COVID molecules floating beside Title Text

APS Global Collaboration on COVID-19



Informing solutions for public health crises through psychological science.

APS Global Collaboration on COVID-19

The APS Global Collaboration on COVID-19 convenes psychological scientists and other behavioral science experts to assess how our field has contributed to combating the COVID-19 pandemic and identify gaps in our understanding that should be addressed through new research.

For this collaboration, APS is establishing working groups focusing on different areas of psychological science and how they pertain to COVID-19. These groups will be comprised of leading experts in the field who will make recommendations to the science community, policymakers, and/or the public.

The overarching questions each group will tackle are:

  • How has psychological science been used to inform solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How could psychological science research have been better integrated into the COVID-19 response, and how could it be better used to address future public health challenges?
  • What scientific knowledge gaps must be addressed through new research?

Throughout 2021 and 2022, there will be opportunities for APS Members to participate in this collaborative effort and follow along.


Psychology Meets Biology in COVID-19: What We Know and Why It Matters for Public Health

Date/time: January 21, 2022, @ 12:00-2:30 PM ET

Psychologists have long explored the role of psychological and social factors in health inequalities. This has included understanding the role of these factors in our responses to viral infections and vaccinations. Factors such as loneliness, stress, culture, and social standing have been repeatedly shown to predict not only mental health but also COVID-19-relevant outcomes such as inflammation, general immune protection, likelihood of viral infection after virus exposure, symptom severity, and even the effectiveness of vaccines. There has never been a more critical time for this information to be shared and discussed broadly. 

At this event, you will learn from leading scientists about what was known about the importance of psychosocial factors for health and physiology before the COVID-19 pandemic, and what this evidence tells us about the importance of these factors now. We will reveal how pandemic survival and recovery is not just about whether you get the virus; it’s also about the complex interactions between the virus, ourselves, our social surroundings, and so much more. Join our scientists and our expert discussants for a lively debate on how these factors impact public health, what we know and don’t know, and what we can do to maximize the health and well-being of a global population ravaged by this pandemic. 

PART 1: Prepandemic insights: Evidence from before the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological, social, contextual, and behavioral influences on viral and infectious disease outcomes. 

  • Keely Muscatell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  
  • Anna Marsland, University of Pittsburgh  
  • Rodlescia SneedMichigan State University  

PART 2: Pandemic insights: Evidence from the COVID-19 and related literature on the psychological, social, and behavioral impact of the pandemic (e.g., lockdowns, social distancing, school closures, bereavement) and the potential implications for COVID-19 outcomes. 

  • Adam GeraghtyUniversity of Southampton 
  • Kavita VedharaUniversity of Nottingham 
  • Hannah SchreierThe Pennsylvania State University  
  • Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Brigham Young University 
  • Judy Moskowitz, Northwestern University 

PART 3: The road to recovery: Psychobiological influences on inflammation/long COVID and responses to vaccines. 

  • Julie BowerUniversity of California, Los Angeles 
  • Neetu AbadU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
  • Aric PratherUniversity of California, San Francisco

Discussion led by:  

  • Amy Greer, University of Guelph 
  • David Robson
  • Roxane Cohen Silver, University of California, Irvine 

This free special event is part of the APS Global Collaboration on COVID-19.

Organized by: Kavita Vedhara and Kieran Ayling, University of Nottingham; Sarah Pressman and Cameron Wiley, University of California, Irvine; and Anna Marsland and Emily Jones, University of Pittsburgh


Mental Health in a Global Pandemic: Lessons Learned from Psychological Science

Date/time: December 9, 2021, @ 1:00-2:00 PM ET

The many impacts the pandemic has had on children, adolescents, and adults, including those diagnosed with a mental illness before the pandemic started, have highlighted the value of the science of mental health and its application. In this special hourlong webinar, you’ll hear from four expert psychological scientists who will report primary data and review the emerging literature on COVID-19 and its effects on mental health and illness.

This free special event is open to APS members and other psychological scientists at any level, especially those who are interested in COVID-19’s effects on mental health and illness. This event is part of the APS Global Collaboration on COVID-19.

Talk titles and speakers:

  • “Mental Health and Clinical Psychological Science in the Time of COVID-19” – June Gruber (University of Colorado Boulder)
  • “Racial Differences in the Psychosocial Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Veterans with Psychosis or Recent Homelessness” – Derek M. Novacek (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • “Age and Gender Differences in Anxiety, Depression and Loneliness During COVID-19” – Christopher Beam (University of Southern California)
  • “No Exit: Couples’ Distress and Substance Use During Lockdown.” – Sherry Stewart (Dalhousie University)
  • Moderated by Allison Harvey (University of California, Berkeley)

Throughout the collaboration, the below working groups will evolve and more will form depending on APS Member availability and interest. Please stay tuned to this page for updates to working group topics and membership.

Working Group on Mental Health and COVID-19

This group will focus on the intersection of human development, COVID-19, and mental health. The group will examine how COVID-19 has affected mental health of children, adolescents, and younger and older adults, including those who were diagnosed with a mental illness before the pandemic started, among other topics.

  • Leader: Allison Harvey – University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Martin Antony – Ryerson University, Canada
  • Christopher Beam – University of Southern California, USA
  • Iris Engelhard – Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • June Gruber – University of Colorado Boulder, USA
  • Derek Novacek – University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • Guangyu Zhou – Peking University, China

Working Group on Fundamental Memory Science and COVID-19

This group will examine the interplay between fundamental memory science and public health, especially as they pertain to COVID-19—for instance, how can our knowledge of how human memory functions help the practice of contact tracing?

  • Leader: Maryanne Garry – University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • Lorraine Hope – University of Portsmouth, UK
  • Anne Scharling Rasmussen – Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Linda Levine – University of California Irvine, USA
  • Suparna Rajaram – Stony Brook University, USA
  • Jennifer Talarico – Lafayette College, USA

Working Group on Work and COVID-19

This group will investigate the effects of new work realities pertaining to COVID-19, such as how different types of work and workers may be differentially affected by COVID-19, what we have learned about productivity, and how uncertainty and anxiety has influenced workers and employers.

  • Leader: Adrienne Carter-Sowell – University of Oklahoma, USA

Working Group on the Biology and Psychology of COVID-19

This group will explore the biology and psychology of infection and how these systems interact. Topics may include the short and long-term psychological effects of infection and what we’ve learned about brain biology from treating COVID-19 patients.

  • Leader: Kavita Vedhara – University of Nottingham, UK
  • Anna Marsland – University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Sarah Pressman – University of California, Irvine, USA

Working Group on Misinformation and Disinformation

This group will assess misinformation and disinformation as they relate to COVID-19, for instance, why people believe misinformation; the behavioral processes behind belief; and what factors influence susceptibility to misinformation.

  • Leader: Norbert Schwarz – University of Southern California, USA
  • Dolores Albarracín – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Jay Van Bavel – New York University, USA
  • Karen Douglas – University of Kent, UK

Working Group on Education and COVID-19

This group focuses on how psychological science can inform the intersection of education and COVID-19. The group will examine how COVID has affected education and learning as well as the interplay between COVID and college admissions processes.

  • Leader: Jonathan Wai – University of Arkansas, USA
  • Kathryn Asbury – The University of York, UK
  • Drew H. Bailey – University of California, Irvine, USA
  • Joni M. Lakin – University of Alabama, USA
  • Fred Oswald – Rice University, USA
  • Heiner Rindermann – Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
  • Frank C. Worrell – University of California, Berkeley, USA

Read more APS resources on COVID-19 by clicking here.

Questions about the APS Global Collaboration on COVID-19? Please email aps@psychologicalscience.org.