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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Report on the SASP summmer school, Australia, 2016

22.02.2016, by Sibylle Classen in grant report

Karolina Urbanska (Queen’s University Belfast)
EASP grant report

moral_group.jpg
moral_group.jpg

Top left-right: Brock Bastian (University of New South Wales, stream leader), Edward Clarke (Deakin University), Caley Tapp (Griffith University), Daniel Crimston (University of Queensland), Kevin Kemkes (University of New South Wales), Rose Ferguson (Australian Catholic University), Karolina Urbanska (Queen’s University Belfast), Saleh Moradi (University of Otago), Chelsea Schein (University of North Carolina), Melissa Xue Ling Chang (University of Queensland), Simon Laham (University of Melbourne, stream leader)

Bottom left-right: Alexa Hayley (Deakin University), Katja Petrovic (La Trobe University), Cassandra Chapman (University of Queensland), Joanne Beames (University of New South Wales), Fieke Wagemans (Tilburg University), Tammy Orreal-Scarborough (Charles Sturt University), Melissa de Vel-Palumbo (Flinders University)

Report on the SASP summer school at Deakin University, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
Karolina Urbanska (Queen’s University Belfast)

The EASP travel grant alongside summer school support grant allowed me to travel to Deakin University (Warrnambool campus) in Australia to attend SASP summer school, which took place 31 January to 5 February 2016 . This year’s summer school offered three teaching streams, which were attended by around 50 Australian PhD students as well as some European and American students. These streams were: social identity in real-world settings, led by Alex Haslam and Tegan Cruwys (both from University of Queensland); moral judgements, led by Brock Bastian (University of New South Wales) and Simon Laham (University of Melbourne); and the psychology of close relationships, taught by Julie Fitness (Macquarie University) and Gery Karantzas (Deakin University).

My experience of attending the summer school was extremely valuable in many ways. First of all, I developed an understanding of contemporary research in my chosen stream of moral judgements. Throughout the week, we engaged in a number of debates relevant to the research area. These included questions on how people make moral judgements (emotional versus rational accounts, e.g. Haidt, 2001) and what the content of moral judgements is (e.g. Haidt, 2012; Janoff-Bulman & Carnes, 2013). Furthermore, we examined research concerning moral circle – who do we care about? What causes our moral concerns to expand or narrow? This led us to form small research groups based on our interests within the field. Over the week, the small research group I was a part of, developed a research proposal aiming at investigating the effect of negative emotions on the evaluations of moral dilemmas involving prescriptive and proscriptive moral judgements (see Janoff-Bulman, Shaikh, & Hepp, 2009). This research project will nurture my engagement in the area of moral judgements, further to the summer school itself.

The summer school has also provided me with an excellent networking opportunity both within and outside my teaching stream. I met many inspiring students from Australia and around the world. It was very insightful to compare our experiences as well as expectations associated with being a young scholar in different institutions. I left the summer school feeling motivated and excited about the future research collaborations.

To conclude, I would like to thank SASP summer school organisers and stream leaders for their tremendous effort into putting this event together. Furthermore, I would like to thank EASP for their generous sponsorship and support that enabled me to travel to Australia to attend the summer school.

References
Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108(4), 814.
Haidt, J. (2012). The righteous mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion. New York: Pantheon.
Janoff-Bulman, R., & Carnes, N. C. (2013). Surveying the moral landscape: Moral motives and group-based moralities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 17, 219-236.
Janoff-Bulman, R., Sheikh, S., & Hepp, S. (2009). Proscriptive versus prescriptive morality: Two faces of moral regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 521-537.