On February 9-13, eight students attended the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference virtually, to present research through poster sessions and to attend presentations. The students included Sophie Bacon ’20, Carolynn Bructo ’21, Ben Campbell ’22, Sydney Caulder ’21, Kira Hunt ’21, Abbie Joseph ’21, Naomi Painter ’22, and Carly Schepacarter ’21.
This blog post will highlight reactions to presenting and attending the SPSP conference virtually.
Sophie Bacon ’20
While presenting a poster at a virtual conference was a different experience, I ended up finding a silver lining! Something that I ended up enjoying about the virtual format was having all of the information about the conference and the research that was being presented at my fingertips. I think I ended up reading and viewing more posters on the SPSP app than I did at a different conference that I attended in person!
Carolynn Bructo ’21
It was exciting to have my independent study project accepted for presentation at the SPSP convention. SPSP is the biggest organization of social psychologists and personality psychologists globally, and it is an achievement to have my work displayed. A benefit of the online format of the conference was that it was low pressure. Instead of a formal presentation, attendees can look at the poster and post any questions they may have. The online format also provided flexibility. I did not have to miss any classes, and I could look at other presentations in my free time. Although the experience of an online conference was undoubtedly different from getting to travel, I enjoyed the opportunity.
Ben Campbell ’22
I thought the conference did the best it could to make it interactive and interesting for presenters and attendees. I uploaded my poster and then added a 4-minute recording of myself presenting my study. I saw that several people watched and liked my poster/presentation. I however did not receive any questions for my Q&A, so I hope that the attendees found my work to be interesting and easy to comprehend. Though being online was a bit disappointing, I found it to be a great experience for me to present my work.
Sydney Caulder ’21
My experience at the SPSP conference this year was a true reflection of these uncertain times. Although the way that it was conducted was unconventional, I was still met by a few professionals in the field that were supportive and interested in my work. I appreciated the organization into subsections of research and those who conducted the conference were able to keep a personalized feel. Overall, I enjoyed the experience of getting a taste of what conferences are like!
Kira Hunt ’21
Presenting at SPSP this year was certainly different because of the online format. I felt less pressure about having an audience because I recorded a video of me presenting the poster but I did miss the exhilaration from being around other people. However, I didn’t feel as though I missed seeing any posters I wanted to see, and having access to so much information for several days was nice.
Abbie Joseph ’21
Presenting at SPSP was a great experience, even though it was completely virtual. People from all across the country (and even across the world) were able to see the research I was doing and ask me questions. I was able to view as many posters as I wanted to on the app, and I still learned about a lot of the research that was going on, just like I would have if the conference was in person.
Naomi Painter ’22
Presenting virtually at the SPSP 2021 conference was an eye-opening experience. I greatly enjoyed the freeform aspect of a virtual conference that encouraged exploration and illustrated increased accessibility I had not experienced in past conferences. With the online platform, I was able to view multiple posters and recorded presentations at my own pace and convenience. As a presenter, I appreciated the various means by which questions and comments could be communicated in addition to the expanded time for individuals to view the poster and materials beyond a limited time period.
Carly Schepacarter ’21
Presenting at SPSP was a really positive experience. While I was skeptical at the beginning about an online conference, I feel like it was easier to navigate and find talks/posters I was interested in, as well as for others to engage with my work more than just for the hour that my presentation was scheduled. There was a whole host of topics to explore and I really enjoyed taking the time to listen to a few presentations and enjoy the conference environment (and the psychology meme group!). I would definitely present at another virtual conference and recommend the experience to others.
Congratulations once again to all those that presented at SPSP!