Reyna and Wang, human development appointments

By: Sheri Hall,  College of Human Ecology
Fri, 07/24/2020

Valerie Reyna elected president of the Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science

Valerie Reyna, the Lois and Melvin Tukman Professor of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology, was elected president of the Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science, which is also a division of the American Psychological Association.

Reyna directs Cornell’s Human Neuroscience Institute and co-directs the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research. Her research combines brain and behavioral approaches to understand judgment, decision making and memory.

“Being elected to this position is a great honor and a great responsibility,” she said. “I feel very honored to have the support of my colleagues, and that makes this very special.”

Now is a critical time for leaders in psychology and behavioral science to address the problems facing our society, Reyna shared.

“At this very difficult time, it’s important to realize that behavioral sciences are at the center of many of the issues we face,” she said. “COVID-19 certainly, but also racial disparities and policing. Human behavior and human choice are at the heart of these issues. I hope to organize efforts to make progress in those very important areas.”

“Basic science research is crucial in the pipeline of knowledge that has application to these dire problems,” she added. “The medical folks talk about from bench to bedside. There’s a similar analogy in experimental psychology and cognitive sciences.”

Reyna also said she hopes to steer the focus of the field away from the personal motivations of researchers and toward research data, emphasizing how science serves society.

Qi Wang appointed editor-in-chief for memory and cognition journal

Human Development Chair and Professor, Qi Wang, was appointed the next editor-in-chief for the Journal of Applied Research in Memory & Cognition (JARMAC). She will serve as editor of the journal for a five-year term that begins in January 2021.

JARMAC is the flagship journal of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, an international organization for researchers who study memory and cognition in the real world.

A leading researcher in the study of memory and culture in the College of Human Ecology, Wang also serves as director of the Culture & Social Cognition Laboratory. Her groundbreaking work shows that memory, as personal and private as it can be, is in fact profoundly shaped by cultural beliefs and practices. In addition to her research contributions, she has had extensive editorial and leadership experiences working with diverse individuals and teams to set and accomplish goals. “The field of memory and cognitive research has become increasingly interdisciplinary and integrative, where researchers utilize diverse and rigorous approaches to answer questions of real-world relevance, Wang said. “I envision JARMAC to be the foremost outlet that publishes the best of such research.”

Reyna and Wang cover image