Public Release: 

American Psychological Association's Annual Convention to be held in Chicago August 22-25, 2002

Coping with the antecedents and aftermath of 9/11 and psychology of terrorism to be major themes

American Psychological Association

Historian Studs Terkel To Give Keynote Address; Dr. Dean Ornish, New York Times Columnist Malcolm Gladwell and Best-Selling author Gail Sheehy also Presenting

CHICAGO -- Helping Americans deal with the antecedents and aftermath of September 11, understanding cults of hatred and the psychology of terrorism, new models of health care delivery that focus on empirically- supported treatments and the importance of diet, emotions and spirituality in maintaining good health will be prominent themes of the 110th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA).

More than 1,200 symposia, invited addresses, paper, poster and other sessions will be devoted to a wide range of psychological issues ranging from resilience and stressful life events, understanding suicidal terrorism and the power of touch to why and how normal people go mad, cognitive vulnerability to depression and new approaches for treating and understanding autism.

Other sessions will feature diabetes and behavior for the 21st century, analysis of drug dependence: from caffeine to cocaine, stress and error in the workplace, the neuropsychological functioning of college-age people with and without ADHD, tests on a new vibrating warning system for improving pilots' performance, psychological interventions for children with asthma and an examination of the relationship between serotonin and violence.

This convention will have a special session that includes a session on Does ESP Really Exist? -- Thursday, August 22, 8:00-9:00 PM. Daryl Bem, PhD, will give a brief description of parapsychology, then demonstrate by "reading the minds" of several volunteers from the audience.

Oral historian Studs Terkel will use his keynote address to talk about his latest book, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Reflections on Death, Rebirth and Hunger for a Faith," a collection of more than 60 interviews on feelings about death from people from different parts of society. The people interviewed include a New York City firefighter, a Hiroshima survivor, a death row parolee, an artist, a member of the clergy, a parent who's lost a child, medical professionals from different occupations and two well-known figures - author Kurt Vonnegut and radio journalist Ira Glass. The interviewees share their hopes and fears about the afterlife, describe losing others to death and reveal their own encounters with spirits.

APA President Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., 2002 presidential track includes a diverse group of 10 presentations around the theme "Psychology Makes a Significant Difference."

Jonathan Haidt, PhD, University of Virginia, and Laura King, PhD, University of Missouri, Columbia

  • Thursday, August 22, 2:00-2:50pm
  • "Elevation, Awe, and the Positive Emotions of Transformation"
  • "All That Ends Well, Really Is Well"
  • Chair: Marty Seligman, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

    Malcolm Gladwell, Author of The Tipping Point and New Yorker magazine columnist

  • Thursday, August 22, 2:00-2:50pm
  • "The Quarterback Problem"
  • Chair: Lee Ross, PhD, Stanford University

    Robert D. Putnam, PhD, Harvard University, political scientist

  • Thursday, August 22, 3:00-3:50pm
  • "Civic Engagement and Social Capital, America After 9/11"
  • Chair: Phil Zimbardo, PhD, Stanford University

    Tiffany Field, PhD, University of Miami Medical School

  • Thursday, August 22, 4:00-4:50pm
  • "Power of Touch"
  • Chair: Regina (Sunny) Yando, PhD, Harvard University

    Martha Curtis, Concert violinist and epileptic--she will play the violin and speak during her session

  • Thursday, August 22. 5:00-5:50pm
  • "I Am, Therefore I Will: A Personal Story of Resiliency, Will, and Transformative Powers of Music"
  • Chair: Phil Zimbardo, PhD, Stanford University

    Thomas F. Pettigrew, PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz

  • Saturday, August 24, 9:00-9:50am
  • "Intergroup Contact Theory: A Meta-analytically Informed Reformulation"
  • Chair: James Jones, PhD, University of Delaware

    Kenneth A. Dodge, PhD, Duke University

  • Saturday, August 24, 9:00-9:50am
  • "Using Developmental Science To Prevent Chronic Violence in Children and Adolescents: The Fast Track Study"
  • Chair: Ross Parke, PhD, University of California, Riverside

    Christina Maslach, PhD, University of California, Berkeley

  • Saturday, August 24, 10:00-10:50am
  • "Job Burnout: New Directions in Research and Intervention"
  • Chair: Michael Leiter, PhD, Acadia University

    Claude Steele, PhD, Stanford University

  • Saturday, August 24, 11:00-11:50am
  • "Social Identity Threat in a Diverse Society"
  • Chair: Richard Nisbett, PhD, University of Michigan

    Philip Zimbardo, PhD, Stanford University

  • Saturday, August 24, 12noon-12:50pm
  • "Why and How Normal People Go Mad"
  • Chair: Lisa Butler, PhD, Stanford University

    Other notable speakers will be Dr. Dean Ornish, known for his medical expertise on nutrition and health and best-selling author Gail Sheehy.


    The press facilities for the convention will be in Room N136, North Building-Level 1, McCormick Place. The pressroom will open for on-site media registration on Thursday, August 22, from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM, During each day of the convention, the pressroom hours will be open from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM (except Sunday, August 25, when it will close at noon). Convention papers will be available, as will be working space, telephones, fax machines, phone lines for data transmission and APA staff resources. The press area will also be the site of any news briefings held during the convention.

    The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 155,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

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