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New Society Aims to Support Affective Science

Registration for the Inaugural Conference of the Society for Affective Science is now open.

Scientists who study affective phenomena will soon have a place to interact, collaborate, and share their science with colleagues. A new society — The Society for Affective Science (SAS) — has been organized for the purpose of encouraging basic and applied research on emotions, moods, and other motivational states.

SAS President and APS Fellow James Gross, Stanford University, says the society was founded “as a response to a widely felt desire for a scientific society that would bring together many different fields, within psychology and beyond, that are examining affective phenomena.”

Members will get their first chance to interact with fellow scientists at SAS’s Inaugural Conference to be held April 23–26, 2014, in Bethesda, Maryland. Charter members expect that the conference will attract scientists from psychology, medicine, neuroscience, computer science, law, economics, anthropology, linguistics, sociology, and business.

“The guiding premise of this society,” say Gross, “is that human and nonhuman affective phenomena — including emotions, moods, and other motivated states — transcend traditional disciplinary differences in emphasis and focus, and that a collaboration across disciplinary lines will accelerate scientific discoveries and the accumulation of knowledge in a range of topics and fields.”

Gross also hopes that consumers of affective science — journalists, teachers, industry, museums, government, and the general public — will benefit from the SAS’s work.

Joining Gross on SAS’s Executive Committee are APS Fellows and current APS Board Members Lisa Feldman Barrett, Northeastern University, and Wendy Berry Mendes, University of California, San Francisco.

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We would also like to draw the attention of fellow researchers, who are interested in affect, emotions, and moods, to the International Society for Research on Emotions, a thriving society that was founded in 1984 by eminent researchers in the field, including APS William James Fellow Paul Ekman, founding editors of APA journal Emotion Klaus Scherer and Richie Davidson, APS fellows, Joe Campos, and Bernard Rime, APS fellow.

Key aspects of ISRE apart from its focus on affective processes at all levels are interdisciplinarity and internationality. The society bridges research in neuroscience, genetics, and other biological sciences, with many branches of psychology, business, anthropology, sociology, engineering, philosophy, history, as well as other branches of the humanities. It has an established record for highly interdisciplinary exchanges and is open to members. The last meeting took place in August in Berkeley, California, and the next conference will be held in 2015 in Europe.

Information on the society can be found at http://www.isre.org

Arvid Kappas. Professor of Psychology, Charter Member and Fellow of APS, President of the International Society for Research on Emotions, Past-president W. Gerrod Parrot, APS fellow, Christine Harris and James Russell, editors of Emotion Review, as well as the executive board: Yochi Cohen-Charash, Julien Deonna, Diana Montague, Agnes Moors, Jan Stets, Louise Sundararajan, and Michelle Yik.

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