A Family Affair

APS has been a family affair for us over the years. When the girls were little, they would come along for the ride. Since 2009, though, they have been active participants. To emphasize the “Psychology as a Hub Science” approach proposed by former APS President John Cacioppo, we combine Kristin’s expertise in systems engineering, Karen’s expertise in communications and social media, and mom’s expertise in psychology to collaborate on research projects. In general, we are interested in capturing first impressions using quantitative methods. Past projects have included our “Snakes in Suits” work comparing perceptions of psychopaths and CEOS and comparisons of perceptions of CEOs and Army generals. This year, we are exploring methods for capturing first impressions of situations, including a food recall and an unfortunate tweet by a well-known athlete.

In addition to being a family research team, we are also a bit unusual in our tradition of “dressing our posters.” We always pick a t-shirt for all of us to wear that we think fits our projects. For work on social media, we picked LinkedIn t-shirts and Twitter t-shirts. For our generals study, we wore little lego soldier shirts. Our t-shirts this year featured brains and text that said “Keep calm and come to APS 2013.”  Probably our favorite shirts, though, were the Slytherin t-shirts we wore for our Snakes in Suits study.

We love seeing all the families at APS at the “Bring The Family” talks. Who knows? A future psychologist or collaborator might be there in the audience!

Karen J. Freberg, Kristin C. Saling, and Laura A. Freberg

Watch this family research team present their findings on “Using the Riverside Situational Q-sort to Assess Perceptions of Crisis Situations” at the 25th APS Annual Convention in Washington, DC.


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