Also in this Issue
Engineering and Military Psychology: Improving Lives and Enhancing National Security
By Paul Bartone
APA's Division 21 (Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology) and Division 19 (Military Psychology) joined forces once again this year to host their mid-year scientific meeting, March 4 and 5 at historic Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The theme this year was Engineering and Military Psychology: Improving Lives and Enhancing National Security. Over 300 participants heard presentations and posters on the latest research and thinking in this area. The symposium was also co-sponsored by the Potomac Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
As an important opportunity for both graduate and undergraduate psychology students to hear and interact with some of the top researchers in the field, participation was very strong, with multiple student papers from University of Central Florida, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, North Carolina State University, Catholic University, Aston University (United Kingdom), and the Naval Post-Graduate School. Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy-West Point contributed a total of 18 papers and posters. Attendees also heard APA Science and Policy updates from Heather Kelly, APA Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer, and Dianne Maranto, APA Director of Psychology in the Workplace.
John Ruffner, Program Chair, expressed his appreciation for the high level of interest and cooperation amongst planners and participants in contributing to the symposium's success. Mike Matthews, co-chair for the 2004 meeting stated: "The number and quality of undergraduate and graduate papers was the best yet, the research presented by the human factors and military psychology professionals addressed state-of-the-art issues. We are also happy to see growing international interest in the conference." Conference attendees and participants included international scholars from Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Among the paper highlights was an analysis of safety signals used by the Department of Homeland Security, by Christopher Mayhorn, Michael Wogalter, and Jennifer Bell of North Carolina State University. This exciting research represents the first empirical examination of the validity of these symbols. Also, Tim O'Neill, Matt Swiergosz, and Michael Matthews presented results of their research on a new camouflage pattern for Marine Corps vehicles, a technology that may substantially improve the survivability of such vehicles in combat.
Planning for next year's conference is already underway. A call for papers should be available on the Division 19 and the Division 21 websites by the first of October. For those who to know more about the conference, please contact the 2005 program co-chair, Michael Matthews, at 845-938-3696 or at his e-mail address.