EQI.org Home | Teen Advocacy | Society

Robert Epstein

The Case Against Adolescence

-- Chapter 8 - Love

Myth of Teen Brain

Giving Psychology Away

Epstein's website

How Infantilized Are You


EQI.org Home Page

Core Components of EQI.org

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Intelligence | Empathy
Emotional Abuse | Understanding
Emotional Literacy | Feeling Words
Respect | Parenting | Caring
Listening | Invalidation | Hugs
Depression |Education
Personal Growth

Search EQI.org | Support EQI.org

EQI.org Library and Bookstore

Online Consulting, Counseling Coaching from EQI.org

Excerpt from The Myth of The Teen Brain

There is clear evidence that any
unique features that may exist in the brains of
teens—to the limited extent that such features
exist—are the result of social influences rather
than the cause of teen turmoil. As you will see, a
careful look at relevant data shows that the teen
brain we read about in the headlines—the immature
brain that supposedly causes teen problems—
is nothing less than a myth.

The teen brain fits conveniently into a larger
myth, namely, that teens are inherently incompetent
and irresponsible. Psychologist G. Stanley
Hall launched this myth in 1904 with the publication
of his landmark two-volume book Adolescence.
Hall was misled both by the turmoil of
his times and by a popular theory from biology
that later proved faulty.

Full pdf article


Giving Psychology Away

A Personal Journey
Robert Epstein

Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, Concord, Massachusetts; University of California, San Diego; and Psychology
Today, New York, New York

ABSTRACT—In this autobiographical essay, I trace the origins
of my passion for communicating with the public
about mental health and the behavioral sciences and make
a case for spreading such passion among psychologists. I
also describe the circuitous route that led to my unlikely
4-year tenure as editor-in-chief of Psychology
magazine and describe some of the inner workings of this
New York–based, commercial enterprise—formerly the
property of the American Psychological Association. I
made some progress in that role to return the magazine to
its scientific origins, providing an outlet for hundreds of
scientists and practitioners to speak directly to millions of
Americans about their work. This is an essential task, I
argue, if our field is to flourish. I also detail my departure
as editor-in-chief of Psychology
and describe the
magazine’s rapid return to ‘‘pop’’status. Media sources do
not automatically welcome participation by clinicians or
behavioral scientists. Through a contingency analysis, I
suggest ways of improving our ability to interface successfully
with media professionals.

I can imagine nothing we could do that would be more relevant to
human welfare, and nothing that could pose a greater challenge
to the next generation of psychologists, than to discover how best to
give psychology away. (Miller, 1969a, p. 74)

As a college student in the early 1970s, I felt I had a religious
calling. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I suppose nearly
every young American had a calling of some sort. Mine, I
thought, was from God—although I was not sure that God existed.
In this essay, I talk about the odd journey upon which this
calling has taken me, complete with brief stops at Harvard
University, the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies,
Reader’s Digest, the White House, several radio programs, and,
most notably, Psychology Today magazine. Along the way, I talk

about some contingencies of reinforcement and punishment that
allow us as professionals to educate, or that prevent us as professionals
from educating, the public about mental health and
the behavioral sciences. But first, back to God.

The calling came in my late teens, and I interpreted it to mean
that I was supposed to become a rabbi. So immediately upon
graduating from college at age 20, I sold almost everything I had
and, under a program run by the Hebrew Union College (HUC), a
Reform rabbinical school in New York, I left for Israel. The HUC
program proved to be too lightweight for my religious leanings,
so I soon left it to stay in an Orthodox religious academy, a
yeshiva, in Jerusalem, where I spent 11 hours a day in prayer and
study. It was an extraordinary experience, for which I was not
entirely well suited. For one thing, I kept questioning the rabbis
and my fellow students about exactly where our prayers were
going, and I also occasionally disappeared into the city to binge
on nonkosher food.

After 6 months in Israel, I reinterpreted my calling, concluding
that I was not supposed to be a rabbi, but that I was supposed to
help people. I had been a psychology major in college, and I was
also an ardent Skinnerian. I had brought my copy of Science and
Human Behavior (Skinner, 1953) with me to the yeshiva, and I
had more faith in Skinner’s book than I did in my siddur. So,
ultimately, I left Israel, determined to make ‘‘significant and
lasting contributions to humankind’’—actual words from my
notes at the time—through a career in psychology.

When I returned from Israel in early 1975, I wrote at length
about how I planned to fulfill my calling. In a blue loose-leaf
notebook, I made grand plans about how I was going to get the
best training I could in psychology and then make the world a
better place by spreading the word about the scientific understanding
of behavior and its possible applications. My focus,
I thought, would be self-management. A number of books on
behavioral self-management were published in the early and
mid 1970s (e.g., Goldfried & Merbaum, 1973; Kanfer &
Goldstein, 1975; Mahoney & Thoresen, 1974; Stuart, 1977;
Thoresen & Mahoney, 1974; Watson & Tharp, 1972; Williams
& Long, 1975), and I had studied every one. I was also involved

in a modest research project on this topic that was eventually
published in Behavior Therapy (Epstein & Goss, 1978). In addition,
I had collected every book, article, and scrap of paper
that Skinner had ever published. I even owned copies of all of his
patents and of the abstracts he had published in Psychological
Abstracts when he was a graduate student at Harvard in the late
1920s. I was, to use Hoffer’s (1951) term, a ‘‘true believer’’—
with, it seems, some compulsive tendencies.

In the spring of 1975, at age 21, I gave a formal presentation
about my plans to the scholar who had mentored me during my
college days: William Mace, an ecological psychologist who was
then chair of the psychology department at Trinity College in
Connecticut. I even brought snacks and a selection of drinks for
him to consume as I lectured to him from his own blackboard. He
listened patiently and never laughed once, undoubtedly fighting
his natural inclinations.1

In the fall of 1976, I entered a master’s program in Maryland,
where I learned about the experimental analysis of behavior
from A. Charles Catania, one of Skinner’s most prominent students,
and where I learned about applied behavior analysis from
Richard Foxx, a pioneer in that field who had worked closely
with Nathan Azrin, also a prominent student of Skinner’s. In
addition to working in Catania’s pigeon lab, I worked with Jacob
Gewirtz of the National Institute of Mental Health on behavioral
research he was conducting with human infants. I was off to a
good start.


That year I also corresponded with and then visited Skinner, first
at his home and then at his office. When he showed me around
his basement study, I brashly told him what was on the walls and
shelves, and once or twice I completed his sentences for him.
Then age 74 and retired, Skinner was visibly shaken by my
forward manner, but he was also impressed by my passion and
my knowledge of his work. He asked me to do some editing on
the autobiography he was writing, and, ultimately, he suggested
that I work with him the following summer. Our interactions,
which I have written about previously, were intense and highly
productive (Epstein, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1996b, 1997c,
1997d; Epstein, Lanza, & Skinner, 1980, 1981; Epstein &
Skinner, 1980, 1981; Willard & Epstein, 1980).

Among other things, I convinced ‘‘Fred,’’ as he insisted
on being called, to conduct research again; he had abandoned
his pigeon laboratory nearly two decades before. Some
of our laboratory work was eventually captured in a classroom
film that was cited as the best new educational film of the
year by the American Psychological Association (APA) in
1982 (Baxley, 1982). By the end of the summer of 1977,
I was invited to be a full-time graduate student at Harvard,

in the same program that Skinner had entered 50 years

I never told anyone at Harvard about my calling, but I was
clearly on a mission. By the end of my 4 years there, I had 21
publications either in print or in press, and I also gave an invited
address about the ‘‘Columban Simulation Project’’—a series of
pigeon ‘‘simulations’’ of complex human behavior—at the APA
convention in Montreal in 1980. To the consternation of my
fellow graduate students, I was excused from having to write a
dissertation. The department chair simply called me into his
office one day and advised me to ‘‘staple some of your publications
together and get out while you still can’’—a message
I did not find entirely encouraging.

