APA - Toronto

The APA convention in Toronto is now over. A few thoughts:

- It was a pleasure to serve as program chair for Division 36. I enjoyed being able to organize paper sessions, and I deeply valued the chance to work with the reviewers. They gave me excellent input on the program.

- There were some very interesting papers and posters presented, more than I could possibly have attended.

- I was surprised -- although, given the economy, perhaps I should not have been -- at the number of posters that did not make it to convention.

- For me, the convention got off to a poor start when the fire alarm at my hotel sounded at 2:00 a.m. Walking down 16 flights of stairs, waiting, and then having difficulty getting back to sleep, made me so tired that I missed some sessions that I had hoped to see. In my younger days I might have made it through the convention despite the poor sleep, but I'm not as young as I used to be. Such is life.

- I greatly enjoyed meeting several people whose research I have read and deeply respected. By far, that was a highlight of the convention for me.

- Division 36, FWIW, appears to be one of (if not the) most conservative groups in APA. Like many things in life, whether or not this is a good thing depends on one's perspective.

- Toronto is a remarkably vibrant city. A highlight was visiting The Royal Ontario Museum where I saw the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as several other fascinating exhibits.

On another topic from APA a few years ago, I see more information about psychologists involved in so-called 'harsh interrogation' is becoming available. When the news broke a few years ago, I nearly left APA. The organization's tepid response to the situation left me very dissatisfied, and I remain ambivalent at best about APA. Years ago, I left APA because it focused on practice and neglected research. I rejoined when it appeared to balance the two interests more effectively. Now, I find that its morals and mine are not quite consonant. There isn't enough of a discrepancy for me to part ways, but I confess to being distinctly unsatisfied. Not that anyone has asked, but this is one of the things that blogs are for, right?

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