Letter from the Editor

Psychology is among the most fundamental, wide ranging, and actively developing disciplines of our time. It sits at the crossroads of the biomedical, social, human and cognitive sciences. Its goal is a scientific account of how human beings work, rooted in their biology, reflecting their social context, alert to human diversity, and analyzing the structures of human thought, emotion, behavioral abilities, and personhood. The links to astonishingly rapid developments in neuroscience have energized new and old lines of psychological enquiry. Psychologists apply their findings, and theories to problems in every area of human activity, from the behavior that makes us healthy or sick, the strengths and problems that come from our propensity to affiliate with groups and reject those from ‘out-groups’, to the design of information systems and teaching methods that allow human abilities to adapt most effectively to a complex and fast-moving world.

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology (ORE) will be a unique resource for those who need to navigate this daunting network of ideas, findings and practice. Psychology is one of the most popular university subjects, and students at all levels will be able to access authoritative and up-to-date articles that take them beyond textbook treatments while providing more synthesis than the primary research literature. Researchers will find it provides routes into areas that may not be their primary focus but provide essential context, new methods, and thought-provoking analogies for their work. Scholars in adjacent disciplines – philosophy, medicine, linguistics, anthropology, law and many others – will discover how modern psychology tackles questions at the interface with their subjects. Professionals in education, management, law, social work among other areas will be able to find the resources which psychology offers to them and improve understanding in their dialogues with psychologist colleagues. The ORE of Psychology will show how much psychology gains from its rich links to these connected disciplines and professions.

The ORE of Psychology will exploit to the full the opportunities provided by its digital format. Up-to-dateness will be ensured by making articles available on a rolling basis. The opportunities provided by high-quality illustrations, video, and audio will add to the depth of insight in areas as diverse as brain structure, crowd behavior, music perception, and the control of action. Rich and immediately available cross-links, within the ORE to other Oxford University Press scholarly resources, and to the wider literature, will provide key features to enhance its usability.

Most important, the ORE will harness the advances of digital technology to the highest standards of scientific and scholarly authority. All contributions are peer-reviewed. Underpinned by the resources and values of the world’s most respected academic publisher, this enterprise will be guided by an international Editorial Board whose members are active researchers at the highest level, spanning the diverse areas of psychology with exceptional experience and authority. They have been invited for the breadth of their vision as well as the depth of their scholarship.

Students, researchers, teachers, professionals, from whatever area, who need insights into the rich diversity of 21st century psychology – we invite you to join our editors and authors in exploring the unique resources of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology.

Oliver Braddick, FMedSci FBA
Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Oxford