Big Data in Personality and Social Psychology August 2 to 4 2019 Saint Louis Missouri

In this two-day forum, which will combine elements of a scientific conference and a hands-on workshop, we will address issues of (a) data acquisition, including means of harvesting data from Twitter and other social media platforms as well as mobile technologies such as smartphones and wearables, (b) data analysis, including techniques for semantic analysis, feature-extraction, spatial analysis, and machine learning, and (c) data interpretation, including theoretical applications to the study of individual differences, social influence, social network structure and function, and other traditional and nontraditional areas of social, personality, and political psychology.

Jeff HancockEthics and Big Data: Hands On Guides for Conducting Ethical Big Data Research 
Jeff Hancock, Stanford University
Friday 6:30 pm

One of the main challenges in conducting big data research is applying well-established ethical guidelines to novel contexts. In this presentation we'll review some of the main issues and some practical principles to help guide ethics by design in big data research.

Maarten BosBehavioral Science with Big(ger) Data at a Corporate Research Laboratory
Maarten Bos, Snap Inc.
Saturday 8:30 am

Corporate research labs aim to push the scientific and technological forefront of innovation outside traditional academia. Snap Inc. combines academia and industry by hiring academic researchers and doing application-driven research. In this talk I will give examples of research projects from my corporate research experience. My goal is to showcase the value of – and hurdles for – working both with and within corporate research labs, and how some of these values and hurdles are different from working in traditional academia.

Gabriella HarariMobile Sensing for Theory Development and Assessment in Social and Personality Psychology
Gabriella Harari, Stanford University
Saturday 4:00 pm

Social and personality researchers have long been interested in understanding and assessing how behavior is expressed in daily life. However, until recently, the intensive longitudinal assessment of behaviors has been practically challenging (for researchers) and burdensome (for research participants). In this talk, I present mobile sensing research as an approach with the potential to (1) promote theory development about the constructs underlying patterns of real-world behavior, and (2) improve behavioral assessment through passive data collection in real-world contexts. I will conclude by discussing how mobile sensing research will transform both our understanding of behavior and the way we conduct behavioral assessment in the years to come.  

Jamie PennebakerWords, Words, Words: Clues to Personality, Groups, and Civilizations
Jamie Pennebaker, University of Texas-Austin
Sunday 10:30 am     

The words we use provide valuable information about the ways we think and behave. This talk provides an overview of approaches to the analysis of text to better understand basic social and personality processes. Of particular relevance will be a summary of work that attempts to unwrap real world group processes as they occur by focusing on social media platforms such as Reddit. To appreciate the power of words in a big data environment, you must harness your basic social and personality ways of thinking, mix it with a basic understanding of big data methodology, and never lose sight of your own and others' ways of speaking and writing in everyday life.

Kate Blackburn headshotEntry-Level Text Analysis Workshop
Kate Blackburn, The University of Texas at Austin
Saturday 1:30 pm

This workshop will use text analysis on big data sets within a variety of contexts to study the language people use in their stories and social interactions. To follow along in the workshop, people should be familiar with entry-level text analysis and basic statics. If possible, people should bring a laptop with them to the workshop.

Christopher Lucas headshotA Dynamic Model of Speech for the Social Sciences
Christopher Lucas, Washington University in St. Louis
Saturday 1:30 pm

We introduce a generative model of the sound and flow of speech, the model of audio and speech structure (MASS), enabling empirical tests of long-standing theoretical predictions about communication. Our approach models speech as a stochastic process shaped by fixed and time-varying covariates, as well as the history of the speech or conversation itself. We also introduce a fast, easy-to-use R package, "speech", for preprocessing speech audio and for doing inference on MASS.

Poruz Khambatta headshotUsing Machine Learning to Enable New Forms of Psychology Research (R Workshop)
Poruz Khambatta, Stanford University
Sunday 8:30 am

In the early days of computing, programmers manually taught computers to perform tasks. With the advent of machine learning, computers can now learn on their own and teach us a few things in the process. This workshop will provide an introduction to machine learning for psychologists. We will begin by discussing the unique value machine learning can provide to the field of psychology. We will then explore key topics (e.g., overfitting, cross-validation, etc.) through the use of hands-on demonstrations. We will also try out leading machine learning approaches, including regularized regression and random forest, on a real-world data set. Exercises will be conducted in the R programming language.

