back inside! We have just started a new cable channel, the Eclectic Stimulus Psychology Network (ESPN), and we've signed two big names to anchor a daily news program. To give you a taste of what the network has in store, here are some excerpts from the script of our first program:
>> Around the world, across the nation, within your social support network, teetering on the edge of a visual cliff, splitting your corpus callosum, synapsing through your limbic system, and expressing unconditional positive regard--this is PSI WITNESS NEWS. The news for psychologists concerned about their discipline, their profession, and the prospects for being called as an expert witness in the next impeachment trial. PSI WITNESS NEWS is brought to you on recycled paper, using recycled words, clang associations, delusions, and neologisms. Good afternoon, I'm Random Assignment . . .
>> And I'm Spearman Rho, sitting in for Anal Retentive, Sr., who is on sabbatical in Israel, on a 2-year project with a team of scholars attempting to translate the Dead Sea scrolls into APA style.
From the world of research: All of us have heard that baby monkeys prefer the comfort and warmth of terry cloth surrogate mothers. In a recent interview, Harry Harlow's lab assistant reported that each day he hid cupcakes for his lunch under the terry cloth monkey. This shocking revelation led researchers to conclude that the monkeys were eating the cupcakes they found under the terry cloth monkey . . . and washing them down with milk from the wire monkey.
In clinical news: The American Psychiatric Association announced the addition of two disorders to its upcoming DSM-V. Citing seminal work first published in Eye on Psi Chi, the APA committee voted unanimously to add Humor-Impaired Personality Disorder (HIPD) and Internet Use Disorders to its official list of mental disorders. The committee was impressed with recent MRI studies that failed to find any evidence of brain activity in those identified as experiencing HIPD. Researchers have also tentatively identified certain brain regions that seem to be related to excessive use of the Internet. In people diagnosed with the disorder, the brain region stretches from the cerebellum to the frontal lobe. And in a related story, the APA committee issued the following opinion for practicing clinicians, graduate students, faculty, and editors: Anal is not a compliment. All those who have subscribed to such a philosophy in the past were advised "to get a life."
In the world of education: The American Psychological Association, deeply concerned about projected shortages of college teachers, instituted a draft similar to the National Football League. In the first draft . . . The University of Guam traded its first two picks to Fordham University in exchange for Harold Takooshian, a laptop computer, a graduate assistant to be named later, and a dog-eared copy of the APA Publication Manual.
A recent longitudinal study has provided evidence that behaviors exhibited by students are related to behaviors exhibited when these students become faculty members. For example:
Students who highlight every other line in their textbooks grow up to be faculty whose every other sentence is "This is very important."
Students who complain about high rises in tuition grow up to be faculty who complain about low rises in salaries.
And--Students who spend endless hours in front of the student union, doodling on pieces of paper while shooting the bull with friends about nothing in particular, and certainly nothing having to do with college, grow up to be faculty . . . who love serving on committees.
>> Several universities have announced a new academic policy: Graduate students who understand anything written by Raymond Cattell will be awarded six credits toward satisfying . . . the foreign language requirement.
In the world of sports: In the DSM Softball League:
- The game between the Passive Aggressives and the Multiple Personalities was postponed after the Passives refused to leave the dugout and the Multiples took five hours to complete the lineup card.
- League officials report great difficulty in finding a suitable location for the game between the agoraphobics and the claustrophobics.
And in other news, B. F. Skinner apparently rose from the dead yesterday. At a press conference, Skinner explained that his breathing had been on a variable-interval schedule of reinforcement.
In an effort to show that psychologists are just like regular people, APA has released the nicknames of famous psychologists. Let's see if you can guess:
(1) Who was known as "The Spitter?" (Ivan Pavlov)
(2) What was B. F. Skinner's nickname? ("The Reinforcer")
(3) Albert Bandura's nickname? ("Copycat")
(4) What is Elizabeth Loftus's nickname? (She can't recall.)
(5) And finally, which psychologist was nicknamed "The Nerd?"
That's enough guesses . . . way too many names to list here.
Statisticians using computer-assisted three-dimensional plotting techniques have announced the development of a five-tailed t test. As you know, two-tailed tests are used when the direction of the hypothesized result is not specified. This research has incorporated other considerations that are just as important as the direction of the hypothesis. Among the new considerations are:
(a) The direction of one's career: t tests come out more significant if one's career is moving forward. As we've known from anecdotal evidence, when one's career is moving backward, nothing seems to work out significantly.
(b) The direction of one's university: If you must face east to see the ocean, t tests come out significant. If you face west to see the ocean, the test values are exactly the same, but the significance is more cosmic and can only be undfirstood while seated in a hot tub.
>> A team of archaeologists has found and reassembled the tablets Moses smashed after carrying them down a mountain. Markings on those tablets indicate that Moses had tried to correct numerous departures from APA format and style. As you all know, 10 commandments were accepted and published. What you may not know is that Moses asked that 26 others be revised and resubmitted and 12 more are STILL in press as a result of the lengthy publication lag.
>> Watch our 3:00 a.m. news in brief for Type A psychologists with circadian rhythm problems. Until then, may all your ANOVAs be robust, your chi's squared, and your t's crossed.
And that's Psi Witness News for today.
I'm Random Assignment . . .
And I'm Spearman Rho. Good night.
Spring 1999 issue of Eye on Psi Chi (Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 64-65), published by Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology (Chattanooga, TN). Copyright, 1999, Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology. All rights reserved.