Meet Psychology Editor Christopher Johnson at SPSSI

It’s been about 6 months since we last caught up with Christopher Johnson, Executive Editor for Psychology. Here, we learn more about what has been unfolding for the UC Press’ newest discipline—Psychology. 

It’s been an exciting few months. How have your projects been developing for the Psychology list?

I’ve been at the Press for about 18 months and it’s great to have projects at various stages of development.

  • My first book at UC Press is publishing this SeptemberSeeing: How Light Tells Us About the World by noted cognitive psychologist Tom Cornsweet (Emeritus Professor at UC Irvine).
  • My newest textbook signing is a wonderful treatment of creativity by Robert Weisberg (Temple University). This book joins two other innovative textbook signings from earlier this yearone for the psychology of adjustment course by Robert Innes and a second for the testing and measurement course by Lisa Hollis-Sawyer.
  • I’m particularly excited to be working with pioneering psychologist Ravenna Helson (Professor Emerita UC Berkeley) and coauthor Valory Mitchell on a book that traces the evolution of Helson’s groundbreaking Mills Longitudinal Study.
  • New proposals have been keeping me busy. From a new textbook for the psychology of religion course, to a thoughtful and innovative look at the evolution of the self in the digital age, to a much needed new text for the psychology of the self course. I really want to hear from authors interested in reaching audiences in undergraduate and graduate psychology courses.

Are you specializing in a particular area of psychology?

Absolutely! The UC Press has traditionally championed books that examine social issues: race, class, gender, conflict, poverty, social justice, the environment, etc. The topics are well represented in our world-class sociology, criminology, history, anthropology, and other catalogs. Psychological science sheds an indispensable light here and I’m eager to work with authors who want their research to influence the national dialog. To that end, I welcome proposals for related textbooks, scholarly works and trade books.

Join UsAnd Meet Christopher at SPSSI! 

Interested in publishing your work with Christopher and UC Press? Contact Christopher at cjohnson@ucpress.edu. And set up a time to meet with him at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) conference in Albuquerque, NM this  June 23-25.

And learn more about the Higher Education Program.


Editor Spotlight: Christopher Johnson, Executive Editor for Psychology

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For more than 120 years, UC Press has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. It was with considerable excitement that we have decided to add psychology to our catalog—complementing our already strong presence in sociology, anthropology, history and other disciplines.

In this Q&A with Executive Editor Christopher Johnson, we learn about what brought him to publishing and his plans for the new psychology list.

Why did you become an acquisitions editor?

I spent the early years of my publishing career in sales and marketing. But like the kid with his nose pressed against the candy store window, I spent most of that time eagerly waiting for the moment when I could be the person to work directly with authors, helping shape ideas, and solving problems. Over twenty years later (and no longer a kid), it’s still a thrill to sit across a desk from a prospective author and ask the question: “How can I help you tell this story and reach your audience?”

What projects are you working on now to develop the Psychology list at UC Press?

Building a program from scratch is an exciting but somewhat daunting challenge. Fortunately, the response from psychologist around the country has been overwhelmingly positive. Though we are new to psychology, the UC Press brand is widely known and much respected.

I’ve been at the Press for one year and I’m happy that I have projects at all stages of development. For example:

  • My first book at UC Press is Seeing by noted cognitive psychologist Tom Cornsweet (Emeritus Professor at UC Irvine). The manuscript is undergoing final reviewing now and we hope to publish in late 2017.
  • My most recent signings include two innovative textbooks. The first is intended for the psychology of adjustment course by Robert Innes at Vanderbilt University and the second a highly applied book for the testing and measurement course by Lisa Hollis-Sawyer at Northeastern Illinois University.
  • I’m currently reviewing a number of proposals for new titles. It’s a wonderfully eclectic mix. From a companion reader to a behavioral statistics course, to a first person account of pregnancy and the first nine months of life by a developmental psychologist, to a much needed new text for the psychology of the self course, these projects under consideration reflect the broad scope of our new program.

You’re developing new textbooks and course books. Why is new content intended for use in courses important to you?

I’m very interested in acquiring a broad range of psychology books including works of popular science (a.k.a trade books), as well as more specialized works intended primarily for researchers. However, I am especially excited to hear from prospective authors interested in reaching audiences in undergraduate and graduate courses. The industry is undergoing dramatic changes and the big commercial publishers are de-emphasizing (or eliminating altogether) textbook offerings for upper division courses. I’m really proud that UC Press is committed to serving this increasingly under-served community of teachers and students.