I also got married and had two sons during my graduate-
student years. One highlight: Skinner, who apparently did not
have the good sense to look away at the right moment, fainted at
my younger son’s circumcision ceremony. After the procedure
was complete, the rabbi who had done the cutting—speaking
with a heavy Yiddish accent, no less—surprised the assembled
group with a lengthy sermon about how my wife and I were
supposed to raise our new son ‘‘in programmed steps using
positive reinforcement.’’ Skinner, seated on a nearby sofa and
conscious but still weak at this point, nodded repeatedly in
agreement, undoubtedly thinking he had died and gone to
Heaven. (I learned later that the rabbi had read about Skinner’s
work while in rabbinical college in the 1950s. He had planned to
write a programmed text to teach the Talmud but had never
gotten around to doing so. When he walked into my apartment
and saw the elderly man, he asked someone who the man was,
thinking he might be the new baby’s grandfather. He was
shocked to learn that the man was Skinner, and he later shocked
everyone else with his Skinnerian sermon.)

Around the time I completed my degree, I founded an advanced-
studies institute called the Cambridge Center for Behavioral
Studies, dedicated to ‘‘advancing the study of behavior
and its humane applications in the solution to practical problems
and the prevention and relief of human suffering.’’ While
teaching and conducting research part-time, I then spent 9 years
as the center’s executive director. Skinner had objected strongly
to my taking this route, telling me that administrative work was
‘‘a complete waste of time,’’ but I was on a mission, and I thought
I could have more impact through a new institute than through
classroom lectures.2

After leaving the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in
1990, I started writing in earnest for national magazines and
newspapers—among them, Reader’s Digest, which had a readership
of more than 100 million. I also began doing small on-air
segments about behavior for the Voice of America and National
Public Radio. I was looking for new venues through which

I could communicate with the general public about behavior.
Could I find ways to package the behavioral sciences so that
people might enjoy what they were learning? More important,
could I develop platforms that would allow other behavioral
scientists and practitioners to talk to the public in effective ways
on a regular basis?

I spent long hours trying to figure out how to get people in the
national media to help me fulfill my mission, which, for some
reason, they were seldom inclined to do. I had helped to create
and was directing an annual contest of artificial intelligence, the
Loebner Prize Competition (Epstein, 1992), and that gave me
some good media contacts. The contest got first-page coverage in
The New York Times in 1990 and over the next couple of years
was picked up by hundreds of media outlets, including CNN and
PBS. I exploited these contacts vigorously in my attempts to talk
to the public about behavior. I also spent several years courting
people in the Hollywood area. Psychology, I thought, should
have its own daily television show, and I was able more than once
to convince writers and producers to put proposals together and
shop them around to the studios. There were a number of close
calls, and promises were made, but no show appeared. Hollywood
is a tough town that I am still trying to crack. The national
media can be frustrating, for sure. After a while, though, I did
have some success with a relatively venerable—or, I should say,
formerly venerable—magazine.


Psychology Today is only one step removed from Skinner’s pigeon
laboratory. It was founded in 1967 by George Reynolds, a
behavioral psychologist who got his doctorate under Skinner;
Nicholas Charney, one of Reynolds’s graduate students; and
Winslow Marston, a childhood friend of Charney’s. It was intended
to be the Scientific American of the behavioral sciences,
packaging these little-known sciences in terms the educated
public could understand and enjoy. By 1975, it had a subscription
base of 1.2 million and a readership of perhaps 10
million, which made it one of the most popular magazines in the
United States.

Skinner got ample coverage in the new magazine; that should
come as no surprise, given both Skinner’s prominence and the
magazine’s origins. The August 1971 issue excerpted most of
Skinner’s best-selling book Beyond Freedom and Dignity; the
nearly unreadable psychedelic cover dispensed with the usual
cover photo and included, in large type, no text other than
‘‘Psychology Today/B. F. Skinner/Beyond Freedom and Dignity.’’
The magazine published portions of Skinner’s multivolume
autobiography (Skinner, 1979, 1983), as well as original
articles he wrote (Skinner, 1969, 1977), extensive interviews
with him (E. Hall, 1972; M.H. Hall, 1967b; Yergin, 1979), and
excerpts from one of his books (Skinner, 1981).

But Skinner was not the only prominent thinker featured in
the magazine. In its early years, Psychology Today was a veri-

table Who’s Who of the behavioral sciences,3 and because of its
visibility, the magazine also gave major career boosts to many
young unknown psychologists. Memory researcher Elizabeth
Loftus, for example, has long credited her public fame to a 1974
article she published in Psychology Today about her successful
effort to assist a public defender in a murder case (Loftus, 1974;
Loftus & Ketcham, 1991). When the American Psychologist
announced her receipt of a major award in 2003, the accompanying
text reported that after the Psychology Today article

her life would never be the same. The circulation of the magazine
was nearly a million [actually substantially higher] and was read
by many lawyers and judges. The phone started ringing off the
hook . . . and the next few decades of her life would be filled with
scientific discoveries and legal cases, intermixed and interwoven.
(‘‘Elizabeth F. Loftus,’’ 2003, p. 865)

In the mid 1970s, a survey published in an academic
journal identified Psychology Today as one of the top six periodicals
in which psychologists hoped to publish (out of 100
journals included in the survey), not far behind Psychological
Review and the American Psychologist (Koulack & Keselman,

Success often leads to ruin, and such was the case with
Psychology Today. Because of its large circulation, the magazine’s
founders made a fair amount of money in the 1970s
by selling the magazine to Boise-Cascade, a large paper
company, which then sold the magazine to Ziff-Davis, a large
New York publishing company. Executives there thought they
could grow the magazine even further by ‘‘popularizing’’ it.

T. George Harris, the charismatic, psychology-loving editorin-
chief who had lifted the magazine to its height, was fired,
and psychologists Paul Chance and Carol Tavris left soon
afterward. The content began to soften, and the decline began.
As Smith and Schroeder noted in a 1980 content analysis of
the magazine’s performance in the late 1970s, both the empirical
content of the magazine and the proportion of articles
written by psychologists were dropping fast; as it happens, so
was the circulation.

In the early 1980s, in a somewhat secret, multi-million-dollar
deal, Psychology Today was purchased by APA (Kimble, 1995).
APA has a mission, too, and part of that mission is to ‘‘give
psychology away’’ to the general public (Miller, 1969a, 1969b;
Zimbardo, 2004). But the APA leadership had miscalculated on
several fronts. Many members of the organization were outraged
at the immensity of the investment that had been made without
their knowledge or consent, as well as by the fact that most of the
magazine’s revenues came from cigarette and liquor ads. A 1988
report suggested that there was ‘‘little support’’ for publishing
the magazine among the general membership (Pion et al., 1988,

p. 1044), even though the quality of the content of the magazine
under APA’s ownership was considerably stronger than it had
been under Ziff-Davis. APA sold Psychology Today in the late
1980s at a loss of about $16 million, forcing the organization to
sell its buildings in Washington, DC, in order to avoid bankruptcy
(‘‘Five-Year Report,’’ 1991; Kimble, 1995).
For a year or two, Psychology Today ceased to exist, until
it was finally purchased in 1991 by a small New York
company called Sussex Publishing, which was making its way
by resuscitating needy but respectable magazines such as
Mother Earth News and Spy. Sussex made the magazine profitable
by keeping operating costs low and developing new
advertising markets, mainly in the natural-health industry. But
the content was largely ‘‘pop,’’ and APA’s bad experience kept
the magazine isolated from the profession that it purported to

In 1995, I published a short article in Psychology Today about
Skinner’s ‘‘baby box’’ (Epstein & Bailey, 1995), marking the
50th year since the publication of his article about the aircrib in
the Ladies’ Home Journal (Skinner, 1945). My article summarized
the results of a survey in which graduate student Shelly
Bailey and I traced aircrib usage with about 50 children. The
rumors notwithstanding, the survey showed that the baby box
was in all respects an excellent crib.

