SASP Summer School 2014

On 3-9 February 2014, I and others attended the SASP Summer School, this year held in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

We were split into three streams. I was successful in applying for the Emotion, Motivation, and Human Neuroscience stream, taught by the charismatic trio of Eddie and Cindy Harmon-Jones from UNSW, and Jon Maner from Florida State University. Our stream focused on issues of approach and avoidance motivation in emotion, as well as evolutionary accounts for emotion.

A key component of all the summer schools I’ve attended is the student collaboration project. The students in each stream were split into smaller groups and tasked with taking the key message of their streams and designing a research project. I was fortunate enough to be grouped with James Cox (Uni of Missouri-St. Louis), Rosemaree Miller (Uni of Newcastle), Eric Sun (Uni of New South Wales), and Amy Datyner (Uni of New South Wales). Our project was titled The role of target posture in emotion perception by an observer, and seeks to evaluate the relative usefulness of using postural information (leaning forward vs. leaning back) in interpreting emotional and goal-directed behavior.

Working with these fantastic individuals was a great experience and helped me form some understanding of an area of social psychology for which I had little.

After each day’s hard work, we unwound each evening with, what became a routine, game of ‘Werewolf’ (thanks Thekla). I have little doubt that Werewolf is enjoyed the most by social psychologists studying group processes.

I had a great time at the summer school and would heartily recommend it to anyone thinking of attending one in the near future!

Emotion, Motivation, and Human Neuroscience stream
Emotion, Motivation, and Human Neuroscience stream
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