Join Us 

Interested in publishing your work with Christopher and UC Press? Contact Christopher at cjohnson@ucpress.edu.

And learn more about the Higher Education Program.

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Collabra: Psychology Call for Papers: Developmental Psychology

This post was originally published on the Collabra: Psychology blog. For Collabra: Psychology news and updates, please follow @CollabraOA, the Collabra blog, or sign up for the Collabra e-newsletter.

UC Press is proud to be part of the AAUP’s fifth annual University Press Week. Check out our blog and social media channels through Nov. 19th (plus follow hashtags #ReadUp #UPWeek), and learn how we, along with 40 of our scholarly press colleagues, work diligently to publish vital works benefitting educational, specialized research, and general interest communities.


We invite you to submit your work in developmental psychology to Collabra: Psychology, the mission-centric, value-sharing open access (OA) journal from University of California Press.

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If you’ve already heard of us, you will know that Collabra: Psychology is different. It is not just another OA journal, but a journal that actually gives back to the research community through a novel mechanism that recognizes and shares the value contributed by editors and peer reviewers. This mechanism shares earnings with editors and reviewers for any journal work (not just work leading to acceptance), and allows them to make decisions as to what happens with this value, with options to “pay forward” that value to institutional OA budgets, or to an author waiver fund subsidizing APCs for other researchers. This page explains it in full.

Additionally, Collabra: Psychology is focused on scientific, methodological, and ethical rigor. Editors and reviewers do not attempt to predict a submission’s impact to the field, nor employ any topic bias in accepting articles — they will check for rigorously and transparently conducted, statistically sound, adequately powered, and fairly analyzed research worthy of inclusion in the scholarly record. The bar is set high.

We encourage you to submit your work to us, and to know that you will be supporting one of the first journals that shares actual value with all of the people who do the work and help create a journal’s brand. With our first papers now published and receiving over 25,000 views collectively, we look forward to continued publishing success. Any questions, please contact Dan Morgan.

For Collabra: Psychology news and updates please follow @CollabraOA, the Collabra blog, or sign up for the Collabra e-newsletter.

There are many more innovative features at Collabra: Psychology, including optional open peer review, article-level metrics, article annotation and commentary from hypothes.is, and an article-sharing partnership with Kudos, to name just a few. Please do check out the website for the full story: www.collabra.org.

To see more Calls for Papers from Collabra: Psychology, click here.

We hope to hear from you soon!

(On behalf of the Editors)

Dan Morgan, Publisher, Collabra: Psychology


Open Access Week 2016: An Interview with Collabra: Psychology Senior Editor, Don Moore

collabra_header_twitter_small (1)This post was originally published on the Collabra: Psychology blog. For more information about Collabra: Psychology, our open access journal publishing in psychology, please visit collabra.org and follow along at @CollabraOA and the Collabra blog.

This post is also in honor of International Open Access Week, October 24–30, 2016. Stay tuned all week for more special content from UC Press Open Access initiatives.


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Don Moore, PhD, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Collabra: Psychology is fortunate to have an impressive roster of senior editors across its seven psychology sections. Among these is Don Moore, PhD, Professor of Management of Organizations at the Haas of School Business, UC Berkeley, and Senior Editor in Organizational Behavior.

Don Moore got his start as a PhD candidate at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, followed by a position at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. While there, he visited the University of New South Wales in Sydney, the University of Wurzburg in Germany, and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Then, because his family “really likes schlepping back and forth across the country,” he went back to Carnegie Mellon for an additional year before accepting a position in the Management of Organizations group at the Haas School.

Now adding Senior Editorship of Collabra: Psychology to the many hats he wears, we sat down with Don to learn more about his work and research, as well as what inspired him to be part of the open access journal.

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in Organizational Behavior?

After college, where I majored in Psychology, I went to go work for a privately held and neurotically secretive industrial supply company where I was overpaid to do dreadfully dull work. I hated the job the company wanted me to do, but I was fascinated by all the circumstances surrounding my work. How did the company select people for hire or promotion? How did the company make important decisions? Who had the power? How did they communicate with others in the organization? Was the company doing these things optimally or was it possible to identify better approaches? I went back to graduate school, in part to get away from my awful job managing grommet inventories, but mostly to study all the fascinating issues of behavior in organizations.

