You are here

SPSP EC Meeting Notes Winter 2012

SPSP Meeting Notes from Sunday, January 29, 2012 – San Diego


Executive Committee Members: Beer, Biernat, Devine, Funder, Gable, Gardner, Gosling, Heatherton, Larsen, Pietromonaco, Vescio

Committee Chairs and Invited Guests: Benet-Martinez, Dunning, Forsyth, Fryberg, Lowery, Milyavskaya, Munoz, Pickett, Plant, Schmader, Sinclair, Wegener

Executive Office: J. Dovidio, L. Dovidio, C. Marvin


Meeting convened 8:30 am.


Introduction, Agenda, and Minutes: 

The meeting was called to order by Trish Devine 8:30. She thanked Todd Heatherton for his skillful leadership of the Society and asked those present to introduce themselves. She explained that only those in elected positions are eligible to vote on formal motions but that everyone present can participate in straw votes. Conflict of Interest forms for all SPSP Executive Committee (EC) members and Consent to Serve forms for the new EC members who started 1/1/12 were completed. The minutes of the August 2011 SPSP EC Meeting were approved without revision, 11-0-0.


President’s Report: 

Trish Devine commended the members of the EC for the important decisions it has made to bring significant benefits to the Society, SPSP members, and the profession. She explained that there were several timely issues, some old and some new, on the agenda. She also thanked all those SPSP Committees and members who had worked so hard for a successful convention.

To obtain input from Committee Chairs, she introduced the question of whether SPSP should continue to hold its Summer Executive Committee Meeting in conjunction with the APA Convention in the future (after the 2012 APA Convention in Orlando). The EC considered a number of arguments for continuing to have summer meetings at the APA Convention (e.g., maintaining positive relations with APA, attendance at Division 8-sponsored events, limiting travel requirements for EC members who also serve as Division 8 Representatives) as well as holding them at a separate time and place (e.g., limiting travel time and expense for EC Meetings, opportunity to meet for more time, potential for connecting better with other psychological organizations). Trish summarized the discussion and concluded that she was "sensing some wisdom in the plan” to have a summer EC Meeting disconnected from the APA Convention. The EC agreed that more detailed planning should proceed for the summer 2013 EC Meeting.


Executive Officer’s Report:

Jack Dovidio called attention to items in the written Executive Officer Report and the list of activities since the last meeting. He emphasized that the rapid growth of the Society has presented new challenges to the financial management of the Society. He noted that SPSP was recently audited at the Society’s request and that the interim report would be distributed in Executive Session. He also explained that the infrastructure of the Executive Office needs to be modified to enhance financial management, bringing in greater professional expertise.


Secretary-Treasurer’s Report: 

Monica Biernat asked Jack Dovidio to review the Membership and Budget Reports. He pointed out that SPSP membership leveled off in 2011 and that the number of graduate student members declined. With respect to budget, he noted that SPSP continues to have surpluses that exceed even the projected surpluses. Nevertheless, he noted that revenues will likely not show increases over the next several years. The financial holdings remain over two million dollars, but the Society earned only about 0.4% interest on its CD investments.


Program Committee: 

Trish Devine expressed the Society’s gratitude to Veronica Benet-Martinez and Kathleen Vohs for their outstanding job as Program Co-Chairs. Veronica Benet-Martinez then reported that the number of submissions for symposia and posters for the 2012 SPSP Convention demonstrated healthy increases over last year. Several recent innovations (e.g., the data blitz, poster awards, media sessions) were highly successful. Veronica explained the new structure of the 2012 Program Committee and the division of responsibilities among the new Program Committee members, the Program Co-Chairs, and the Past Program Co-Chairs.

The Executive Committee discussed several changes for the Program Committee to implement for the 2013 convention. Todd Heatherton suggested that the time devoted to the Presidential Symposium might be shortened. With that change, attention could be devoted to coordinating the Presidential Symposium, the Awards Ceremony, the welcome reception, and the first poster session in the 2013 convention to reduce competition between events and improve the possibility a person to attend more than one of these events.

