Tuesday, 2 May 2017

University of Newcastle PhD students present at the Annual Conference of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists – Melbourne

Social psychology PhD students Matylda Mackiewicz, Monica Gendi, Olivia Evans, Romany McGuffog, and Stephanie Hardacre and 3rd year Psychology student Timothy Lang (along with Dr Emina Subasic, Associate Professor Mark Rubin, and Dr Stefania Paolini) recently attended the Annual Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP) conference in Melbourne, Australia. SASP is the most popular avenue for the dissemination of current social psychological research within Australasia, and attracts between 130-180 pre-eminent national and international researchers. The 3-day conference provided a chance for us to communicate our research in a targeted fashion to a broader academic audience, and to build collaborative networks with key Australian (and international) social psychology academics. 
Monica, Olivia, and Romany participated in a session titled “Mental Health and Wellbeing”. Monica discussed her findings on the relations between need for closure, mental health, and regret. Olivia delivered a presentation on the relationships between social class, mental health and social integration in first year university students. Romany presented findings on the relationships between social class, sleep, and mental and physical health. Stephanie participated in a symposium on “Prototypicality and Leadership Effectiveness”, delivering a talk on the effects of leader gender and equality message framing on mobilising men and women for gender equality. Tim presented a snapshot of his research on self-expansion motivations. The five PhD students also had the opportunity to watch their respective supervisors each take to the podium and present their research in an early morning symposium on "Conflict, Contact and Cohesion".

Because SASP comprises a strong postgraduate student representation, it provided a distinctive atmosphere compared to usual academic conferences, in that we were able to network with both students and established academics. The postgraduate workshops in particular were extremely valuable – outlining the benefits of adopting open science practices, and describing career opportunities outside of academe. SASP also has a substantial social program, which this year included a trip to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, a cocktail reception, and a screening of the Milgram documentary Shock Room. We look forward to attending next year’s conference in New Zealand.