Convergence: Connecting Levels of Analysis in Psychological Science
 In the past, our field harbored distinct, and often competing, schools of thought that tackled different problems and produced findings that often appeared to diverge. Today, investigators attack shared problems at complementary levels of analysis and produce results that converge. Studies of people in a social world; mental systems of cognition and emotion; and biological mechanisms of the genome and the nervous system interconnect and yield an integrated psychological science. The APS 23rd Annual Convention displays, and celebrates, these advances in our field.

Theme Programs

Connected: Network Analyses of Brain, Behavior, and Social Interaction

Consciousness: From Neural Systems to Phenomenological Experience

Choices: Social, Cognitive, and Neural Bases of Economic Decisions

Friday, May 27, 2011, 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM
International Ballroom West

We're all connected. Social networks connect groups in society. An individual's thoughts, feelings, and actions reciprocally influence one another. The nervous systems of complex organisms display high levels of structural connectivity. How can we understand these social, cognitive-behavioral, and biological networks? As the speakers in this theme program will explain, the answer is: through network analysis. Presentations will display the power of network analysis for illuminating the study of social networks in organizations, biological networks in the brain, and networks of clinical symptoms that are causally interrelated.


Denny Borsboom
University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Giuseppe (Joe) Labianca
LINKS-International Center for Research on Social Networks in Business and University of Kentucky

Olaf Sporns
Indiana University, Bloomington

Walter Mischel (Discussant)
Columbia University

Consciousness: From Neural Systems to Phenomenological Experience

Friday, May 27, 2011, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
International Ballroom West

Consciousness has moved to psychological science's center stage. Advances in theory and research have transformed the field, converting what previously had been mysteries into solvable scientific problems. In this theme program, international leaders in the field will display the progress that has been made in solving one of science's great puzzles: how neural systems and psychological processes give rise to individual's unified, subjective phenomenological experience.


Richard J. Davidson
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Giulio Tononi
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Stanislas Dehaene
Collège de France INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, France

Antonio Damasio
University of Southern California

Sponsored by the National Institute on Aging

Saturday, May 28, 2011, 12:30 PM - 3:45 PM
International Ballroom West

The study of economic choices by individuals, groups, and societies has been a major focus of 21st-century psychological science. An exciting development is that research at different levels of analysis - from neural systems to the socioculturally-embedded person - has begun to converge, and bringing us closer to a unified, multi-level science of economic choice. This theme program displays the contemporary state of this science, thanks to presentations by investigators at the forefront of advances in behavioral economics.


Dan Ariely
Duke University

Antonio Rangel
California Institute of Technology

Sheena S. Iyengar
Columbia University

Eldar Shafir
Princeton University

David I. Laibson (Discussant)
Harvard University