Psychology Today’s reputation was not strong in 1995, but I
started making regular trips to New York to try to build relationships
there. In 1996, I published a feature article called
‘‘Capturing Creativity,’’ which was about some of my laboratory
research (Epstein, 1996a), and I was also made a ‘‘contributing
editor’’—which meant little more than that I got my name on the
masthead. In 1997, I published two more feature articles in
Psychology Today (Epstein, 1997a, 1997b) and continued my
visits to New York.

In 1998, I was approached by a salesman from a talk-radio
station who said that for a mere $3,500, he would put me on
the air an hour a week for 3 months in Providence, Rhode
Island. All I needed was a telephone, he said—and $3,500. He
also said he would get lots of advertisers for the show and that,
ultimately, I would make money by splitting the advertising
revenues. This was a scam, but I did not know it. Most people on
talk radio pay to be on the air—sometimes because they are
drawn in by unscrupulous salespeople and sometimes to satisfy

their egos, but usually because they have something to sell. In
any case, I told John P. ‘‘Jo’’ Colman, at that time the principal
shareholder of Sussex Publishing, about the offer and suggested
that we call the show ‘‘Psychology Today Live’’ in order to help
market the magazine. He wanted to sell subscriptions, so he
agreed to pay $2,500 of the required amount, and I paid the

Now I had a show, but it was not clear that I had any
listeners. Each week, students and interns came to my house
in San Diego, and I called in to Providence to do the live
program. My helpers spent most of their time calling in to
the show from a second line in another room in my house, pretending
to be Providence residents who were just dying to learn
about psychology. Over the 3-month period, I think I got three
real callers, and Colman figured he got 12 subscriptions. But I
also got some good experience doing talk radio, and I had done
some bonding with Colman, albeit through a failed business

In March of 1999, I learned that Anastasia Toufexis, then
editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, was thinking of leaving. She
was a career journalist who had previously been the behavior
editor at TIME magazine. Psychology Today was a bare-bones
operation compared with TIME and other magazines with which
she had worked, and she was getting frustrated by the lack of
resources. In particular, she did not like the fact that her editorial
budget was too small to provide adequate compensation
for the journalists and professional writers who were writing
most of her articles. A little contingency-driven lightbulb went
off in my head. I called Colman and suggested that I become the
next editor-in-chief. No, I knew nothing about magazine production,
and no, I knew nothing about journalism, and no, I knew
nothing about art or layout, but I just knew I could do the job. He

But then I started talking about money. I told Colman that I
could reduce editorial costs while upgrading the content of the
magazine, improving its reputation, and restoring its ties to
mental health professionals—which, I said, could mean a large
number of new subscriptions. I would do this, I said, by going
back to the original Psychology Today model, the one that had
led to its great success in the 1960s and 1970s: I would have
psychologists once again write most of the pieces, using professional
writers to rewrite and edit as needed. Psychologists are
accustomed to writing for nothing, I said, so we would not have to
pay them much, and the rewriting could be done inexpensively
using in-house staff and freelancers. By getting top psychologists
back on our pages, I said, we would gradually improve the
prestige of the magazine, and we would also reestablish ties with
APA and other professional organizations. The magazine would
get back into classrooms and waiting rooms, and Colman, I said,
would make more money.

In April of 1999, I became the first nonjournalist editorin-
chief of Psychology Today, and my first issue was printed
in August. Psychologist David Elkins of Pepperdine University

wrote our cover story on spirituality (Elkins, 1999), and we
put Madonna on the cover because at the time she was studying
Kaballah—Jewish mysticism—in Los Angeles. The cover
was far-fetched, but the issue sold well, and Colman was

When APA owned Psychology Today, a supervisory committee
headed by psychologist Gregory Kimble exercised strong, if not
total, control over every aspect of the magazine’s content,
including advertising (G. Kimble, personal communication,
October 14, 2005), but my own control was limited. In fact, the
experience of running the magazine, especially during the
production of my first few issues, was nightmarish, in part because
I chose to run the magazine from San Diego (the headquarters
was in New York), in part because I was not a journalist,
and in part because I was the only psychologist on the staff of
‘‘Psychology’’ Today. Among other problems, I was unprepared
for the brutal way staff members sometimes treated each other
(and me), and I could not understand why important prose was
constantly being cut to make way for preposterous ‘‘art’’ or ads
for breast enhancers.

Over the first 6 months or so of my editorship, I learned,
gradually and painfully, about a set of contingencies, rules, and
practices of which I had been completely unaware before
coming to Psychology Today. Here are a few:

Local organizational culture is always important, and it turns
out that it is not uncommon in the culture of New York journalists
for people to insult, yell at, and abuse each other—
especially near the close of an issue.
Journalists are trained to reduce beautiful, distinctive, sophisticated
prose down to Steinbeckian minibites, even if the
prose comes from someone of great standing—say, the surgeon
general of the United States.
The sales, art, and editorial departments of a magazine are in
constant competition with each other. Space is always precious
because of the financial contingencies that govern
printing and distribution, and because ads—solicited by the
sales staff—bring in most of the revenues, they tend to take up
as much space as they need. Meanwhile, whereas writers and
editors want to see every one of their words in print, the art
director is determined to fill the pages with large drawings and
photos; a magazine, I was told, must be ‘‘aesthetically
appealing’’ or the public will not buy it. In other words, the
behaviors of sales, art, and editorial professionals are
governed respectively by conflicting contingencies of reinforcement.
In theory, the editor-in-chief gets final say over ‘‘the edit,’’ that
is, the textual matter in all of the articles, but the sheer volume
of content makes it impossible for the editor-in-chief to have
complete control, and smart, ambitious staff journalists do not
like to be micromanaged. What is more, the publisher—the
one with the checkbook—occasionally expresses an opinion,
sometimes causing complete chaos.


Having provided some context, I summarize—with, I admit, no
small degree of pride—how Psychology Today changed between
1999 and 2003:

Advisory board: To try to reconnect the magazine with psychology
proper, we established an advisory board consisting
of some of the field’s most distinguished individuals, and
several members of the board proved to be especially active in
trying to improve the magazine.4
Circulation: To boost and stabilize newsstand sales and improve
the image of the magazine, we began routinely putting
top celebrities on our covers, struggling sometimes to find
legitimate reasons for having them there. During my tenure,
we maintained a circulation of about 350,000—a respectable
number, given that magazines in general were declining (especially
after the attack on September 11, 2001), and major
magazines like George and Mademoiselle were being forced
out of business. That circulation put Psychology Today on a
par with The Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s—about 100,000
subscribers behind the former and 100,000 ahead of the
latter. Consumer subscriptions, newsstand sales, library
subscriptions (high for a commercial magazine), waiting-room
placements, and ‘‘pass-arounds’’ gave us a readership of well
over 3 million.
Testing: I am a researcher by background, and I have also
taught courses on research methods on and off over the years,
so I suggested that we test cover images before going to press.
Covers at Psychology Today used to be selected by shouting
matches, but we were using street and on-line surveys to
determine which images and headlines potential buyers and
subscribers preferred.
Mind’s Eye: Most issues began with a photo of intriguing
people, along with a commentary by a prominent therapist in a
feature called the Mind’s Eye.
Editorial: I wrote a substantive, fairly serious editorial for
every issue, such as one titled ‘‘Physiologist Laura: She’s Not a
Psychologist and We Don’t Want Her’’ (Epstein, 2001a), an
attack on radio personality Laura Schlessinger.
Informational column: In each issue, we ran a question-andanswer
column—Ask Dr. E—in which I tried to inform and
educate, rather than give advice.
Authorship: The biggest change was our shift away from
journalists. During my tenure, most of our feature articles
were written by distinguished scientists and therapists,
sometimes with the help of professional writers, and other
prominent psychologists appeared in interviews.5 One very
successful article we published was a parenting piece by
psychologists Jacob Azerrad and Paul Chance (2001), which
even included a graph of a single-subject reversal design—
not something one sees very often in national magazines. In
one of several articles that nearly got me fired, pioneering
psychiatrist Loren Mosher (1999) criticized the American
Psychiatric Association for its close ties with the pharmaceutical
industry, and Senator Arlen Specter was one of many
high-ranking government officials who had opened their doors
to us (Specter, 2000). We also were the first publication to
publish an advanced copy of the executive summary of the
new Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health (Satcher,