2. I gather that your research has focused primarily on the study of overconfidence. How did you arrive at this topic?

In graduate school I had the good fortune to be able to work with the wonderful Max Bazerman at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. For my dissertation, I studied the role of time pressure in negotiation. Mostly, it was a narrow and boring dissertation topic, but there was one interesting result that emerged: when negotiators were put under time pressure, everyone (both buyer and seller) thought it was bad for them, and thought the time pressure would help the other side. Trying to understand how it is that people could be more aware of their own constraints than of others’ led me to run studies in which people were competing with each other on tests whose difficulty I manipulated. When the test got harder, all competitors thought they would be less likely to win. Or to pick another example, when the instructor cancels an exam review session or decides to make the exam closed-book, students’ hopes of getting a good grade decline, even if everyone knows the exam is graded on a forced curve. The consequence is underconfidence: everyone believes they had a below-average chance to win. My career since then has focused on identifying when people are overconfident and when they are underconfident.

3. Can you share a particularly memorable experience or breakthrough in your research?

My proudest breakthrough was when I realized I could explain the baffling empirical inconsistency between the hard-easy effect (in which people overestimate performance most on hard tasks) and its apparent reversal in better- and worse-than-average effects (in which people are most likely to believe that they are better than others at easy tasks). I presented that delightfully parsimonious explanation in a 2007 paper with Deborah Smalland a 2008 paper with PJ Healy.

4. What do you think is the greatest concern or challenge in your field today?

The field is going through a wrenching series of changes in the conduct of research and sharing of results. Before long, it will be standard practice for researchers to pre-register their studies before they run them, and afterward to post data, materials, and analysis code. But until then, the rules of the game are changing, and the changes are not being adopted at an equal rate everywhere, creating some divisions among scientists and some uncertainty for young scientists regarding how they should do their work.

5. What drew you to editorship of Collabra: Psychology?

The old system for publishing and disseminating scientific articles is appallingly inefficient, distressingly unfair, and deeply dysfunctional. For-profit publishers exploit the volunteer labor of researchers, reviewers, and editors. They then claim copyright over our work, slow down its dissemination, restrict access to the knowledge we want to share with the world, and charge our own libraries for access to it. It’s an utterly insane system that only exists because once upon a time it was expensive to distribute paper copies of printed journals. But the Internet has changed all that, making it essentially free for scientists to share their research with the world, for example at a pre-print repository. A revolution will overthrow the world of scientific publishing and I am excited about Collabra: Psychology’s potential role in hastening that revolution.

6. What kind of impact do you hope to have as a Senior Editor for Collabra: Psychology?

I am proud that Collabra: Psychology will be open and free to everyone, and that contributors will also be helping advance open science in other ways, including data posting and open reviews. We hope to establish Collabra: Psychology’s distinctive reputation as a journal whose high methodological standards can assure readers that papers published in the journal present results that are true and replicable. Researchers doing this sort of work ought to be especially interested in submitting it to us. But Collabra as a publishing program is also positioned to play a larger role in the future of scientific publishing. The journal’s publisher and OA platform stand ready to host other journals. When editorial teams at closed journals decide to throw off the yoke of exploitation and move en masse to an open-access format, Collabra has the infrastructure in place to make that move easy for the team. Moreover, since Collabra does not attempt to claim exclusive ownership over articles, it could serve as the quality referee for an online archive, such as PsyArXiv or OSF preprints in the case of Collabra: Psychology.

7. Okay, overconfidence aside — do you have a secret talent or hobby you are willing to share?

I’m quite confident I don’t. I have devoted my life to science, and taken vows of poverty and celibacy. Well, I did make an exception for my wife. And truth be told, I’m not sure the poverty thing is really working out either. But I have become a very boring person as most of my hobbies have fallen by the wayside because I love my work so much. If I have a secret talent, it is the ability to spring eagerly from my bed most mornings at 5 a.m. to dash to my desk and get to work.


Collabra: Psychology invites you to submit your work in Organizational Behavior under Senior Editor Don Moore. Click here to see our Call for Papers.


Collabra: Psychology Call for Papers: Organizational Psychology

This post was originally published on the Collabra: Psychology blog. For Collabra: Psychology news and updates, please follow @CollabraOA, the Collabra blog, or sign up for the Collabra e-newsletter.


We invite you to submit your work in organizational psychology to Collabra: Psychology, the mission-centric, value-sharing open access (OA) journal from University of California Press.

