Sunday, 3 May 2015

Social Psychology Shines on Newcastle!

One hundred and seventy social psychologists from 23 Australasian and 15 overseas institutions have gathered at Noahs on the beach between the 9-11th April for the annual meeting of the Society for Australasian Social Psychologists (or SASP2015). This year’s conference was organised and hosted by UON school of psychology—including Stefania Paolini, Mark Rubin, Emina Subasic, Kylie McIntyre, Saminhe Sanaktar, Scott Turnbull and Nicholas Harris and an engaged crew of research student volunteers from the school’s social and organisational psychology research group.

Eighteen months of careful planning have led to a successful event, which contributes to mark UON’s 50th birthday anniversary. Prof Nick Haslam, SASP president, explicitly praised UON’s efforts: “The consensus among delegates was that this conference will be hard to match in future
years. The conference certainly raised the profile of psychology at the University of Newcastle, serving as a significant celebration of its 50th birthday, and it shone a very favourable light on your social psychology program in particular.”

The scientific program consisted of 12 symposia and 20 thematic sessions. It included key note addresses by John Dixon (Open University, UK) on intergroup segregation and collective action, Norm Feather (Flinders U) on tall poppy syndrome and Danny Osborne (Uof Auckland) on system justification beliefs.

This high profile initiative in the Australasian landscape comes in tandem with another important event for social psychology at UON—the selection process for the appointment of a professor for the Daphne Keats Chair in cross-cultural psychology. Through this process, we expect a senior scholar to take the social and organisational research group in the school of psychology to new and important milestones in UON growing profile in this important disciplinary area.