Readings: To aid students and serious readers, we ended
every feature with a short list of suggested readings.
Heads Up: To reconnect with the profession, as well as to
help and entertain readers, we started a department called
Heads Up, in which the presidents of national organizations
answered a question of interest to the general public, such
as ‘‘How can we stop school violence?’’ or ‘‘Should you
punish your child?’’ Participating organizations included
APA, the American Psychological Society (APS; now the
Association for Psychological Science), the American
Psychiatric Association, the American Counseling Association,
the National Association of Social Workers, and the
Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, among
News: The news section of the magazine—usually 12 pages,
with more than 20 short articles—summarized recent research
studies in lay terms, and the staff took great pains to
avoid interpreting correlational studies in causal terms.
Health psychology: We established a Health Psych column,
edited for a while by psychologist H. Melbourne Hovell,
founder and director of the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology
at San Diego State University.
Cutting-edge research: We also created a Frontiers department,
which featured interviews with scientists conducting
leading-edge research; this column was edited by APA senior
scientist Nancy Dess for nearly 2 years and then, briefly, by
Kurt Salzinger, the new director of APA’s Science Directorate
and former chair of the board of trustees of the Cambridge
Center for Behavioral Studies. Salzinger was succeeded by
Susan K. Fiske, a professor at Princeton and former president
of APS.

B. Stuart (2002); and Philip Zimbardo (Maslach, 2000).
Book and Web reviews: Our new book and Web reviews section
was edited by Chance, who also wrote occasional features for
us. We brought him back to Psychology Today after a long
hiatus, and he was a tremendous asset.
Langer column: We also ran a regular commentary, Just Think
About It, by Harvard social psychologist Ellen Langer, who
brought her distinctive perspective to many everyday topics.
History page: We concluded most issues with a historical
photo supplied by the Archives of the History of American
My Story: To connect in a meaningful way with people dealing
with behavioral, cognitive, and emotional disorders, we began
a department called My Story, in which a reader told about his
or her experience with depression, bipolar disorder, a phobia,
or some other debilitating problem. In one of the first columns
of this sort, a reader provided a meticulous and disturbing
account of what it had been like for her to undergo electroconvulsive
therapy. In another issue, actor Christopher Reeve
gave a moving account of his struggle to regain functioning
after sustaining a spinal cord injury.
Mental health awards: In 2000, Psychology Today began
giving annual awards to people who helped improve the
mental health of Americans. Nominations in eight different
categories—government, media, research, and so on—were
invited each year from 300 leaders in mental health and the
behavioral sciences nationwide, and recipients included
Tipper Gore, Rosalynn Carter, Fred Rogers, and Albert Ellis,
among others, both notables and unknowns. For the first
round of awards, we printed a congratulatory letter from
President Bill Clinton.
National radio show: Somewhere along the way, I also got
‘‘Psychology Today Live,’’ my radio program, onto the national
airwaves. This program allowed me to put nearly 200 distinguished
guests on the air over a period of about 2 years.6
On one of the occasions when David Satcher appeared on
‘‘Psychology Today Live,’’ I complimented him on the unprecedented
efforts he was making to address the mental health
problems of Americans. He replied, with great warmth and to my
complete surprise, ‘‘I have great appreciation for the work that
you do, and I think you’re reaching a lot of people through the
magazine and your program. Keep it up! We need you!’’ Faced
with an endless barrage of deadlines from the magazine, the

radio program, and my professorship, and not having taken a day
off in years, I felt more fatigued than appreciated, but signs that
my efforts were paying off were indeed appearing.

In 1999, the magazine was invited to participate in the White
House Conference on Mental Health, organized by Tipper Gore,
who later agreed to be interviewed for the magazine and radio
program (she holds two degrees in psychology, after all). In 2002,
I was invited to talk about the magazine’s progress at APA’s
annual meeting, and that fall Rhea Farberman, APA’s publicity
director, and Norman Anderson, APA’s incoming chief executive
officer, dropped by Psychology Today’s office in New York to
check out our operation. Also in 2002, an empirical report in a
volume on teaching suggested that Psychology Today articles
were helpful in motivating students in introductory psychology
courses (Appleby, 2002). We were also getting regular invitations
to attend events at the Carter Center, where former first
lady Rosalynn Carter had long run an ambitious program to
make the mental health needs of Americans a high priority for
media professionals and government officials; both Carters appeared
on the radio program and in the magazine.

Changes in the magazine were also getting noticed in the
media. Articles about our new direction appeared in both Science
and The Chronicle of Higher Education early in 1999, and
included hopeful but cautious comments from Alan Kraut, director
of APS, and APA president Richard Suinn (‘‘Psychology
Today, Long Ignored,’’ 1999; ‘‘Rehab for Psychology Mag,’’
1999). And a lengthy article in a January 2000 issue of The
Baltimore Sun, titled ‘‘Serious Therapy for a Magazine,’’ read in
part as follows:

After 25 years of sliding circulation, creeping inanity and dwindling
respect, Psychology Today is undergoing sober analysis . . ..
For the third time, Psychology Today will make a run at ‘‘giving
psychology away.’’ Its editor has pledged to reassert the voice of
authority over the ‘‘bubble-headed gurus’’ and ‘‘vacuous self-help
books’’ that he says have tarnished the profession. It may sound
like the kind of talk more likely to emanate from a graduate-school
lounge than from a New York publisher’s suite. But scholars are

‘‘Psychology has an image problem,’’ says Gregory Kimble,
emeritus professor of psychology at Duke University and one of the
new advisors. ‘‘Psychology Today can help to correct it.’’ (Dorsey,
2000, p. 2)

Although the feedback I was receiving was generally positive,
I did run into trouble at one point with some gay activists. In its
November/December 2002 issue, the magazine ran a small ad
for a new book titled A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality
(Nicolosi & Nicolosi, 2002). Shortly after the issue
came out, I received an angry phone call from an APA member
who identified herself as a lesbian activist and who strongly
objected to the ad. I assured her that I had nothing to do with the
magazine’s sales department and that I was confident readers

could tell the difference between editorial content and paid
advertisements, but she was far from satisfied. I soon found
myself flooded by angry e-mails, many from people who said they
were canceling their subscriptions—even though, according to
our records, some were not subscribers. Some people even
protested the magazine’s antigay ‘‘article.’’ I settled the matter, it
seems, to almost everyone’s satisfaction with a long editorial
titled ‘‘Am I Anti-Gay?’’ in which, among other things, I reviewed
evidence suggesting that homosexuality is partly genetic
in origin (Epstein, 2003a).

By early 2000, Psychology Today magazine was empirically
based from cover to cover, delivering valuable and credible
information to the American public. It provided a platform
for prominent, credentialed scientists and practitioners to
communicate directly with a large audience, and some key
people had noticed and praised the changes. Those signs I was
perpetually seeking—signs that I was making a contribution—
were now glowing brightly, but one of them, it turns out, read


On a Monday morning in March of 2003, the publisher of
Psychology Today called to inform me that he was replacing
me—that very minute, it seemed—with my 27-year-old
news editor, a bright, energetic journalist with no background
in the behavioral sciences but with a salary much lower
than mine. I would now have the honorary title ‘‘West Coast

By this time, I was expendable. In 1999, I had marketed
myself by promising both cost cutting and new revenues. I had
indeed kept costs low, but my fantasies about new revenue
sources had proved to be just that. I had thought that by improving
the credibility and prestige of the magazine, I could
create connections between the magazine and various segments
of the academic and mental health communities, which would in
turn generate more income for the magazine. But a collection of
classic Psychology Today articles I edited for classroom use in
1999 (Epstein, 1999) sold poorly over the next couple of years,
and we had no indication that students were interested in the
newly renovated magazine.

