The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology was held this past weekend in Austin, Texas. I was able to attend the event, and managed to go to nearly as many sessions as I did last year, though I missed last year’s total by one. On the flip side, I was able to make excellent use of my time, rekindling old relationships with friends and colleagues and developing some new ones.
The highlight for me was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the evolutionary psychology preconference, sponsored by the Evolution and Human Behavior Society. (I myself was speaking at a different preconference, so did not make the entirety of the event. Still, I managed to sneak away for a while in order to attend some talks.) David Buss gave a thoroughly engaging presentation, as usual, as did his intellectual descendant, Martie Haselton, who showed some very interesting new results relevant to the recent debate regarding the ovulatory cycle results. Very generally the nodes of Buss’ tree were well represented. His students and his students’ students continue to make their respective marks on the field. A nice feature of the preconference is that only one talk takes place at a time; there are no parallel sessions. Conferences such as HBES, in contrast, require one to choose where one is going to direct one’s attention, and I’m grateful that I didn’t face that particular problem at SPSP. (See picture above for a group shot.) Jessica Li and Stephanie Cantú did an excellent job organizing, and I for one am very grateful for the work they did on the preconference, though still very uncertain about the diacritical mark on Stephanie’s name.
Moving to SPSP proper, as I have done in the last two years, I analyzed the content of the SPSP program to get a sense – as I always say, an imperfect one – of what topics have the attention of researchers in social psychology. I couldn’t find a .pdf of the program online, so the text had to be scraped off of the relevant