Overview

The science of existential psychology is focused on core issues of "being" and "becoming" in the study of human nature and social life—including such key existential concerns as: freedom, authenticity, and moral responsibility; awareness of mortality; culture, the self, and identity; isolation, uncertainty, and shared reality; and the quest for meaning and purpose in life. In recent years, advances in theory generation and methodological innovation have enabled researchers to empirically test bold ideas about the psychological underpinnings of social behavior.

Our 2023 preconference event will focus on freedom and authenticity. Eminent philosophers Derk Pereboom (Cornell) and Alfred Mele (FSU) will each deliver Special Addresses on free will, authenticity, and the path forward for the science of existential psychology. Psychologist Josh Hicks (Texas A&M) will deliver a Research Keynote to provide an overview of the growing body of social psychological research on authenticity. There will also be five Invited Research Talks presenting data on such diverse phenomena as the "true self" concept (Grace Rivera, Univ of Mississippi); developmental understanding of freedom and responsibility (Tamar Kushnir, Duke Univ); choice overload and decision fatigue (Elena Reutskaja, Univ of Navarra); authenticity in cultural context (Serena Chen, UC Berkeley); and authenticity, well-being, and engagement at work and at home (Anna Sutton, Univ. of Waikato). Additionally, data blitz and poster presentations will share research on a broad range of existential psychology topics.

The preconference is organized by the International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology. Join ISSEP.org to become eligible for grants and awards, explore the available resources for research and teaching, and learn more!

Below, you will find information about our programming schedule, submission instructions, available awards, and registration. Please note that the 2023 Existential Psychology Preconference will be virtual.

We welcome you to join us!

Preconference Organizers

Kenneth Vail, k.e.vail@csuohio.edu, Cleveland State University
Mark Landau, mjlandau@ku.edu, University of Kansas
Becca Schlegel, beccaschlegel@tamu.edu, Texas A&M University

Submissions

We invite anyone to submit abstracts for posters and data blitz presentations. Abstracts can be submitted through the online submission portal between Sept. 1 – Nov. 15. Initial selection notifications will be distributed between Dec. 1 – Dec. 15; further selections may be announced later.

Data Blitz session: A Data Blitz session will feature a series of at least five brief (5 minutes max) research talks. Come share a snapshot of your fascinating findings!

Poster presentations: A poster session will showcase the science of existential psychology’s wide range of research topics, methods, and applications. Come show your latest work! 

We invite submissions from undergraduates, graduate students, and seasoned researchers alike. Submissions may deal with any existential psychological topics; priority will be given to those submissions that touch on this year’s preconference theme of freedom and authenticity. 

Submissions will be collected Sept. 1 – Nov. 15.

Our Submission Guide outlines all the information needed for submitting to a preconference. 

Sponsored Awards

We are excited to have a large and active group of conference participants, and we are especially committed to supporting the attendance and inclusion of diverse students and professional researchers interested in the science of existential psychology.

How to Apply

To apply, submit your abstract(s) for a poster and/or data blitz and indicate your eligibility for one or more of the following awards on the submission form.

1. ISSEP Innovation in Existential Psychology Research Award

  • Award amount: $250.00
  • Number of awards: Up to 1 (one) award available.
  • Sponsor: International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology
  • Eligibility: (1) Must be an active ISSEP member at time of submission/review of abstracts; (2) must be an author on submitted abstract for poster, data blitz, or other presentation.
  • Criteria: Innovation in existential psychology research involves applying an existential lens to research a topic that has thus far received minimal attention in this research area; developing a compelling new and empirically testable existential perspective; and/or developing research methods that offer fresh insights into existential psychological processes.

2. ISSEP Graduate Student Diversity Registration Award

  • Award amount: $75.00
  • Total number of sponsored awards: Up to 1 (one) award available.
  • Sponsor: International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology
  • Eligibility: (1) Must be a graduate student; (2) must be an active ISSEP member at time of submission/review of abstracts; (3) must be an author on submitted abstract for poster, data blitz, or other presentation.
  • Criteria: Preference will be given to members of under-represented groups to promote inclusion and cultivate contributions from individuals across a broad range of ages, developmental and acquired disabilities, religious perspectives, races and ethnicities, socioeconomic status, sexual orientations, indigenous heritages, national origins, and sex/genders.

3. ISSEP Undergraduate Student Diversity Registration Award

  • Award amount: $75.00
  • Number of awards: Up to 1 (one) award available.
  • Sponsor: International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology
  • Eligibility: (1) Must be an undergraduate student; (2) must be an active ISSEP member at time of submission/review of abstracts; (3) must be an author on submitted abstract for poster, data blitz, or other presentation.
  • Criteria: Preference will be given to members of under-represented groups to promote inclusion and cultivate contributions from individuals across a broad range of ages, developmental and acquired disabilities, religious perspectives, races and ethnicities, socioeconomic status, sexual orientations, indigenous heritages, national origins, and sex/genders.

4. ISSEP Graduate Student Registration Award

5. ISSEP Undergraduate Student Registration Award

6. Cleveland State University Student Registration Award

  • Award amount: $75.00
  • Number of awards: Up to 1 (one) award available.
  • Sponsor: Cleveland State University
  • Eligibility: Must be either an undergraduate or graduate student; preference given to undergraduates who submit a presentation.

7. Cleveland State University Diversity in Existential Psychology Registration Awards

  • Award amount: $75.00
  • Number of awards: Up to 1 (one) award available.
  • Sponsor: Cleveland State University
  • Eligibility: Preference will be given to members of under-represented groups to promote inclusion and cultivate contributions from individuals across a broad range of age, developmental and acquired disabilities, minority religious perspectives, races and ethnicities, socioeconomic status, sexual orientations, indigenous heritages, national origins, and sex/genders.

8. Worth Publishers – Macmillan Learning Student Registration Awards

  • Award amount: $75.00
  • Number of awards: Up to 4 (four) awards available.
  • Sponsor: Worth Publishers/Macmillan Learning
  • Eligibility: Must be either an undergraduate or graduate student; preference given to graduate students who submit a presentation.

Sponsors

 

Schedule