Moreover, various proposals I had made to APA and other
organizations (including APS) for distributing the magazine to
their members had gone nowhere. Some APA officials had been
around during the dark years when Psychology Today had nearly
bankrupted the organization; the mere mention of the magazine
raised hackles. Ray Fowler, APA’s executive director, also
pointed out that no matter how good the editorial content, the
magazine’s ads would undoubtedly stir protests from among the
organization’s many contentious and passionate factions. Pressure
to abandon lucrative ads had helped sink the magazine
when APA owned it during the 1980s, and I had had a taste of
this kind of trouble over a small book advertisement.


The June 2003 issue of Psychology Today was my farewell issue
as editor-in-chief. It featured actress Susan Sarandon on the
cover, focusing on her political activism. A supporting article
sought to spell out the conditions that turn people into activists.
The issue also included a provocative article about the Bush
administration’s color-coded warning system; titled ‘‘Phantom
Menace: Is Washington Terrorizing Us More Than Al Qaeda?’’ it
was written by then APA president Philip Zimbardo (Zimbardo,
2003). My editorial, ‘‘Of Ants and Men: The Lust for War,’’
mourned the 175 million people who had been lost to war during
the 20th century and listed some of the factors that behavioral
scientists say contribute to the warlike tendencies of human
beings (Epstein, 2003b). What happened next is not pretty, at
least if you have a genuine interest in educating and helping the

The Sarandon issue of Psychology Today, the last over which I
had any influence, was followed by one with cartoon characters
Homer and Marge Simpson on the cover. Almost overnight, the
complex apparatus I had assembled to connect the magazine to
the behavioral sciences was dismantled: The advisory board
evaporated, and so did the history page, Heads Up, Frontiers,
My Story, the informational question-and-answer column, and so
on. The venerable Psychology Today Interview, a staple since
the magazine was founded, was also eliminated, because interviews,
I was told, were ‘‘boring.’’

The main change had to do with the authorship of articles.
Psychologists were eliminated, replaced by freelance journalists.
In 2002, 83 credentialed clinicians and scientists contributed
original material to Psychology Today; in 2004, exactly
1 credentialed individual did so. Even the advice column, which
sometimes dealt with serious mental health issues, was now
written by a career journalist rather than by a mental health
professional. Scientific advances were still described in the
news section in the front of the magazine but were otherwise
absent. Important social issues—war, mental illness, poverty,
and so on—were gone.

The cover of the September/October 2005 issue exemplifies
the change. The image is of an attractive model, her face
surrounded by segments of a folding tape measure. The ‘‘eyebrow’’—
the strip above the magazine’s name—reads, ‘‘The
Porn Impasse: His Problem or Her Hang-Up?’’ The main cover
line (upper left) is ‘‘Status Anxiety: Why Measuring Up Matters,’’
and the other cover lines are, respectively, ‘‘Rise of the
Trophy Kid,’’ ‘‘Crude Rude CEOs: Why the Boss Acts Like a
Barbarian,’’ ‘‘10 Soothing Truths About Pain,’’ ‘‘Are the New
Suburbs Right for You?’’ ‘‘Why Funny Women Are Intimidating,’’
and ‘‘Infidelity: When to Confess.’’ The only item that
seems out of place on the page is the magazine’s name. All of the
cover lines and most of the content of the magazine could fit
easily into Redbook! Except in news blurbs, Psychology Today
magazine no longer said much about psychology —yesterday,

today, or tomorrow—and it no longer provided a means for
psychologists to talk to the public. 7


The sinewy path along which my calling has taken me over the
past 30 years has been problematic in some respects—it cost me
my marriage, for sure—but it has also taught me a great deal,
especially about how to use various media outlets to talk to
people about mental health and the behavioral sciences. Here
are the five most important lessons I have learned:

First and foremost, personal relationships are critical. Who
you know is important, but even more important is being strategic
about getting to know key people. If you are persistent and
patient, you can eventually develop a relationship with almost
any journalist, editor, or producer. Without such relationships,
you and your message are likely to remain invisible.

Second, media professionals need your ideas, no matter how
standoffish they may seem at times. In fact, very few media
stories are actually initiated by journalists or producers. Media
professionals are constantly, and sometimes desperately,
searching for good stories. The media machine is a giant ravenous
beast, ingesting tasty tidbits about the world through
thousands of small orifices, then quickly excreting those tidbits,
barely digested, through a much smaller number of ‘‘channels’’
for public reconsumption. Because the beast is ravenous, and as
long as you are willing to do what it takes to hold its attention (see
the first lesson), you can become one its feeders, providing it
with a diet that meets your own high standards of nutrition.

Third, contingencies of reinforcement are critically important.
To produce reinforcers for yourself, you first need to find
reinforcers for the media professionals. Never approach a media
professional with your ‘‘great idea,’’ ‘‘wonderful article,’’ or
‘‘important story.’’ Rather, find out what he or she needs, and try
to help. Say straight out, as I still do frequently, ‘‘How can I help
you do your job?’’ And look for areas where your needs and the
journalist’s needs are both served—that is, where the contingencies
of reinforcement overlap.

Fourth, if you have attempted to ‘‘help’’ a media professional
by sending him or her a ‘‘pitch,’’ a ‘‘query,’’ or a media release
that you feel might suit his or her needs, and if you have gotten no
response or even a negative response, you should not give up or
take offense. Send in a ‘‘gentle reminder’’ (that is exactly how I
label my e-mail messages) every week or two. Ask for advice on
how to improve your proposal—in other words, on how to modify
it so that it better serves that individual’s needs. Take action to

strengthen the relationship. Stay informed about that person’s
ever-changing needs for new ‘‘content.’’ Send in new ideas from
time to time, and, even if you do not have any, keep the relationship
going. Sooner or later, something you have to offer is
almost certain to be appealing.

Fifth, and finally, the media machine is flawed by its very
nature. If you forget this, you will be deeply disappointed with
whatever eventually hits the airwaves or is published in cyberspace
or in print. If you understand how and why the beast is
flawed, you will be more effective in making it work for you, and
you will also be more realistic about the possible outcomes.
Journalists move rapidly from one story to another, and because
they are always working under firm deadlines, they have little, if
any, time for nuance. Generally speaking, they also lack both the
training and the inclination to get things entirely right. They are
not laboratory scientists; they are trained to produce, not to
putter. Stories need to get the critical facts right; they need to be
readable by the ‘‘average’’ reader; they need to fit into the space
or time or budget available. But despite what you might think,
journalists do not need to get your quotes quite right, and they
are strongly opposed, by nature, to pushing your agenda in their
coverage. It is their coverage, after all. Do not let this scare you;
as long as you play by the rules, the beast can be tamed (see the
first four lessons).


How many Americans know that the Lamaze method of natural
childbirth, now ubiquitous in American hospitals, was inspired
by Pavlov’s research on classical conditioning (N.C. Beck, Geden,
& Brouder, 1979; Lamaze, 1970; Velvovsky, Platnov, &
Ploticher, 1960)? Not many, I suspect. Psychologists are notoriously
bad at playing the public-relations game. In contrast,
the medical fields barrage the public daily with reminders of
what they have accomplished in the past, with reports of their
recent successes (however modest), and with extravagant
promises of advances to come. Our own efforts to reach the
public, laudable and substantial as they may be (e.g., see Pallak
& Kilburg, 1986; VandenBos, 1992), are modest by comparison.