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If you’ve already heard of us, you will know that Collabra: Psychology is different. It is not just another OA journal, but a journal that actually gives back to the research community through a novel mechanism that recognizes and shares the value contributed by editors and peer reviewers. This mechanism shares earnings with editors and reviewers for any journal work (not just work leading to acceptance), and allows them to make decisions as to what happens with this value, with options to “pay forward” that value to institutional OA budgets, or to an author waiver fund subsidizing APCs for other researchers. This page explains it in full.

Additionally, Collabra: Psychology is focused on scientific, methodological, and ethical rigor. Editors and reviewers do not attempt to predict a submission’s impact to the field, nor employ any topic bias in accepting articles — they will check for rigorously and transparently conducted, statistically sound, adequately powered, and fairly analyzed research worthy of inclusion in the scholarly record. The bar is set high.

But, most importantly for this call for papers, Collabra: Psychology has a great team of editors who specialize in organizational psychology, led by Don Moore, Senior Editor, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

We encourage you to submit your work to us, and to know that you will be supporting one of the first journals that shares actual value with all of the people who do the work and help create a journal’s brand. With our first papers now published and receiving over 25,000 views collectively, we look forward to continued publishing success. Any questions, please contact Dan Morgan.

For Collabra: Psychology news and updates please follow @CollabraOA, the Collabra blog, or sign up for the Collabra e-newsletter.

There are many more innovative features at Collabra: Psychology, including optional open peer review, article-level metrics, article annotation and commentary from hypothes.is, and an article-sharing partnership with Kudos, to name just a few. Please do check out the website for the full story: www.collabra.org.

To see more Calls for Papers from Collabra: Psychology, click here.

We hope to hear from you soon!

(On behalf of the Editors)

Dan Morgan, Publisher, Collabra: Psychology


Collabra: Psychology Call for Papers: Methodology & Research Practice in Psychology

This post was originally published on the Collabra: Psychology blog. For Collabra: Psychology news and updates, please follow @CollabraOA, the Collabra blog, or sign up for the Collabra e-newsletter.


We invite you to submit your work in methodology & research practice in psychology to Collabra: Psychology, the mission-centric, value-sharing open access (OA) journal from University of California Press.

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If you’ve already heard of us, you will know that Collabra: Psychology is different. It is not just another OA journal, but a journal that actually gives back to the research community through a novel mechanism that recognizes and shares the value contributed by editors and peer reviewers. This mechanism shares earnings with editors and reviewers for any journal work (not just work leading to acceptance), and allows them to make decisions as to what happens with this value, with options to “pay forward” that value to institutional OA budgets, or to an author waiver fund subsidizing APCs for other researchers. This page explains it in full.

Additionally, Collabra: Psychology is focused on scientific, methodological, and ethical rigor. Editors and reviewers do not attempt to predict a submission’s impact to the field, nor employ any topic bias in accepting articles — they will check for rigorously and transparently conducted, statistically sound, adequately powered, and fairly analyzed research worthy of inclusion in the scholarly record. The bar is set high.

But, most importantly for this call for papers, Collabra: Psychology has a great team of editors who specialize in methodology & research practice, led by Simine Vazire, Senior Editor, University of California, Davis.

We encourage you to submit your work to us, and to know that you will be supporting one of the first journals that shares actual value with all of the people who do the work and help create a journal’s brand. With our first papers now published and receiving over 25,000 views collectively, we look forward to continued publishing success. Any questions, please contact Dan Morgan.

There are many more innovative features at Collabra: Psychology, including optional open peer review, article-level metrics, article annotation and commentary from hypothes.is, and an article-sharing partnership with Kudos, to name just a few. Please do check out the website for the full story: www.collabra.org.

We hope to hear from you soon!

(On behalf of the Editors)

— Dan Morgan, Publisher, Collabra: Psychology


“The Best I Have Read”: A Mental Health Professional on Listening to Killers

James Garbarino’s Listening to Killers grants readers an inside look into two decades of murder suspects, and his in-depth account, rather than showing these individuals as singular cases, paints a more complicated picture that mental health professionals are keen for the public to recognize.

In a recent review, Joshua Eudowe praised Garbarino’s work: “[Garbarino’s] knowledge, compassion, insight, and unmatched experience provide us with an amazing opportunity to learn the path that lead children to violence. Listening to Killers, his most recent book, is the best I have read.”

