The G. Stanley Hall lecture series continues to draw quality speakers to share their research expertise with teachers of psychology 23 years after its launch. This year in Toronto will be no different as the speakers cover a wide array of "cutting edge" topics.
The series is funded by APA's Education Directorate and organized by APA's Div. 2 (Society for the Teaching of Psychology). Founded in 1980 "to advance the teaching of introductory psychology," the lecture series was named for the first president of APA, a pioneer in American psychology.
The G. Stanley Hall lecturers and their talks include:
Tiffany M. Field, PhD, the University of Miami School of Medicine, "Touch therapy research," Thursday, Aug. 7, 9-9:50 a.m., Metro Toronto Convention Centre Room 206D.
C.R. Snyder, PhD, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, "Questioning hope and finding positive psychology answers," Thursday, Aug. 7, 10-10:50 a.m., Metro Toronto Convention Centre Room 206D.
Timothy D. Wilson, PhD, the University of Virginia, "Affective forecasting and the pleasures of uncertainty," Saturday, Aug. 9, 3-3:50 p.m., Metro Toronto Convention Centre Room 205D.
The final G. Stanley Hall address, focused more deliberately on teaching and held Saturday, Aug. 9, 4-4:50 p.m., Metro Toronto Convention Centre Room 205D, is the Harry Kirke Wolfe lecture--named for another early pioneer of American psychology. Receiving that honor this year is Faye J. Crosby, PhD, of the University of California, Santa Cruz. She will present "Teaching about and researching affirmative action," focusing largely on the symbiotic relationship between her teaching and research.
From the sensual to the metaphysical
The lecture series opens with Tiffany M. Field's research on touch therapy. Anyone who has experienced the pleasure of a full body massage or even a simple back rub will appreciate the research confirmation that massages not only feel good but are good for you. Field's research documents the many positive effects of massage therapy on infants and children. In her talk, she will highlight seven such positive effects, including reducing prematurity, promoting growth and development in preterm infants, reducing irritability and sleep problems, increasing attentiveness and increasing immune function.
Moving to the metaphysical, the second lecture by C.R. Snyder will explore the multifaceted concept of hope in our daily lives. Hope, false hope, lost hope, hope refound--what is it, where does it come from, how do we find it, how do we lose it, can it be rendered empirical? Snyder will report on his investigations into all these issues, ultimately linking his concept of hope with human progress and describing his inevitable participation in the positive psychology movement.
Forecasting the future
With hope, false hope or no hope, we nonetheless face an uncertain future. Timothy D. Wilson, the third lecturer, will examine the human tendency to misjudge the emotional impact of future events. More specifically, Wilson has found that people's forecasts of their emotional response to future events are consistently overestimated--what he calls the impact bias. Among the possible causes for impact bias is the human tendency to replace uncertainty with cognitive clarity, thus transforming "novel, exciting events into ordinary, mundane ones." If we could resist the temptation to explain or make sense of novel events, we might actually enjoy them longer, Wilson posits. He will discuss the implications of what he calls the "pleasure of uncertainty effect."
Controversy in research and the classroom
The Harry Kirke Wolfe lecturer, Faye J. Crosby, will describe her work in the lab and the classroom on affirmative action and social justice. Beginning with an interest in social justice and in the theory of relative deprivation, Crosby was led to the controversial topic of affirmative action. In her research, she has investigated the bases of people's reactions to affirmative action. This work serves as the foundation for her current work on "how people can undertake non-revolutionary changes in rules that come to be revealed as unfair."
In her talk, Crosby will consider the question of how to approach "hot topics" in a dispassionate way--first in her research and second in the classroom. She will close her lecture with an exploration of the extent to which research and teaching can inform each other.Norine L. Jalbert, PhD, of Western Connecticut State University, is chair of the 2003 G. Stanley Hall Selection Committee.