We are hampered by many factors, but perhaps the most annoying
has been the existence of ‘‘pop psych,’’ a massive
amalgam of pseudo-expertise that has shadowed the legitimate
field for more than a century (Benjamin, 1986). The public has
no way of distinguishing empirically based findings from the
ramblings of self-proclaimed experts, and there is no easy solution
to this problem. One sad result is the ever-wavering and
often negative image that people have of both clinicians and
behavioral scientists. In its early years, Psychology Today may
have been the best corrective the field ever had for all the pop
psychology; in its current form, the magazine is probably
harming psychology’s name more than helping it.

To me, this means we must redouble our efforts. Prominent
psychologists have reached out to the public since the field was

founded (e.g., G.S. Hall, 1894; Jastrow, 1908), and our professional
organizations have devoted considerable resources toward
this end. But we need more people to take the plunge, and
we need to think bigger. To build and maintain a strong image, as
well as to share our expertise with people who might benefit from
it, we need to reach tens of millions of people every day. To
counter the ill effects of charlatans, we need to expose them, to
offer sound alternatives to their prescriptions, and to do so aggressively
and repeatedly. We need to build infrastructures that
utilize fast-emerging wired and wireless technologies in ways
that make it easy for thousands of credentialed scientists and
clinicians to communicate with the public regularly, and we
need to give our graduate students the skills and incentives they
need to fulfill this important mission. We have a great deal to be
proud of and to offer; we do both ourselves and the American
public a disservice when we hide even the smallest glimmer of
our light (cf. Bevan, 1982; Pallak & Kilburg, 1986; Zimbardo,

Miller’s (1969a, 1969b) stirring call for action nearly four
decades ago—published in Psychology Today, by the way, before
it appeared in the American Psychologist—is as important a
guidepost for our field now as it was in the 1960s. We are still
guilty of the ‘‘public modesty’’ (Miller, 1969a, p. 53) that Miller
protested; the world is still a dangerous, inhospitable place for
most of its inhabitants; psychology’s public image is still mixed;
and charlatans still dominate every branch of the ever-
expanding public media empires. Miller (1969a) urged us to
‘‘[instill] our scientific results . . . in the public consciousness in
a practical and useful form so that what we know can be applied
by ordinary people’’ (p. 68). To do this requires large-scale and
continuous communication with the American public; it is here
that Psychology Today was helpful for a time, and it is here that
we must all do better.

Address correspondence to Robert Epstein, 1035 East Vista Way #120, Vista, CA 92084-4606, e-mail: repstein <at> post.harvard.edu.  
Notes and References

3Early contributors included Elliot Aronson (1970), Richard Atkinson
(1968), Nathan Azrin (1967), Aaron Beck (A.T. Beck & Jeffrey, 1978), Daryl
Bem (1967), Ellen Berscheid (Berscheid, Walster, & Bohrnstedt, 1972), Bruno
Bettelheim (1969), Sidney Bijou (1968), Gordon Bower (1973), Jerome Bruner
(1975), Raymond Cattell (1968), Noam Chomsky (1968), Kenneth Clark (1970),
Paul Ekman (1975), Albert Ellis (1973), Erik Erikson (1969), Hans Eysenck
(1967), Viktor Frankl (M.H. Hall, 1968), Erich Fromm (1971), Harry Harlow
(Harlow & Harlow, 1967), Donald Hebb (1969), Arthur Jensen (1973), Jerome
Kagan (1968), Alan Kazdin (1976), Sigmund Koch (1969), Lawrence Kohlberg
(1968), Lewis Lipsitt (1971), Ivar Lovaas (Chance, 1974), Masters and Johnson

(M.H. Hall, 1969b), Rollo May (1968), David McClelland (1971), Margaret
Mead (Harris, 1970), Stanley Milgram (1967), George Miller (1969a), Marvin
Minsky (1969), Jean Piaget (E. Hall, 1970), J.B. Rhine (M.H. Hall, 1969a), Carl
Rogers (M.H. Hall, 1967a), Robert Rosenthal (1968), Stanley Schachter (1971),
Martin Seligman (1973), Hans Selye (Cherry, 1978), Thomas Szasz (1969),
Joseph Wolpe (1969), Robert Zajonc (1970), and Philip Zimbardo (1967).

4 Advisory board members included University of California president Richard

C. Atkinson, Nathan Azrin of Nova University, Gordon Bower of Stanford
University, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of Claremont Graduate University, Albert
Ellis of the Albert Ellis Institute, Gregory Kimble of Duke University, Harvard’s
Ellen Langer, Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Washington, Jerome Singer
of Yale University, Robert Sternberg of Yale University, and Philip Zimbardo of
Stanford University.

5Contributors included Norman Anderson (Anderson & Anderson, 2003), now
APA’s chief executive officer; David Buss (2000); Bernardo Carducci (2000);
Albert Ellis (Epstein, 2001b); Roger Fouts (2000); John Gottman (Gottman &
Carrere, 2000); Michael Lamb (2002); Elizabeth Loftus (Loftus & Calvin, 2001);
Paul Rozin (2000); Daniel Schacter (2001); Robert Sternberg (2000); Richard

6 Guests on the show included Jimmy Carter, the surgeon general (four times),
Ruth Westheimer, Sally Field, Patty Duke, Fred Rogers, Alan Dershowitz,
Christie Brinkley, Steve Allen (twice), Jamie Lee Curtis, and dozens of other
notables, as well as more than 150 behavioral scientists and practitioners,
among them Brian Baird, Herbert Benson, Robert Bjork, Kenneth Cooper,
Albert Ellis, Michael Faenza, Raymond Fowler, Daniel Goleman, Thomas
Gordon, Judith Rich Harris, Kay Redfield Jamison, Norine Johnson, Peter
Kramer, Ellen Langer, Jack Mayer, David Myers, Russ Newman, Sidney Parnes,
Susan Perry, Alvin Poussaint, Steven Reiss, Nancy Segal, Dean Simonton,
Jerome Singer, and Robert Sternberg. Since 2005, I have been hosting a similar
program, ‘‘Psyched!’’ on Sirius Satellite Radio.


7On a brighter note, Scientific American Mind, the advertisement-free
magazine created recently by the editors of Scientific American, seems to be on
solid ground so far, and the French publisher Hachette Filipacchi MeŽdias, the
largest publisher in the world, recently launched a British version of their
popular French magazine, Psychologies. An American version may be coming
within the next few years. It will likely prove to be even softer than today’s
Psychology Today, but the competition might push Psychology Today, once
again, back toward its origins.

Volume 1—Number 4


Acknowledgments—In preparing this article, I have profited
from comments I received from a number of friends and colleagues:
Edward L. Anderson, Jr.; Paul Chance; Nancy Dess; Ed
Diener; Karen Edwards; Edmund Fantino; T. George Harris;
Gregory Kimble; Elizabeth Loftus; Kurt Salzinger; Alberta
Swett; and Charles G. Thomas. Ignacia Galvan tracked down
many of the references.


Anderson, N., with Anderson, P.E. (2003, March/April). Secrets and

lies. Psychology Today, 36(2), 60–64.
Appleby, D.C. (2002). Using Psychology Today articles to increase the

perceived relevance of the introductory course. In R.A. Griggs

(Ed.), Handbook for teaching introductory psychology: Vol. 3. With

an emphasis on assessment (pp. 5–6). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Aronson, E. (1970, August). Who likes whom and why. Psychology

Today, 4(3), 48–51, 74.
Atkinson, R.C. (1968, January). Beverly: The computer is a tutor.

Psychology Today, 1(8), 36–39, 57–61.

Volume 1—Number 4


Azerrad, J., & Chance, P. (2001, September/October). Why our kids
are out of control. Psychology Today, 34(5), 42–48.

Azrin, N. (1967, May). Pain and aggression. Psychology Today, 1(1),

Baxley, N. (Producer). (1982). Cognition, creativity, and behavior: The
Columban simulations [Film]. Champaign, IL: Research Press.

