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.

PSPI Symposium

Psychological Science in the Public Interest

Friday, May 25, 2012, 4:00 PM - 5:50 PM
Sheraton Ballroom II

Elaine F. Walker Chair: Elaine F. Walker
Emory University

The engaging reports in each issue of the APS journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI) offer definitive and often provocative assessments by panels of distinguished scientists of what psychological science tells us about issues of broad public concern. This special symposium features the authors of two recent PSPI reports.

Read the full PSPI reports: Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science and Psychopathic Personality: Bridging the Gap Between Scientific Evidence and Public Policy

Eli J.  Finkel

Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science
Eli J. Finkel
Northwestern University
Online dating sites frequently claim that they have fundamentally altered the dating landscape for the better. This PSPI report employs psychological science to address (a) whether online dating is fundamentally different from conventional offline dating and (b) whether online dating promotes better romantic outcomes than conventional offline dating.

Eli J. Finkel in the news: CBS News (Feb 7, 2012), Los Angeles Times (Feb 8, 2012), The New York Times (Feb 11, 2012), BBC (Feb 13, 2012), Huffington Post (Feb 14, 2012) and Businessweek (April 4, 2012) .

Read the APS Daily Observations on Eli Finkel: Part I and Part II.

Co-Author: Paul W. Eastwick , Texas A&M University

Co-Author: Benjamin R. Karney, University of California, Los Angeles

Co-Author: Harry T. Reis, University of Rochester

Co-Author: Susan Sprecher, Illinois State University

Scott O. Lilienfeld

Psychopathic Personality: Bridging the Gap Between Scientific Evidence and Public Policy
Scott O. Lilienfeld
Emory University
The public has a fascination with psychopathy, but there are still many misconceptions concerning what it means to be a psychopath, at what age it can be diagnosed, its relationship with violence, and whether treatment is possible. This issue of PSPI examines research from the past 40 years to shed light on what psychopathy is -- and is not -- in order to inform future research and public policy.

Read about this PSPI report in the news: Daily Mail (Dec 9, 2011).

Continuing Education: 1 APA Credit

Learning Objectives

This Symposium is designed to help you:

1. Identify widespread misconceptions regarding what psychopathic personality is – and is not – and describe the core interpersonal and affective features of this condition.

2. Explain the similarities and differences among competing models of the causes of psychopathic personality.

3. Apply research on psychopathic personality to social policy including risk prediction, early intervention, treatment, and courtroom testimony.

Continuing education for psychologists is sponsored by the Psychology Department at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC). The Psychology Department at WHASC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. WHASC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Point of contact for the CE Program is Howard Garb. He can be reached at, or 210.671.4084.

Co-Author: Jennifer L. Skeem, University of California, Irvine

Co-Author: Devon L. Polaschek, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Co-Author: Christopher J. Patrick, Florida State University


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