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Posted Feb. 4, 2010

Spellman Named Editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science

Stern, Crane

Professor Barbara Spellman has been selected as the new editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science, one of four peer-reviewed journals of the Association for Psychological Science.

The five-year-old journal has made its mark for its eclectic and theoretical focus and for including both invited and submitted pieces, which is unusual in psychology journals.

“It encompasses the latest big thinking about psychology,” Spellman said.

Perspectives on Psychological Science is a place to publish thought-provoking pieces, not just small, incremental research, Spellman said. Submitted articles are supposed to be novel, may be similar to reviews and could be about how science or psychology can and should be done. 

Spellman holds a joint appointment in the Law School and in UVA’s Department of Psychology. She started her four-year term as editor in January and has already outlined some of her goals for the journal.

“My goal is to have it help make psychology a more integrative science — integrative in that I want articles that speak to a broad range of research psychologists, and science in that I really want it to collect and build in a way that a lot of research doesn’t,” she said.

Spellman said psychology scholars often come up with interesting empirical findings that others can’t replicate, leaving unanswered questions about the value of the research.

“People are scared to touch this problem, but part of good science is not just finding new things, it’s weeding out things that are wrong — theories that just don’t hold up when they’re tested,” Spellman said. “I’d like to bring to the forefront some of these debates about whether a finding is real, or is accidental, or is way more limited than we thought by bringing the two sides together and actually trying to get them to talk to each other directly.”