It was discussed that several recommendations from previous years were not effectively transmitted to new Program Co-Chairs. The Executive Committee reiterated earlier requests to have (a) two data blitzes and (b) poster sessions organized such that different topics (based on keywords) are arranged by aisle within the session. Veronica noted that the EC’s interest in having two data-blitzes will be communicated to the Program Committee for next year’s conference. In addition, she subsequently reported that posters within each poster session were indeed organized (i.e., lined up) by topic in groupings of 20-40 posters, using the submission keywords. She also indicated the Program Committee will continue to try to spread posters with similar topics across more than one session, so that if someone misses one poster session this person has not missed all the posters on that topic. She further explained that this is more difficult to ensure for topics represented by a smaller number of posters, where only one grouping is practical.

Veronica then explained the rationale for the budget request for travel for plenary speakers who would not ordinarily attend SPSP (i.e., those outside the "SPSP community”). While the Executive Committee expressed general support for the budget request (and later approved it), it was emphasized that plenary sessions are not mandatory in the program and that they may be competing with symposia for program time.

Trish Devine presented an idea previously discussed by the Presidents to have the Block, Campbell, and Distinguished Scholar recipients give shorter addresses in a single session as the featured plenary session. The President would give the introductions. A concern was expressed that it would be disruptive if many people in the audience left after a particular address. For the 2013 convention, the EC asked the Program Committee to feature a plenary session with presentations (in order) by Block, Campbell, and Distinguished Scholar recipients, hopefully increasing the number of symposia that can be featured in the general program.

To facilitate communication across years, the Executive Committee asked that one incoming Program Co-Chair, along with one of the current Program Co-Chairs, attend the winter EC meetings starting with the January 2013 EC meeting.

While the new structure of the Program Committee will likely enhance communication, Veronica agreed to prepare a summary of the changes recommended and supported for the 2013 convention for review by the EC and to be transmitted to the incoming Program Co-Chairs.

The EC expressed its appreciation to Veronica and Kathleen for the excellent program at the 2012 SPSP convention and for their outstanding service to the society.


Training Committee: 

Stacey Sinclair reported that the Training Committee Preconference, which was co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Committee, was very successful. There were 73 participants in attendance, and the presentations were of high quality and well received.

She noted that the Applied Social Psychology Network needs to be integrated into the new SPSP website.

Stacey also reported that the 2011 SISP, hosted by Princeton University, was highly rated by students and was considered to be very successful by faculty. She further commented that the Training Committee had collected additional data about the effectiveness of previous SISP in terms of student publications and collaborations.

Todd Heatherton asked whether the Training Committee would be presenting a formal proposal for an undergraduate research program, one along the lines of the plan he asked the Training Committee to consider at the last meeting. Stacey stated that the Training Committee will prepare an undergraduate research proposal for consideration at the summer EC meeting. The EC discussed that several key aspects to consider are (a) the size (e.g., number of students, number of sites, frequency of offerings), (b) cost, (c) statement of need, and (d) explanation of what would distinguish this from other undergraduate research programs and how it fits with existing programs.


Diversity and Climate Committee: 

Stephanie Fryberg reported that the Diversity Reception was very successful.Stephanie then asked about the status of the diversity information questions that members would be asked when they renew their dues. Stephanie and Christie Marvin agreed to follow up with each other to make sure the questions appeared for online dues renewal and were implemented in the transition to the new website.

Stephanie reported that the DCC had concerns that only photos of the Diversity Award Winners (not other travel award winners) were in the conference program book. It was agreed that all student travel award winners would have their names and affiliations (without photos) in the program book, but that there could be additional recognition (with photos if students agree) on the website, as well as in the online Dialogue.


Graduate Student Committee: 

Marina Milyavskaya reported the Poster Award selection process went very smoothly. She also stated that GSC events were well attended. There were 37 mentors at the mentor lunch, and over 250 students attended the Student Social Event. As a consequence of the greater attendance at the Social Event, the GSC requested additional funding for food. The current budget will cover that.

