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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Travel Grant Report

10.08.2017, by Sibylle Classen in grant report

Laura Dryjanska (Warsaw, Poland)
APA Convention in Washington, D.C., August 3-6, 2017

The travel grant from the European Association of Social Psychology has enabled me to attend the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). The convention took place in Washington DC and is known to be one of the biggest worldwide events for psychologists. Advocacy stands out as one of the issues that are crucial to the APA and an entire session (as well as a post-convention workshop introduced by Antonio E. Puente, the President of the association this year) has been dedicated to it. In fact, my presentation concentrated on the European perspective on advocacy in psychological science. I focused on two cases on two different levels: presentation of the European Cooperation for Science and Technology Actions at the European level (featuring the example of the Intergenerational family solidarity across Europe Action: www.interfasol.eu) and a study conducted with Italian psychologists. Using the theory of social representations of Moscovici, the methodology included video-recorded interviews and an online questionnaire with European scholars and Italian practitioners.

My presentation was a part of a panel entitled “Activating Psychologists - Advocacy in Science, Education and Practice”, organized by the APA division number 55 and co-chaired by Patrick DeLeon, JD, PhD and Joanna R. Sells, MS from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Other speakers, Adam N. Duberstein, MA from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology and Sarah R.B. Milam, MA from the West Virginia University, spoke about “Activating Psychologists at Local, State and Federal Levels” and “How to Activate Psychologists in the Doctoral-Level Training”, respectively. The audience was quite numerous and included some authorities, such as that division leaders and the President of the California Psychological Association. The questions concerned especially the practical implications of the research presented.

Following the symposium, which took place at the very beginning of the Convention, I had the opportunity to gain insight into the latest research in psychological science in North America. Numerous sessions concerned a variety of topics and methodologies, demonstrating an inclusive and open-minded approach. Besides the presentations, the convention also featured an exhibit hall. The large space was filled with potential employers of psychologists, publishers, statistical software companies and representatives of different APA offices. It was an occasion to personally meet with the publisher of my next edited book, as well as to buy some latest books and tests, taking advantage of the discounts and assistance offered. Moreover, the APA international office has organized a special reception for guests from overseas and it was a pleasure to connect with other Europeans present at the convention, including leaders of national psychological associations.

Overall, the attendance of the APA Annual convention was a very positive experience and as a result I have been enriched as a researcher and social psychologist. I could further explore the nature of American involvement in large associations such as the APA, which has been the topic of my research in the past (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1359432X.2017.1333982).

I hope that during the numerous opportunities to network with psychologists from all over the world, I have been able to offer adequate information about the European Association of Social Psychology. I am grateful for this experience and I would especially like to thank Sibylle Classen for her help and always timely assistance.