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Joshua Eudowe has served in emergency services for over 16 years, having provided psychotherapy to young victims and witnesses of extreme violence and psychoanalytic/behavioral therapy to young adult patients in Connecticut’s State psychiatric hospital Young Adult Services unit. He is completing his doctoral studies in clinical and forensic psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, with an emphasis in forensics, particularly in mental disorders induced organically or through trauma. He also specializes in the behavioral precursors to violent action.

Like Garbarino, Eudowe notes that broader social and cultural issues can create toxic environments and mentalities for children, especially young victims of trauma. Sometimes, this is enough to drive a youth from innocence to violence.

“For those of us in the field of mental health, law enforcement, and education,” says Eudowe, “it is our role to understand where these behaviors originate in order to be more effective in the delivery of our respective services. But society has a tremendous responsibility that often gets overlooked or ignored. . . society must learn to identify its own contribution to the emotional damage and effect on how these children become killers.”

See the full text on the eA Risk Management Group’s blog.


Moral Wages wins ASA’s 2015 Outstanding Recent Contribution in Social Psychology Award

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Moral Wages: The Emotional Dilemmas of Victim Advocacy and Counseling is the winner of the 2015 Outstanding Recent Contribution in Social Psychology Award, given by the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association.

Kenneth Kolb is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Furman University.
Kenneth Kolb is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Furman University.

Based upon a year of fieldwork, Kenneth Kolb’s book explores the world of domestic violence advocacy work. How are victim advocates and counselors emotionally compensated for the demanding nature of their jobs, and furthermore, how do outside factors affect these “moral wages”? Moral Wages documents the influence of government bureaucracy and waning resources upon these emotional benefits, as well as the role of gender inequality even in the predominantly female field of victim advocacy.

This prize will be awarded at the 2015 ASA Meeting, which will be held this summer. Our congratulations to Kenneth Kolb!


UC Press Podcast: Leslie C. Bell on the Hardships of Hookup Culture

While young women today benefit from unprecedented education and opportunity compared to previous generations, many have trouble navigating personal and sexual relationships, Leslie C. Bell argues in her new book, Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom. Drawing from her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist, Bell takes us directly into the lives of young women who struggle to negotiate the complexities of sexual desire and pleasure, and to make sense of their historically unique but contradictory constellation of opportunities and challenges.

In the latest episode of the UC Press Podcast, Bell discusses the legacy of the sexual revolution and the need for honest conversation between women in their twenties and their predecessors. In a wide-ranging discussion, she addresses methodological issues like the representation of queer women in her study, the benefits of a small sample size, and what sets her findings apart from those discovered in a survey.

Listen now:  

For more, read Salon’s interview with Bell, “Finally! A nuanced look at hookup culture,” and Bell’s op-ed in Psychology Today, “What Lena Dunham’s Girls Know, And Dora the Explorer Doesn’t.”


The Other Crime that Dare Not Speak Its Name

Barbara Almond photoBarbara Almond, psychotherapist and author of The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood, writes about the common, but little-discussed issue of maternal ambivalence in her most recent blog post for Psychology Today. Read it below:


This blog is about the dilemmas of modern parenting and the painful emotions that ensue from attempts to do it perfectly. As human culture has developed and changed over the milennia, so too has human parenting. But the passion to raise children “correctly” has reached an apex over the past 30 years or so that burdens contemporary parents to a disturbing degree. These demands engender ambivalence, that mixture of loving and hating feelings that characterizes all important relationships.

Ambivalence arises where there is a conflict between the needs of the parents and those of their children. For example, a loving mother, who has nursed her infant happily every few hours during the day, cannot really welcome being woken out of a much needed sleep every few hours all night long. Yet many women feel guilty and depressed at their own resentment, exhaustion and unfriendly thoughts. That resentment seems very understandable—after all, she does feed the baby even if she would rather not at that moment–but it isn’t, to the mothers themselves. An acquaintance confessed to me that her mother’s group once took up the subject of their resentment towards their children and then felt so guilty, they could never go back to it again.

Maternal ambivalence is “the crime that dare not speak its name” in the 21st century (to paraphrase Oscar Wilde who referred to homosexuality as the crime that dare not speak its name in the 19th century.) Everyone feels it, but has trouble talking about it, and those who do speak up raise feelings of alarm in those who are pushing these feelings out of consciousness.

It seems so puzzling–ambivalence is a normal human phenomenon. What you love, you can also lose. Those you love can leave you, reject you, and disappoint you. How can anyone always be loving? The need to suppress negative feelings is really more of a burden than parents realize.

Read the full post at Psychology Today.