APA has invited a broad array of speakers to present at its Annual Convention, Aug. 14-17, in Boston. The presentations and speakers include:
"Up Close and Personal with Robert J. Sternberg, PhD"
Sternberg, dean of arts and sciences at Tufts University and past president of APA, is internationally known for his alternative approach to intelligence measurement. His "Triarchic Theory of Intelligence" separates intelligence into analytic, creative and practical aspects. Sternberg has written more than 1,000 publications related to creativity, wisdom, thinking styles, information processing, love and hate. He will welcome questions from the audience.
Drew Westen, PhD, on the "Inside the Mind and Brain of the Voter: The Presidential Campaign of 2008"
Of all the unlikely places, science and practice may have come together in politics. In this talk, Westen, an Emory University psychology professor and author of "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation" (PublicAffairs, 2007), discusses the way the confluence of clinical and empirical thinking is playing out in the 2008 elections and at every level of government and what psychology has to contribute.
Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, on "Do We Have the Courage to Change the Nation's Diet?"
Shaped by powerful social, political, agricultural and technological changes, the nation's diet has spiraled downward such that nutrient-poor, calorie-dense foods have become the default. Yale University's Brownell says this problem and the diseases that follow will not be remedied by enhancing existing approaches-such as treatment, education and imploring the public to change-but rather by bold new thinking. Brownell will discuss the intersection of psychology with economics, law and other new approaches that can create real change."My Students Believe WHAT?! Psychological Myths and Sound Science in the Undergraduate Classroom," with Kenneth D. Keith, PhD,and Bernard C. Beins, PhD
The University of San Diego's Keith and Ithaca College's Beins will present 10 misconceptions commonly held by the general population, beginning psychology students and even some faculty. The two will also provide data on the proportion of students who might believe these myths and will discuss the science underlying the "true" version in each case and suggest ways teachers can increase students' understanding of the research foundations underlying each misconception.
F. Michael Higginbotham, JD, on "Race and Law"
Higginbotham, the Wilson Elkins professor of law at the University of Baltimore, is a specialist in civil rights, human rights and race law. His book, "Race Law: Cases, Commentary, and Questions" (Carolina Academic Press, 2005), is used in law schools across the nation. In his presentation, he will offer an in-depth examination of the issue of race in the American legal process from the formation of the U.S. Constitution to today.
David H. Barlow, PhD, on "Innovative, Unified Treatment Approach to Emotional Disorders"
Boston University's Barlow will discuss a unified intervention for diverse emotional disorders that could, after further research, represent a more efficient and possibly a more effective strategy in treating emotional disorders. Based on theory and data emerging from the fields of learning, emotional development and regulation, and cognitive science, Barlow has identified three fundamental therapeutic components that are relevant to treating emotional disorders:
Altering antecedent cognitive reappraisals.
Preventing emotional avoidance.
Facilitating action tendencies not associated with the dysregulated emotion
Barlow will describe the theory rationale behind the treatment, and data supporting this new approach.
Michael W. Otto, PhD, on "The Cutting Edge of Combination Therapy: The Potential of Memory Enhancers for Psychotherapy"
Otto will discuss strategies for closing the gap between what is learned in therapy and the application of this learning in the moments of patients' lives when the interventions are most needed. Otto, a clinical psychology professor at Boston University, says the discovery of the value of d-cycloserine (a little-used antibiotic) for enhancing extinction learning in animals has led to exciting new applications of the drug in humans who are undergoing treatment for anxiety disorders. He will give an overview of the use of d-cycloserine in augmenting treatment for adults with anxiety disorders.
Geraldine Markel, PhD, on "How to Ensure Mentoring Miracles: Strategies for Underserved, ADHD, Learning Disabled Students"
This presentation will provide how-to mentoring strategies to ensure that mentoring has a high positive effect on students at undergraduate and graduate levels. Markel, of the University of Michigan, will present achievement data from eight cohorts of students aspiring to careers in the health sciences.
"Predicting, Preventing and Confronting the Aftermath of School and Campus Violence"
This panel session will focus on research on predicting violent behavior, best practices for school-based violence prevention programs, and ways campuses respond to the aftermath of violence. The panel members are Dorothy Espelage, PhD, of the University of Illinois; Michael J. Furlong, PhD, of the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Christopher Flynn, PhD, and Russell Jones, PhD, of Virginia Tech University.
"Look Me in the Eye," with John Elder Robison
"Pretending to be normal" is how Robison spent much of his life before being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at age 40. His struggle with the condition was introduced to the world in "Running with Scissors," the bestselling memoir by Robison's younger brother, Augusten Burroughs. Now, in his own book, "Look Me in The Eye" (Crown, 2007), Robison presents his fascinating and darkly funny look at growing up with Asperger's at a time when the diagnosis didn't exist. The book debuted on The New York Times bestseller list and has been lauded by readers, teaching groups and autism societies alike. His transformation and growth show that even "people on the spectrum" can develop and grow throughout their lives and that it's never too late to hope for or expect change.
Other APA Annual Convention highlights include:
A discussion on "Innovations in Autism Research and Practice" with Catherine Lord, PhD, University of Michigan; Geraldine Dawson, PhD, University of Washington, and Lisa Gilotty, PhD, National Institutes of Health.
A dialogue on "Gender and Leadership: Personality Characteristics for Success" with Pamela Trotman Reid, PhD, President, Saint Josephs College; Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, president, Spelman College; and others.
An Invited Address by Nancy Boyd-Franklin, PhD, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, on a topic to be announced.