Featured Convention Speakers



Fred Kavli Keynote Addresses

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

Thursday, May 27, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT (-4 UTC)

Jennifer L. Eberhardt, APS President Elect

Stanford University, USA

Jennifer Eberhardt conducts research on race and inequality. Her work has revealed the startling extent to which racial imagery and judgments shape actions and outcomes in our criminal-justice system, neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. Eberhardt not only highlights the negative impact of racial bias but offers direction on how to disrupt it. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard and joined the faculty at Yale in 1995. In 1998, she joined the Stanford faculty, where she still resides. In 2014, Eberhardt was named a MacArthur Fellow and a Leading Global Thinker by Foreign Policy. In 2016, she was elected to the AAAS and the NAS. Eberhardt is the author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We, See, Think, and Do





The Psychology and Neurobiology of Friendship

Wednesday, May 26, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT (-4 UTC)

Robin I.M. Dunbar

University of Oxford, UK

Friendships have evolved to buffer humans and other primates against the stresses of living in large social groups. They have a bigger effect on our psychological health and well-being, as well as on our physical health and well-being, than anything else. Friendships are, however, extremely expensive to maintain, in terms of both their time cost and the neurobiology that underpins them. The basis of this neurobiology lies in the endorphin system, which is triggered by physical touch acting through the afferent C-tactile neural system. In this lecture, I will compare the behavioral, cognitive, and neurobiological bases of friendships, and show how we use these as a foundation for forming communities.

See a preview of Robin I.M. Dunbar’s Keynote Address.





Bring the Family Address

American Redemption: Variations on a Good Life Story 

Thursday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT (-4 UTC)

Dan P. McAdams

Northwestern University, USA

Human beings are, by nature, storytelling animals.  Beginning in the emerging adulthood years, we formulate internal life stories – narrative identities – reconstructing the past and imagining the future so as to confer upon our lives a sense of plot, purpose, and temporal coherence.  In this talk, I go back a few decades to trace the origins of the concept of narrative identity and then flash forward to describe research on how American adults, in their midlife years, tell redemptive life stories.  Tracking the developmental move from suffering to enhancement, redemptive life stories are positively associated with psychological well-being, civic engagement, and an adult’s commitment to promoting the well-being of future generations.  I end by relating a notable case study of one especially prominent American adult, Donald J. Trump, who, I believe, never formulated a narrative identity for his life. 

See a preview of the Bring the Family Address.





Presidential Symposium

Race, Social Class, and Culture: Toward a Theoretical Integration

Wednesday, May 26, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT (-4 UTC)

APS President, Shinobu Kitayama (Chair)

University of Michigan, USA

Hazel Rose Markus

Stanford University, USA

Michael Meaney*

The Douglas Research Centre, McGill University, Canada

Robert Sellers

University of Michigan, USA

*Due to unforeseen circumstances, Michael Meaney is unable to present in the Presidential Symposium at the 2021 APS Virtual Convention.

The days when globalization symbolized optimism for humanity are gone. Instead, years of globalization have laid bare disparities, contradictions, and tensions at the intersection of race, social class, and culture, placing humanity at a critical crossroad. To address the global crisis we face today, we as a field must analyze the impact of race, social class, and culture at every level, from genes and brain to social judgment and behavior. This symposium highlights urgent research agendas in the integrative psychological science of race, social class, and culture and presents future research directions.  

See a preview of the Presidential Symposium from Robert Sellers.