Because of difficulty in obtaining a list of students attending the conference for the first time, the First-Time Attendee Breakfast had an attendance of about 50, which was not full capacity. The GSC will evaluate the event for the 2013 convention. The GSC is also considering a new event for the next conference – a "speed-dating” format for a data-share session – and will survey student interest. If there is sufficient interest, the GSC will develop a proposal considering when such an event might occur, what is needed, and what additional costs may be involved.

The GSC and the Program Committee will coordinate to develop a process for student volunteers to assist non-native speakers before materials are submitted for the 2013 conference. That might involve posting a call for volunteers and publicizing the service on the listserv and giving volunteers a title (e.g. International Peer Mentor) for use on their resume. The volunteers might review abstracts for certain criteria and all submissions for language editing; make sure web submission instructions are clear to international students.

In addition, the GSC offered to solicit feedback about the Grupio App for the convention program in their conference survey.


Public Information Office: 

Lisa Munoz summarized the activities of the Public Information Office over the past six months. In addition, she reviewed the activities (e.g., press conferences) and the presence of members of the press at the 2012 conference. She cautioned that it will be important to "focus on the results” of that press presence. Lisa also mentioned that she will work to develop a media training workshop for the 2013 convention.

Trish Devine commended Lisa for an "excellent job.” Sam Gosling asked whether SPSP should increase Lisa’s time for the Society. The EC felt that it was premature to alter the arrangement at this time but asked Lisa to keep a list not only of what she has been able to do in the position but also of what specific additional things she could do if she were allocated more time.

Lisa reviewed the reasons for the new budget requests for a SPSP Eurekalert subscription and for an SPSP banner. (Both of these requests were subsequently approved in the budget votes.)


Convention Committee:

 Toni Schmader announced that there were approximately 3600 attendees at the 2012 convention, which would be record attendance. She noted that we appeared to easily meet our room block guarantee; hotel capacity was at 96%. She also explained that because 46% of students took advantage of the new registration discount, fewer students than anticipated, the efforts made to ensure that SPSP achieved its room guarantee would likely be much less costly than originally estimated.

[Addendum: On 2/22/12, Renee Smith/TME provided the final attendance numbers as 3,616. She also noted that there were 52 attendees who utilized the early registration rate contingent on staying at the SPSP hotel, but who cancelled their hotel reservations immediately before and during the event. She was able to capture several people on site who paid the additional registration fees for not staying at the hotel, but several more slipped through the cracks (to a grand sum of $2,930 in lost registration fees). The question arose on how to deal with this issue now and for future conferences.]

The Convention Committee reported on the increase in the number of pre-conferences (n = 27). On the one hand, pre-conferences increase logistic burden; on the other hand, the help SPSP with room block and the food and beverage guarantees. The Convention Committee agreed to refine application procedures for pre-conferences and set and advertise a June deadline.

Toni also indicated that the room block guarantee was successfully reduced from the original agreement with the hotels in New Orleans for 2013, but that reduced block is still a higher number than the room block the 2012 San Diego meeting. The Convention Committee thus recommended that the Society continue with the new discount as an incentive for staying in conference hotels in New Orleans.

Toni said that the Convention Committee will discuss problems with the program app with Grupio, consider ways to improve its functionality, and try to negotiate a lower rate because of implementation issues this year.

The wording about the "Printed Program Book or not” option will be clarified for the 2013 convention. Also, the drink/box lunch option will be continued for 2013, with efforts made to expand the number of events in which drink tickets can be redeemed.

Cindy Picket reported that the child care services were underutilized at the conference, but that those who did use it were very grateful for it. Since it may take some time to build up cliental, the EC agreed that child care services should be offered in New Orleans, but re-evaluated after that meeting. To encourage usage, it was suggested that testimonials be solicited and posted on the website.

The EC agreed that the Society should continue with the same exhibitor policy (i.e., requiring exhibitors to stay in the conference hotels) and monitor the effectiveness of that policy. The Convention Committee and Executive Office can address exhibitors’ requests for an exemption on a case-by-case basis.

The Convention Committee and Program Committee jointly proposed that the policy for submitting symposia and posters to the SPSP conference to be amended to not require submitters to be members at time of submission, but to still require all presenters to be members. The EC acknowledged that this change would likely have a limited negative impact on membership. The EC voted to support the proposal to relax the membership requirement for submissions for the SPSP conference program.

