As a professional organization, SPSP is committed to diversity, equity, professional exchange of ideas, and respectful treatment of all members, volunteers, and employees. Attendees at all SPSP events, activities, and programs seek to learn, network, and enjoy themselves, free from discrimination or harassment. In order to provide all participants with the opportunity to benefit from SPSP events, SPSP is committed to providing a friendly, safe, and discrimination and harassment-free environment for all attendees, including but not limited to discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, citizenship status, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, socioeconomic status, criminal record, veteran status, or their intersection.

Expected Behavior

This Code of Conduct affirms the positive and constructive behaviors to which SPSP aspires as a professional and scientific society.  Such expected behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Professional and constructive communication, in-person and on-line; using welcoming and inclusive language; courtesy and civility in handling dissent or disagreement; respect when providing feedback; and openness to alternate points of view.
  • Responsible and respectful sharing of information about the organization or any attendees via social media and public communication channels.
  • Being proactive to help mitigate or avoid harassment or harm to other participants, including but not limited to alerting staff, or security personnel if they witness a situation in which someone may be in imminent danger.

Prohibited Behavior

SPSP does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of members or participants in any form. Prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Intimidating, harassing, lewd, demeaning, bullying, or threatening speech or actions.
  • Persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy, including but not limited to that which is accompanied by real or implied threat of professional harm.
  • Physical assault, including unwelcome touch or groping.
  • Any real or implied threat of physical harm.
  • The use of abusive, sexual or offensive imagery, photography or recording.
  • Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or prohibited conduct or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination.
  • Bringing alcohol into SPSP-sponsored events or consumption of alcohol by those not of legal age. Please note that because excessive alcohol leads to impaired decision-making, SPSP strongly discourages excessive drinking at any point during the convention.
  • Disruption of presentations during sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at other events organized by SPSP throughout the event. All participants must comply with the instructions of the moderator and any SPSP event staff.


This Code of Conduct sets forth expectations for the professional conduct of participants in SPSP events or activities such as meetings, journal review and editorship, online venues, and educational programs. "Participant" refers to anyone present at SPSP events or activities regardless of membership status, including speakers, vendors, venue staff, media representatives, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, and all other attendees. "Events or activities" include any aspect of the annual convention (e.g., during programming, at scheduled social events, while out to dinner or at a bar), pre-conferences, SISPP, SPUR, SPF, SSSP, webinars, zoom meetings, governance meetings, other forums and trainings.

Policies alone cannot eliminate problematic conduct. Accordingly, this Code of Conduct includes an expectation that all participants proactively seek to establish a culture of respect in which everyone feels welcomed and valued in the Society. To accomplish this, participants are asked to speak up and take action when these values are not adhered to, and recognize that power differences and hierarchies inherent to academia may inhibit many parties (including students and junior scholars) from feeling free to object to or report problematic behavior. The behavior of members outside of SPSP events and venues also reflects on the Society and influences its climate. Members are expected to embody the values and to adhere to the guidelines articulated in this Code of Conduct in all professional settings. For these reasons, professional misconduct outside of SPSP events may warrant sanction if they violate SPSP's Code of Conduct.

In addition to general misconduct, the SPSP Code of Conduct specifically addresses sexual harassment, which is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the United States as including "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature." Note that such harassment "does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's sex." Behavior can be classified as harassment when it "is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment." Sexual harassment is perpetrated and experienced across genders and professional roles. 

Reporting Prohibited Behavior

SPSP encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation taking place at or in conjunction with an SPSP program or activity, regardless of the offender's identity or position in the Society. Individuals who believe they have been the victim of such conduct (or have observed such conduct) are urged to contact the Executive Director ( or any member of the Executive Committee. In the event that an individual feels that their physical safety is in jeopardy, SPSP encourages the individual to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency to make a report. SPSP strongly respects an individual's interest in confidentiality and will handle all reports with sensitivity, with information related to a report only disclosed on a need to know basis for the purposes of investigation. SPSP will also work to assist and facilitate a complainant in exerting their right to report a potential violation of the Code of Conduct to the home institution or employer of the individual in question.

Consequences for Prohibited Behavior

Violation of this Code of Conduct is considered by SPSP to be a serious form of professional misconduct. The consequences for violations will be determined by factors including the immediacy of the threat to attendees, the severity and frequency of the violation, whether the individual has been found to have past violations, and the status of the individual (with those in position of authority and leadership held to the highest standards of behavior). Agreement to this Code of Conduct constitutes acknowledgement that 1) the possible disciplinary actions for its violation include but are not limited to a verbal warning, removal from an event without refund, restriction on attending future events, removal from membership, and forfeiture of previous awards or honors, and 2) SPSP reserves the right, in consultation with the complainant, to notify a home institution or employer of a finding of misconduct in violation of this Code of Conduct.

SPSP Ethics Statement

Members of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology must conform to the ethical standards of the profession, as described in the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of ConductMembership may be denied to an applicant or revoked for cause, which includes but is not limited, to disciplinary action for ethical reasons by the American Psychological Association or any other governing body by which the member is bound (state/national psychological associations, universities, etc).Those with concerns should contact any member of the SPSP Board of Directors or Central Office staff.

To discuss ethical or sensitive concerns, please write to or call 202-869-3241