Beck, A.T., & Jeffrey, E. (1978, September). College blues. Psychology
Today, 12(4), 80–81, 85–86, 89, 91–92.

Beck, N.C., Geden, E.A., & Brouder, G.T. (1979). Preparation for labor:
A historical perspective. Psychosomatic Medicine, 41, 243–

Bem, D.J. (1967, June). When saying is believing. Psychology Today,
1(2), 21–27.
Benjamin, L.T., Jr. (1986). Why don’t they understand us? A history of
psychology’s public image. American Psychologist, 41, 941–946.
Berscheid, E., Walster, E., & Bohrnstedt, G. (1972, July). Body image—
a Psychology Today questionnaire. Psychology Today, 6(2),

Bettelheim, B. (1969, May). Laurie. Psychology Today, 2(12), 24–25,

Bevan, W. (1982). A sermon of sorts in three plus parts. American
Psychologist, 37, 1303–1322.
Bijou, S.W. (1968, June). The mentally retarded child. Psychology
Today, 2(1), 46–51.
Bower, G.H. (1973, October). How to . . . uh . . . remember! Psychology
Today, 7(5), 62–66, 68, 70.
Bruner, J.S. (1975, January). Play is serious business. Psychology
Today, 8(8), 80–83.
Buss, D. (2000, May/June). Prescription for passion. Psychology Today,
33(3), 54–58, 60–61.
Carducci, B. (2000, January/February). Shyness: The new solution.
Psychology Today, 33(1), 38–40, 42–45, 78.
Cattell, R.B. (1968, March). Are I.Q. tests intelligent? Psychology
Today, 1(10), 56–62.
Chance, P. (1974, January). A conversation with Ivar Lovaas. Psychology
Today, 7(8), 76–80, 82–84.
Cherry, L. (1978, March). On the real benefits of eustress [Interview
with Hans Selye]. Psychology Today, 11(10), 60–61, 63, 69–70.
Chomsky, N. (1968, February). Language and the mind. Psychology
Today, 1(9), 48–51, 66–68.
Clark, K. (1970, April). Too much basic research. Psychology Today,
3(11), 22.
Dorsey, G. (2000, January 11). Serious therapy for a magazine. The
Baltimore Sun, p. 2.
Ekman, P. (1975, September). The universal smile: Face muscles talk
every language. Psychology Today, 9(4), 35–36, 38–39.
Elizabeth F. Loftus: Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of
Psychology. (2003). American Psychologist, 58, 864–867.
Elkins, D. (1999, September/October). Spirituality: It’s what’s missing
in mental health. Psychology Today, 32(5), 44–48.
Ellis, A. (1973, July). The no cop-out therapy. Psychology Today, 7(2),
55–60, 62.
Epstein, R. (Ed.). (1980). Notebooks: B.F. Skinner. Englewood Cliffs,
NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Epstein, R. (Ed.). (1982). Skinner for the classroom: Selected papers.
Champaign, IL: Research Press.
Epstein, R. (1987). In the yellow wood (Afterword). In S. Modgil & C.
Modgil (Eds.), B.F. Skinner: Consensus and controversy (pp. 333–
335). Sussex, England: Falmer Press.

Epstein, R. (1991). Skinner, creativity, and the problem of spontaneous
behavior. Psychological Science, 6, 362–370.

Epstein, R. (1992, Summer). The quest for the thinking computer. AI
Magazine, 13(2), 80–95.

Epstein, R. (1996a, July/August). Capturing creativity. Psychology
Today, 29(4), 41–43, 75, 76, 78.

Epstein, R. (1996b). Cognition, creativity, and behavior: Selected essays.
Westport, CT: Praeger.

Epstein, R. (1997a, July/August). Are shrinks really crazy? Psychology
Today, 30(4), 58–60, 62, 74, 76, 78.

Epstein, R. (1997b, November/December). Folk wisdom: Was your
grandmother right? Psychology Today, 30(6), 46–50, 76.

Epstein, R. (1997c). Self-help without the hype. Atlanta, GA: Performance
Management Publications.

Epstein, R. (1997d). Skinner as self-manager. Journal of Applied Behavior
Analysis, 30, 545–568.

Epstein, R. (Ed.). (1999). The new Psychology Today reader. Dubuque,
IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Epstein, R. (2001a, July/August). Physiologist Laura: She’s not a
psychologist and we don’t want her. Psychology Today, 34(4), 5.

Epstein, R. (2001b, January/February). The prince of reason: An
interview with Albert Ellis. Psychology Today, 34(1), 66–68, 70–
72, 74–76.

Epstein, R. (2003a, January/February). Am I anti-gay? You be the
judge. Psychology Today, 36(1), 7–8.

Epstein, R. (2003b, May/June). Of ants and men: The lust for war.
Psychology Today, 36(3), 5.

Epstein, R., & Bailey, M. (1995, November/December). Babies in
boxes. Psychology Today, 28(6), 12–13.

Epstein, R., & Goss, C. (1978). A self-control procedure for the
maintenance of nondisruptive behavior in an elementary school
child. Behavior Therapy, 9, 109–117.

Epstein, R., Lanza, R.P., & Skinner, B.F. (1980). Symbolic communication
between two pigeons (Columba livia domestica). Science,
207, 543–545.

Epstein, R., Lanza, R.P., & Skinner, B.F. (1981). ‘‘Self-awareness’’ in
the pigeon. Science, 212, 695–696.

Epstein, R., & Skinner, B.F. (1980). Resurgence of responding
after the cessation of response-independent reinforcement.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 77,

Epstein, R., & Skinner, B.F. (1981). The spontaneous use of memoranda
by pigeons. Behaviour Analysis Letters, 1, 241–246.

Erikson, E. (1969, September). Stress on the battlefield. Psychology
Today, 3(4), 32, 62–63.

Eysenck, H.J. (1967, June). New ways in psychotherapy. Psychology
Today, 1(2), 39–47.

Five-year report of the Policy and Planning Board, 1990: Five years of
turbulence, change, and growth within APA. (1991). American
Psychologist, 46, 678–688.

Fouts, R. (2000, July/August). One-on-one with our closest cousins:
‘‘My best friend is a chimp’’. Psychology Today, 33(4), 68–73.

Fromm, E. (1971, March). Mother. Psychology Today, 4(10), 74–77.

Goldfried, M.R., & Merbaum, M. (Eds.). (1973). Behavior change
through self-control. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Gottman, J., & Carrere, S. (2000, September/October). Welcome to the
love lab. Psychology Today, 33(5), 42–46, 87.

Hall, E. (1970, May). A conversation with Jean Piaget and Bašrbel
Inhelder. Psychology Today, 3(12), 25–32, 54–56.

Hall, E. (1972, November). Will success spoil B. F. Skinner? Psychology
Today, 6(6), 65–66, 69–72, 130.

Hall, G.S. (1894, August). The new psychology as a basis of education.
Forum, 710–720.

Volume 1—Number 4


Hall, M.H. (1967a, December). A conversation with the father of
Rogerian therapy: Carl Rogers speaks out on groups and
the lack of human science. Psychology Today, 1(7), 18–21,

Hall, M.H. (1967b, September). An interview with ‘‘Mr. Behaviorist’’:

B.F. Skinner. Psychology Today, 1(5), 20–23, 68–71.
Hall, M.H. (1968, February). A conversation with Viktor Frankl of
Vienna. Psychology Today, 1(9), 56–63.
Hall, M.H. (1969a, March). A conversation with J. B. Rhine and Mary
Harrington Hall. Psychology Today, 2(10), 20–25, 68.
Hall, M.H. (1969b, July). A conversation with Masters & Johnson.
Psychology Today, 3(2), 50–52, 54–58.
Harlow, H., & Harlow, M. (1967, September). The young monkeys.
Psychology Today, 1(5), 40–47.
Harris, T.G. (1970, July). A conversation with Margaret Mead and T.
George Harris. Psychology Today, 4(2), 58–62, 64, 74, 76.
Hebb, D.O. (1969, May). The mind’s eye. Psychology Today, 2(12), 54–
57, 67–68.

