2021 APS Virtual Convention Day One Content Available Online

The first day of the 2021 APS Virtual Convention may have come to an end, but the excitement isn’t over! Recordings of many speakers are available to registered attendees in the convention platform until June 28, 2021. 

Here are a few highlights of Day One programming, and don’t forget to check out the Virtual Poster Showcase and Lifetime Award Addresses.

Keynote Addresses | Panel Discussions | Special Sessions | Student Programs

Keynote Addresses 

The Psychology and Neurobiology of Friendship 

Fred Kavli Keynote Address

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 the time they cost and the neurobiology that underpins them. The basis of this neurobiology lies in the endorphin system, which is triggered by physical touch. In this lecture, Dunbar compares the behavioral, cognitive, and neurobiological bases of friendships, and shows how we use these as a foundation for forming communities. 

“One of the most extraordinary things we’ve seen in the last decade or so is the torrent of the epidemiological studies showing that the single best predictor of your psychological health and wellbeing, your physical health and wellbeing, even how long you are likely to live is the number and quality of friendships you have,” Dunbar said. 

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

Presidential Symposium

APS President Shinobu Kitayama (University of Michigan, USA), Hazel Rose Markus (Stanford University, USA), Robert Sellers (University of Michigan, USA) 

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 crossroads. To address the global crisis today, we as a field must analyze the impact of race, social class, and culture at every level, from genes and the 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. 

“To keep our discipline relevant in this era, we must attend to the psychology of race, social class, and culture head on,” Kitayama said. “Doing so will force the field to realize that the human mind is not a static entity independent of the external world. On the contrary, our psychological processes, including their neural, hormonal, and epigenic underpinnings, are an adaptation to this external environment.” 

Panel Discussions

Reimagining Work After COVID 

Tammy D. Allen (University of South Florida, USA), Tara S. Behrend (Purdue University, USA), Ravi S. Gajendran (Florida International University, USA), Sharon Parker (Curtin University, Australia), Kai Chi (Sam) Yam (National University of Singapore) 

The year 2020 disrupted the way many of us work due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the sudden transition from physical to virtual workspaces, loss and change of jobs, and increased life demands outside of work. This panel brings together leading scholars whose research speaks to how the nature of work has changed and how it is likely to evolve due to further technological advances in the future.

From Vaccine Hesitancy to Vaccine Confidence 

Jeremy Ward (Inserm, France), Cornelia Betsch (University of Erfurt, Germany), Heidi Larson (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK), E. Lisako Jones McKyer (Texas A&M University, USA) 

Vaccine hesitancy is a multidimensional phenomenon that has spawned attitudes ranging from indifference to radical antivaccine beliefs. In this panel, led by E. Lisako Jones McKyer, we consider psychological but also sociological, political, and cultural underpinnings of this phenomenon and explore avenues for increasing vaccine confidence, especially with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special Sessions 

Inclusivity Spotlight: Reducing Race and Other Disparities in and Through Psychological Research 

Stephanie J. Rowley (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA), Steven O. Roberts (Stanford University, USA), Rihana Shiri Mason (Georgia State University, USA), Ida Momennejad (Microsoft Research, USA), C. Malik Boykin (Brown University, USA) 

This panel discussion, led by C. Malik Boykin, brings together experts to discuss racial disparities across the areas of psychological science and the role of professional societies in anti-racist action. Topics include cultural racism in academia, combatting racism in scientific practices, and methods for simulating systemic bias using computational psychology.

Clinical Science Forum – Celebrating 25 Years of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS): Our Past, Present, and Future 

Chair: Cindy M. Yee-Bradbury (University of California, Los Angeles, USA) 

To commemorate the Academy’s silver anniversary, ten leading psychological scientists at varying career stages reflect on successes, challenges, and opportunities for advancing clinical science—from basic research to prevention and intervention—and ultimately improving mental and behavioral health care.  This program is organized by the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System

Student Programs

Establishing Your Digital Presence 

Alaina G. Levine (Quantum Success Solutions) 

More and more recruiters, search committees, job decision-makers and hiring managers are using the web to find, research, and vet potential candidates.  In this session, learn how decision-makers use LinkedIn and other sites, and how to create a winning LinkedIn profile to generate solid leads for your career and brand yourself as a leader in your profession. 

Careers Outside of Academia 

Gregory Davis (Quantitative UX Researcher at Facebook, USA), Anne Kotynski-Gooding (Education Program Specialist at NASA, USA), Asia McCleary-Gaddy (Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at University of Texas Health Science Center, USA), and Joey Chung Yin So (UX Research Lead at Dell, USA) 

The process to successfully navigate the path to a career outside of academia can often be mystifying. In this APS Student Caucus panel, led by Alaina G. Levine, panelists share their own career paths and offer advice for students and professionals considering a career outside of academia. 

Virtual Mentoring: Making the Relationship Work 

BJ Casey (Yale University, USA), May Conley (Yale University, USA), Ana DiGiovanni (Columbia University, USA), Anshu Patel 

If we have learned anything from this past year, it is how to be available without being present. This panel features faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students from various areas of psychological science who share their experiences and offer advice on virtual mentorship. The discussion includes advice on transitioning to online mentorship, managing research assistants, finding balance, and addressing challenges.

The 2021 APS Virtual Convention continues May 27. Registered attendees can view these and other recorded events in the convention platform until June 28, 2021. The Virtual Poster Showcase featuring posters and Flash Talks will be available online until September 1, 2021. 


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