SPSP Conference 2020!

On February 27-29, four students and three psychology professors attended the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana,  to present research through poster sessions and to attend presentations. The students included Hayley Mulford ’20, Naomi Painter ’22, Kaillee Philleo ’21, and Lauren Powell ’21. These students were joined by Dr. Buchholz, Dr. Carter, and Dr. Osterman.

Those in attendance have since given some insight onto what it was like presenting at the conference as well as their reactions to the conference and New Orleans, LA: 

Hayley Mulford

While I did not present at the conference, It was so cool to see how many different research projects were being done and how enthusiastic people were! Everyone was really professional and genuinely interested in the research. Moreover, people held such intellectual conversations. I got to talk to some people that go to grad school at FSU, which is where I am going, so I was so excited! New Orleans is one of the coolest places I have ever been to. I loved the culture, the people, the food, and the area. I would go back in a heartbeat! 

Naomi Painter

Dr. Buchholz and Naomi Painter standing in front of the poster Naomi Presented on – “Assessing the effects of participant inattentiveness on data quality across the semester”
Presenting at the SPSP 2020 conference was a wonderful experience in communicating our research projects and findings. I had a great time interacting with students and faculty members through discussion of projects and questions. Being able to see the wide variety of ongoing research was quite exciting, as many of the research topics correlated with ongoing issues that one often reads about or experiences each day.
One of the best parts of the New Orleans SPSP conference was being able to walk around and visit Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and other popular sites while witnessing firsthand the fascinating and entertaining atmosphere of the great city of New Orleans.


Kaillee Philleo

Kaillee Philleo and Dr. Osterman standing in front of the poster Kaillee presented on – “Listener attitudes and social media engagement after offenses by podcast hosts”

Going into SPSP I was quite nervous, as I have never presented at a conference before. However, after attending a few presentations and talking with other poster presenters, when it came time to present on my own research, it was not nearly as nerve-racking. I loved getting to learn about the variety of research topics in the field of psychology and enjoyed getting to meet other psychologists from across the world and discuss their projects and my own. Beyond the conference, we were able to explore New Orleans and I was able to try gumbo, which has since become my newfound favorite meal. I cannot wait to return to New Orleans in the future and hope to return to SPSP one day as well.

Lauren Powell

Lauren Powell and Dr. Buchholz standing in front of the poster Lauren presented on – “Are liberals more empathic than conservatives?”

This was my second conference but it was the first conference that I have attended that I presented my work independently! It’s not as scary as it seems, and you get to meet a lot of cool people who have the same interests as you – I had a lot of great conversations with people from all over the world!  Moreover, it was fun to see what other people were there to present. It’s always interesting to see that there are so many unexplored topics within the broad category of psychology. Beyond the conference, New Orleans was so much fun and I definitely plan on going back! I am really glad we were all able to experience New Orleans for just long enough to enjoy it but not long enough to be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak that has been happening.  

Dr. Buchholz

I always enjoy going to the Society of Personality and Social Psychology annual conference. This year it was in New Orleans, which was a lot of fun. At the conference, we have a chance to interact with some of the leading scientists in the field and to hear about cutting-edge research.  It is also a great opportunity for our students to present research that they have been conducting in our research labs. This year Naomi Painter and Lauren Powell were both able to present as first authors on our research examining empathy. 

Dr. Carter

Dr. Carter’s lunch one day!

I had a great time at SPSP! I wasn’t able to attend last year due to the birth of my son, so it was great to catch up with colleagues and friends from graduate school that I hadn’t seen in a while, and of course to soak up some culture in New Orleans (and several really good meals). I saw a number of really excellent talks, learned a lot, and took inspiration for a few new research projects. My favorite part, however, was getting to see one of my graduate advisors (Tom Gilovich) win the society’s prestigious Campbell Award. He’s a giant in the field, and he absolutely deserves the recognition.

Dr. Osterman

SPSP was a blast as always, and I’m so proud of how well our students did with presenting their research! They represented the college and department well. Kaillee even talked to some people from NPR about her podcasting research!

Congratulations to all those who attended the conference and for having successful presentations!




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