Overview

The science of existential psychology focuses on core issues of "being" and "becoming" in human nature and social life. These issues include such key existential concerns as freedom, authenticity, and moral responsibility; awareness of mortality; culture, self, and identity; isolation, uncertainty, and shared reality; and the quest for meaning and purpose in life.

"Existential ecology: Culture, self, and identity" will be the theme of our 6th consecutive Existential Psychology Preconference. Lewis Gordon (U.Conn.) expert on Black Existentialism, will deliver the Special Philosophical Address. Steven Heine (UBC), an expert on cross-cultural psychology, will deliver the Research Keynote Address on existential cultural psychology research. The event will also feature five Invited Research Talks: Daphna Oyserman (USC) will discuss identity-based motivation and cultural interpretations of difficulty and possibility; Katherine Du (U.Wisconsin) will discuss variations in the benefits and costs of authentic self-expressions across cultural contexts; Kate McLean (Western Washington U.) will discuss narrative identity development, overarching cultural narratives, and their dynamic interaction over time; Toni Schmader (UBC) will present research on state authenticity as fit to the environment (SAFE); and Shigehiro Oishi (U.Chicago) will discuss the cultural dynamics of meaning. Additionally, the event will feature an awards ceremony as well as a data blitz and poster session, which will cover a broad range of existential psychology topics.

The preconference is organized by the International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology (ISSEP). 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 2024 Existential Psychology Preconference will be virtual.

We welcome you to join us!

Preconference Organizers

Kenneth Vail, [email protected], Cleveland State University
Mark Landau, [email protected], University of Kansas
Becca Schlegel, [email protected], Texas A&M University
Perla Henderson[email protected], University of Houston 

Submissions

Our Submission Guide outlines all the information needed for submitting to a preconference. Please click here to download the submission guide from the SPSP Annual Convention page.

Preconference Submissions Now Open

All submissions must be completed by 11:59 PM PT on October 18.
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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 the 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 Diversity in Existential Psychology Registration Awards

  • Award amount: $75.00
  • Number of awards: Up to 2 (two) awards available.
  • Sponsor: Cleveland State University
  • Eligibility: Preference will be given to members of underrepresented 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.

7. 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