[Addendum: A proposal to institute a non-member symposium or plenary speaker registration rate was also approved by an EC vote of 11-0-0. In the February follow-up discussions, it was decided to simplify the issue by eliminating the separate non-member presenter category. People will be told in the submission and acceptance instructions that if their submission is accepted, they must be a current SPSP member to present and must register for the conference. They can apply for membership through the normal procedures, and then register for the conference as a member. The Society can always make an exception for a special plenary speaker. It was noted that if these new members want to limit their involvement in the Society, they can choose to have only electronic access to the journals and/or opt out of emails.]

This is an example (based on San Diego 2012 rates) that could outline registration options and rates.


Membership Dues: $50 (required to be symposium/poster presenters)

Conference Registration: $355


Membership Dues: $25 (required to be symposium/poster presenters)

Conference Registration: $ 215


Membership Dues: $25 (required to be symposium/poster presenters)

Conference Registration: $ 215

Non-Member/Non-Presenter option:

Conference Registration: $455


The Convention Committee agreed to review disability services for the 2013 New Orleans convention and include the issue in the criteria for future sites. It was also recommended to have a question during the registration process to ask if any specific disability services will be needed.

The Convention Committee reminded the EC that Austin was the site of the 2014 SPSP convention.

Brian Lowery mentioned that submissions for travel awards were fewer this year than in the past. There was discussion about the restrictions on receiving travel awards. It was agreed that, consistent with current policy, that Diversity Travel Awards (administered by the DCC) and the Graduate Student Travel Awards (administered by the Convention Committee) are travel awards. Students who receive one of these awards cannot apply for either of these awards in subsequent years. However, if a student applies for both travel awards in the same year and is selected for both, they can win and receive recognition as the recipient of both awards, but they can only receive the funding and benefits associated with only one (of their choice).

A change in the allocation of five Outstanding Research Awards (administered by the GSC), which was previously funded from Travel Award funds, was proposed. The proposal was that the Outstanding Research Award (ORA) no longer be considered a travel award (thus allowing travel award winners to be eligible for both). ORA recipients will receive a $100 honorarium and a plaque, and they will be recognized in the PowerPoint presentation at the Awards Ceremony, but not be formally presented their award there. The number of Graduate Student Travel Awards (administered by the Convention Committee) will now return to 80 awards instead of the previous 75, utilizing the additional five formally allocated to the Outstanding Research Awards. The proposal was approved by a vote of 11-0-0. The Executive Officer will work with the DCC and the Convention Committee to develop and post appropriate wording.

At 1:30 pm, a separate session was convened and adjourned at 1:45 pm.


SISP Committee: 

Sam Gosling reported that UC-Davis has been selected to host the 2013 SISP. The EC then discussed the status and timetable of the new SISP proposal, which Sam Gosling, Iris Mauss, and Jack Dovidio are writing. Jack agreed to contact NSF for guidance. The EC indicated strongly and unanimously its willingness to financially support a SISP in 2013, even if the NSF renewal grant is not funded by that time. Because it was premature to allocate funds for the 2013 budget, there was no formal budget vote. However, the EC did vote in principle to support bridge funding, if needed, for the 2013 SISP. The vote was 11-0-0.



Jack Dovidio reported that, as indicated in the agenda book, participants have been selected by the Training Committee for support toward travel expenses to these summer schools.


FPSP (Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology): 

David Dunning reported that, unless restricted by the deed of gift (as is the Cialdini Award and the SAGE Young Scholars), FPSP will work with the Executive Office to bring its award honoraria and travel support in line with SPSP’s guidelines.

David also indicated that FPSP will seek a new position, most likely an Executive Officer, who will be responsible for executing the Foundation’s Activities. Members of the EC questioned whether someone with more fund-raising experience or more help with clerical activities would be more valuable. David indicated that FPSP discussed those possibilities, but felt that an Executive Officer was most needed at this time.

