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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

About the Association

Aims of the EASP

The overarching aim of the European Association of Social Psychology is to promote excellence in European research in the field of social psychology. As the history of the Association demonstrates, the objectives of those who founded the Association were to improve the quality of social psychological research in Europe by promoting greater contact among researchers in different European countries. In the 1950s and 1960s it was not unusual for social psychologists in a European country to enjoy better contacts with their North American colleagues than with their fellow Europeans.

The Association has done much to overcome this state of affairs. The most obvious means by which this has been achieved is through the General Meetings of the Association, a listing of which appears elsewhere on this website. However, there are several other activities that have been, and indeed continue to be, as important as the General Meetings in promoting contact and cooperation among European social psychologists. Foremost among these are the Summer Schools. They bring together graduate students in social psychology from all over Europe. In addition to the immediate educational benefits, enduring friendships and research collaborations are often formed at these schools.

Another aspect of the Association's activities that has helped to create better knowledge of and appreciation for each other's work are the EASP Meetings. These are organised around particular themes or topics and therefore bring together social psychologists working in the same area, creating the opportunity to exchange ideas, methods, and findings, and to establish collaborative ventures.

In addition to the improved communication between European social psychologists, the Association has done much to enhance the international visibility of European social psychology. The establishment of the European Journal of Social Psychology was undoubtedly a crucial step in this process. In the years since its inception (1971), the journal has become a widely read and well respected forum for social psychology. It has also been effective in presenting a distinctive brand of social psychology to the rest of the world.

Scope of the EASP

The geographical scope of EASP membership is impressive. There are Full Members of the Association in virtually every European country, and details of the geographical spread of members can be found in the Membership section of this website. The numerical scope of membership is also impressive, and it expands rapidly each year. We also have numerous members from outside Europe, and also many Postgraduate Members (i.e., graduate students conducting PhD research) from Europe and around the world.  

The EASP: A success story

It is clear that the Association has been a success. The increases in contact between European social psychologists, in the size of the membership of the Association, in the range of membership types, in the numbers of submissions to and frequency of publication of the European Journal of Social Psychology, in the numbers of people attending General Meetings, and in the international visibility of European social psychology all testify to the positive effect that the Association has had on social psychology in Europe and beyond. While it is not the case that each of these positive outcomes can be attributed exclusively to the existence of the Association, what is undeniable is that the Association has helped to bring them about.

Tony Manstead, EASP president 1993-1996