Hoffer, E. (1951). The true believer. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Jastrow, J. (1908, July 16). The versatility of psychology. Dial,

Jensen, A. (1973, December). Race, intelligence and genetics: The
differences are real. Psychology Today, 7(7), 79–82, 84, 86.

Kagan, J. (1968, January). Christopher: The many faces of response.
Psychology Today, 1(8), 22–27, 60.

Kanfer, F.H., & Goldstein, A.P. (Eds.). (1975). Helping people change:
A textbook of methods. New York: Pergamon.

Kazdin, A. (1976, November). The rich rewards of rewards. Psychology
Today, 10(6), 98, 101–102, 105, 114.

Kimble, G.A. (1995). APA’s Psychology Today adventure. The General
Psychologist, 31(2), 33–35.

Koch, S. (1969, September). Psychology cannot be a coherent science.
Psychology Today, 3(4), 14, 64, 66–68.

Kohlberg, L. (1968, September). The child as a moral philosopher.
Psychology Today, 2(4), 24–30.

Koulack, D., & Keselman, H.J. (1975). Ratings of psychology journals
by members of the American Psychological Association. American
Psychologist, 30, 1049–1053.

Lamaze, F. (1970). Painless childbirth: Psychoprophylactic method.
Chicago: Henry Regnery Co.

Lamb, M. (2002, March/April). Hormones vs. culture. Psychology
Today, 35(2), 42.

Lipsitt, L.P. (1971, December). Babies: They’re a lot smarter than they
look. Psychology Today, 5(7), 70–72, 88–89.

Loftus, E. (1974, December). Reconstructing memory: The incredible
eyewitness. Psychology Today, 8(7), 116–119.

Loftus, E., & Calvin, W. (2001, March/April). Memory’s future. Psychology
Today, 34(2), 55–58, 83.

Loftus, E., & Ketcham, K. (1991). Witness for the defense: The accused,
the eyewitness, and the expert who puts memory on trial. New York:
St. Martin’s Press.

Mahoney, M.J., & Thoresen, C.E. (1974).
Self-control: Power to the
person. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Maslach, C. (2000, September/October). Philip Zimbardo: Emperor of
the edge. Psychology Today, 33(5), 34–41.
May, R. (1968, February). The daemonic: Love and death. Psychology
Today, 1(9), 16–25.
McClelland, D. (1971, January). The power of positive drinking.
Psychology Today, 4(8), 40–41, 78–79.
Milgram, S. (1967, May). The small-world problem. Psychology Today,
1(1), 60–67.

Miller, G.A. (1969a, December). On turning psychology over to the
unwashed. Psychology Today, 3(7), 53–54, 66–68, 70, 72, 74.

Miller, G.A. (1969b). Psychology as a means of promoting human
welfare. American Psychologist, 24, 1063–1075.

Minsky, M.L. (1969, April). I think, therefore I am. Psychology Today,
2(11), 30–32.

Mosher, L. (1999, September/October). I want no part of it anymore.
Psychology Today, 32(5), 40–41, 80.

Nicolosi, J., & Nicolosi, L.A. (2002). A parent’s guide to preventing
homosexuality. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Pallak, M.S., & Kilburg, R.R. (1986). Psychology, public affairs, and
public policy: A strategy and review. American Psychologist, 41,

Pion, G.M., Howard, A., Cordray, D.S., Sechrest, L.B., Molaison, V.,
Hall, J., Kaplan, L., & Perloff, R. (1988). Membership opinions
about APA: A recent snapshot. American Psychologist, 43, 1029–

Psychology Today, long ignored . . . . (1999, May 7). The Chronicle of
Higher Education, 45(35), A24.

Rehab for psychology mag (1999). Science, 284, 1115.

Rosenthal, R. (1968, September). Self-fulfilling prophecy. Psychology
Today, 2(4), 44–51.

Rozin, P. (2000, November/December). Why we’re so fat (and the
French are not). Psychology Today, 33(6), 64–68.

Satcher, D. (2000, January/February). Mental health gets noticed: The
first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health. Psychology
Today, 33(1), 32–37.

Schachter, S. (1971, April). Eat, eat. Psychology Today, 4(11), 44–47,

Schacter, D. (2001, May/June). The seven sins of memory: How the
mind forgets and remembers. Psychology Today, 34(3), 62–66,

Seligman, M.E.P. (1973, June). Fall into helplessness. Psychology
Today, 7(1), 43–46, 48.
Skinner, B.F. (1945, October). Baby in a box. Ladies’ Home Journal,
62, 30–31, 135–136, 138.
Skinner, B.F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: Macmillan.
Skinner, B.F. (1969, April). The machine that is man. Psychology
Today, 2(11), 20–25, 60–63.
Skinner, B.F. (1971, August). Beyond freedom and dignity [Book excerpt].
Psychology Today, 37–80.
Skinner, B.F. (1977, September). Between freedom and despotism.
Psychology Today, 11(4), 80–82, 84, 86, 90–91.
Skinner, B.F. (1979, March). My experience with the baby-tender.
Psychology Today, 12(10), 28–31, 34, 37–38, 40.
Skinner, B.F. (1981, February). Notebooks [Book excerpt]. Psychology
Today, 15(2), 63–70, 72.
Skinner, B.F. (1983, September). Origins of a behaviorist [Book excerpt].
Psychology Today, 17(9), 22–33.
Smith, R.C., & Schroeder, D.J. (1980). Psychology for the public: A
content analysis of Psychology Today. Professional Psychology:
Research & Practice, 11, 228–235.

Specter, A.
(2000, May/June). A call to action. Psychology Today,
33(3), 44–46.
Sternberg, R.J. (2000, July/August). What’s your love story? Psychology
Today, 32(4), 52–59.
Stuart, R.B. (Ed.). (1977). Behavioral self-management: Strategies,
techniques and outcomes. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Stuart, R.B. (2002, January/February). Do intimate partners help or
hinder weight loss? Psychology Today, 35(1), 43.

Volume 1—Number 4


Szasz, T. (1969, March). The crime of commitment. Psychology Today,
2(10), 55–57.

Thoresen, C.E., & Mahoney, M.J. (1974). Behavioral self-control. New
York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

VandenBos, G.R. (1992). The APA knowledge dissemination program:
An overview of 100 years. In R.B. Evans, V.S. Sexton, & Cadwallader,
T.C. (Eds.), The American Psychological Association: A
historical perspective (pp. 347–390). Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association.

Velvovsky, I., Platnov, K., & Ploticher, V. (1960). Painless childbirth through
psychoprophylaxis. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House.

Watson, DL., & Tharp, R.G. (1972). Self-directed behavior: Self-modification
for personal adjustment. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Willard, M.J., & Epstein, R. (1980). Our most unforgettable character.
The Behavior Analyst, 3(2), 35–39.

Williams, R.L., & Long, J.D. (1975). Toward a self-managed life style.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Wolpe, J. (1969, June). For phobia: A hair of the hound. Psychology
Today, 3(1), 34–37.

Yergin, D. (1979, April). Getting more mileage out of incentives:

B.F. Skinner. Psychology Today, 12(11), 18, 28, 30.
Zajonc, R. (1970, February). Brainwash: Familiarity breeds comfort.
Psychology Today, 3(9), 32–35, 60–62.
Zimbardo, P.G. (1967, July). Toward a more perfect justice. Psychology
Today, 1(3), 44–46.
Zimbardo, P.G. (2003, May/June). Phantom menace: Is Washington
terrorizing us more than Al Qaeda? Psychology Today, 36(3),

Zimbardo, P.G. (2004). Does psychology make a significant difference
in our lives? American Psychologist, 59, 339–351.

Volume 1—Number 4