David noted that, as requested by SPSP after the last August EC meeting, FPSP will initiate fund-raising for the Distinguished Scholar Award. He asked about any restrictions SPSP might have for funds for this or other awards. The EC advised David to have FPSP contact the SPSP Secretary-Treasurer, President, and President-Elect to obtain feedback as needed from SPSP. The EC stated that it recognized the need to respond quickly to fund-raising opportunities and designated these three positions for rapid response. Monica Biernat, Trish Devine, and David Funder will work with FPSP to make sure arrangements and expectations are clear, and they will report on progress at the summer EC meeting. Trish Devine agreed to inform FPSP of SPSP’s fund-raising priorities after further EC discussion.


Web Report: 

David Dunning and Don Forsythe reported on progress with the new website and discussed some unexpected delays and obstacles. They described the migration to YM as the "authoritative database.” Don described the initiative in creating "groups” to share materials and historical records. He encouraged members of the EC to accept their invitations to be members of different groups and to try to see what functions are available.

Questions arose about what different content areas will be available on the webpage and how that material will be managed. There were several questions about Dialogue, including its content and editorial management. The EC was informed that only four content articles were now in hand for Dialogue (committee reports would be posted in a different area), but that an online issue of Dialogue should appear by March 1.

The EC was further informed that Diane Quinn would be stepping down as Dialogue Co-Editor in March, and that a search was underway for a replacement. David and Don asked who oversees Dialogue. The need for a Web Committee, analogous to the Publication Committee was discussed. The Knowledge Dissemination Coordinating Committee was charged with refining the Web Committee proposal (p. 32 of the agenda book), overseeing the Society’s web activities until such a committee is established and assume responsibility for nominating a new Co-Editor for Dialogue (working closely with Hart Blanton in this process).

It was decided that committee reports should be submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer, who will transmit them to the Web Editors (with copies to the Executive Officer) by February 15th. These reports would be shortened version of the agenda book reports with sensitive information omitted.


Task Force on Responsible Conduct in Social and Personality Psychology: 

The EC discussed recommendations of the Task Force that were formulated at the dinner meeting at the SPSP conference of SPSP members (representing different professional organizations) and invited guests. These recommendations include developing a forum to communicate failures to replicate findings, sponsoring special issues of journals devoted to responsible conduct in research, encouraging further discussion about "grey areas” in data analysis, and new initiatives for educating students about responsible conduct in research. One idea that had substantial support was the creation of a professional development website that not only alerted people to gray areas but also offered "best practices.” Lisa Munoz asked to be involved in the web development of this initiative. Todd Heatherton mentioned that future activities of the Task Force were not yet determined.


Publication Committee: 

Duane Wegener reported that the paper published in 2010 that was originally selected to receive the 2011 Student Publication Award was retracted (relating to Stapel’s involvement) and that a new paper was being nominated: Sheikh, S., & Janoff-Bulmann, R. (2010). The "shoulds” and "should nots” of moral emotions: A self-regulatory perspective on shame and guilt. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 213-224. This nomination was approved by the EC by a vote of 10-0-1, with the abstention related to a conflict of interest. Duane reported that, beginning in 2012, the consortium agreed that SPPS papers should also be eligible for the Student Publication Award. The Publication Committee further proposed that the Student Publication Award program be expanded to include up to three awards annually and an honorarium of $400 for each paper. The proposal was approved by a vote of 11-0-0.

Duane reviewed the Editors’ Reports for PSPB, PSPR, and SPPS, pointing to increasing submissions and success of the journals. It was noted that the position of Victoria Claas, the PSPB Editorial Assistant, will end when her current independent contractor arrangement terminates on December 31, 2012. Beginning January 1, 2013, SPSP will employ editorial assistance through Sage. The EC acknowledge Victoria’s long and valuable service to SPSP and PSPB and indicated its support for Victoria to be employed by Sage if a position is available.

The Publications Committee and the Executive Office were charged by the EC to consider editorial assistant arrangements for PSPB during the 2013 time period when Shinobu Kitayama is handling only revised manuscripts.

Duane Wegener presented progress in the search for a new editor for SPSP. He explained that several desirable candidates had been contacted, but that the position was not yet filled. The EC discussed the search, kinds of qualities desired, and prospects for finding a new editor soon.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.