APA Convention 2010

22 08 2010

So it’s been over a week but I’m finally blogging about my experience at the APA (American Psychological Association) Convention last Friday.  It was my first time attending and I was very pleased with the whole event.  Before the convention the childish psychology nerd inside me got all excited because of the all the psych celebrities I might see.  And the mature psychology nerd in me got all excited about everything there was to learn: about grad school, about the APA, about everything psychology.

So let me break it down real quick.  There was the main exhibition hall where all the vendors and exhibitors were.  That stuff was very clinical career oriented so it wasn’t the most interesting part for me.  There were lots of people hawking therapy books and psychology journals.  But among all those exhibits there was a booth for the Society for History of Psychology (or something like that) and they had one of Albert Bandura’s Bobo dolls on display.  Apparently he used several similar dolls in his experiments on social learning.  I thought that was kind of cool.

By the way, Albert Bandura was born in Mundare, Alberta, CA which is just east of Edmonton.  And he is considered one of the most influential psychologists ever.  He is the fourth most cited psychologist of all time.  A famous Canadian you may not have known about.  Read about him here.

At either end of the exhibitors were the poster presentations.  This is where researchers, usually grad students, showcase some of their recent research in poster form for all to see.  There were some interesting studies.  I’ll tell you about some of them later if you ask.

There was the APA Bookstore.  There were way more APA books than I could ever need and a ton of therapy videos, too.  I later met the therapist who stars in those videos.  I guess you could consider him a celebrity of sorts.  I almost got myself a Stroop Test T-shirt.  That would have been nerdy.

And then, a ten minute walk from all the other stuff were the lecture halls.  There I attended lectures on getting into grad school, advances in media psychology, the psychology of choice, Phil Zimbardo’s Heroic Imagination Project, neuropsychology and phantom limbs, and a discussion of PTSD following a screening of The Hurt Locker.

Earlier I mentioned my excitement at possibly seeing some psychology celebrities.  When I say that, I refer to psychologists who are well known among psychology students.  Their research is often part of psychology lore and they frequently show up in text books.  The ones that I saw were: Hazel Markus, known for her research on possible selves; Phil Zimbardo, who is best known for the Stanford Prison Experiment, was supposed to be there but was recovering from hip surgery instead; V. S. Ramachandran, known for his research on phantom limbs, plus I likely saw many others who I simply didn’t recognize.

In all, it was a great experience.  I learned a lot and I’m very glad I went.  I’m very glad it was in San Diego this year.

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4 responses

22 08 2010
Lisa Leavitt

It sounds like it was no only exciting but very fascinating. I’m glad you were able to attend. We’d love to hear more about it in person :)

22 08 2010
Fred

How exciting. I would love to hear more about some of the research. I especially find the phantom limbs an interesting subject.

24 08 2010
Maren

You were SO happy that morning and that evening! Psychology makes you so happy!

26 08 2010
Dad

I have only had one class in Sociology of Mental Health, but I can tell already that it will be my favorite class this semester. It is a very different approach to psychology that is not intuitive at all.

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