I attended the first meeting of APS (although it was called the American Psychological Society then) and gave a poster presentation. I haven’t attended all of these meetings, but I have attended some of them, and I’ve found that they don’t disappointment. Nor did the 27th meeting.
The Keynote Address at the Opening Ceremony was given my Michael Posner. It was titled “Fostering Attention for Human Needs.” Posner is one of the leading researchers of attention, and attention is central to human cognition, human behavior, and human health. At least one additional post will be done on Posner’s work.
One of the first session was titled “Cognitive Capital: Causes and Consequences.” The researchers were relating the economic success of different countries to what they called cognitive capital. To do this they needed measures of cognitive capital, which they produced. The notion of Cognitive Capital is an intriguing, one which will be addressed in subsequent posts.
Another session was on the “Biased Processing of Political Information.” This is an important topic and is one of the obstacles to an effective democracy. Some interesting reach was presented that suggested that judges and lawyers process information different that we lay people. Obviously, they have biases also, but within these biases the evidence suggests that legal minds think differently. This session also included a paper on the topic of why historical misconceptions endure, such as the holocaust being a myth, or that 9/11 was a tragedy done by the United States to the United States for nefarious purposes. Unfortunately, there was no information on how holders of these misconceptions can be disabused of their misconceptions. People’s biases simply blind them from facts.
There were many papers on how cognition works, and on the neural structures underlying cognition.
Michael Gazzaniga gave a presentation that I was unable to attend, but I think it was similar to the presentation he gave at the 2013 meeting of APS that was reviewed in this blog.
LeDoux presented his new concepts on the differences between fear and anxiety.
Angela Duckworth, who is a 2003 MacArthur Award recipient gave a presentation on Grit, which she defined as staying engaged to overcome frustration. There will be a post devoted to her work that will includes some tips for fostering grit.
A highly worthwhile session was given on the “Other Side of Positive Psychology.” There have been prior healthy memory blog posts on Positive Psychology. Instead of debunking Positive Psychology, this session provided some very useful advice on “fine tuning” Positive Psychology. There will be blog posts on this topic.
There was an interesting session of false confessions that will be covered in subsequent healthy memory blog posts as well as on a session on the “Central Park Five.”
The work on Timothy Wilson was covered in the Healthymemory blog post, “Strangers to Ourselves.” He gave a presentation expanding on this topic.
Franz B.M. de Waal gave the Bring the Family Address titles “Humans and Animals: Politics, Culture and Morality. It was very interesting and highly entertaining.
There was a very interesting presentation on Free Will. I shall be discussing a book, in a future healthy memory blog titled “Free Will” by the philosopher Mark Balaguer. I informed the presenter about this book as they have similar views to Balaguer. They were grateful for this information.
As always, there were too many interesting presentation to attend. And even when one was able to attend presentations, there was too much information to absorb. These conventions leave me physically and mentally depleted, but with the knowledge that I have learned much.
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