Tobias EbertFriedrich Götz headshotWhere It's At – A Hands-on Workshop on Geographic Analysis for Psychologists
Tobias Ebert, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, University of Mannheim and Friedrich M. Götz, University of Cambridge
Sunday 8:30 am

This workshop is designed to offer an accessible, hands-on introduction to methods and applications of spatial analyses in psychology. Herein, we cover the following contents: (1) how to geographically aggregate individual-level data (2) simple and flexible approaches of mapping psychological variables (3) how to create spatial-weight matrices and use them to assess geographical clustering (4) methodological challenges when regressing spatial data and a brief introduction into spatial econometrics.

Friday, August 2
3:00 pm
Registration Open
5:00 pm
Welcome Reception
Sponsored by Snap Inc.
6:30 pm
Keynote: Jeff Hancock
Stanford University
Saturday, August 3
8:30 am
Keynote: Maarten Bos
Snap Inc.
10:00 am
10:30 am
Data Blitz
1:30 pm
– Entry-Level Text Analysis
– A Dynamic Model of Speech
3:30 pm
4:00 pm
Keynote: Gabriella Harari
Stanford University
5:30 pm
Sponsored by Columbia Data Science Institue
Poster Session
Sunday, August 4
8:30 am
– Machine Learning
– Geographic Analysis
10:30 am
Keynote: Jamie Pennebaker
University of Texas-Austin

Abstracts for posters and data blitz presentations are open now through April 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET.

Presentations should be on topics that lend themselves to the big data methods being discussed, but it is not necessary to have used them in your research to be a presenter.

Click here to download information about submitting.


Travel Award

Thanks to support from The Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), SPSP is pleased to provide 10 new travel awards ($200 each) to attend SPSP’s Big Data Forum this summer.

Those who have received their doctorate in the last five years and current graduates are eligible to apply. Previous awardees of a Big Data award are not eligible to apply.

Deadline to apply is June 5, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT.



Teacher/Scholar Registration Award

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology will offer a limited number of Teacher/Scholar registration awards to support the participation of non-student members who teach and work exclusively with undergraduate students to attend the 2019 Summer Psychology Forum. Apply by April 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT.



Graduate Registration Award

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology will offer a limited number of awards to support graduate students registering for the 2019 Summer Psychology Forum. Apply by April 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT.


Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, 1 South Broadway, Saint Louis, Missouri

Room Rates: $149, plus current tax

Interested in sponsoring the 2019 Forum and having your company exposed to 300 researchers? Contact Brian Riddleberger (

Registration includes full conference access, lunch on Saturday, and access to two evening receptions.

  Early Bird (by July 1) Regular Onsite (if available)
Student $135 $185 $235
Early Career $165 $215 $265
Full/Associate $195 $245 $295
Non-member $245 $295 $345

Registration Payment Policy

Full payment of the registration fee must be made at the time of registration. Payments can be made by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express) or by check made payable to SPSP, Inc. Check payments must be received no later than July 5, 2019. To pay by check, download, print and complete the SPF Registration Form and mail it with your payment to: SPSP, Inc. 1120 Connecticut Ave NW, #280 Washington, DC 20036. Cash payments can only be accepted onsite at the Registration Desk.

Registration Confirmation/Meeting Badge

Confirmation of your registration will be sent via email. Please double check spam filters and folders, as confirmations tend to get redirected to these locations. Badges will not be mailed in advance of the meeting; they will be available for pick-up onsite at the Registration Desk. Attendees must wear the official meeting badge at all times and present it for admission to all 2019 SPF events. To minimize the environmental cost of reprints, please remember to wear your badge each day.

Visa Information

Travelers are advised to apply for a visa as early as possible. Please check with your local U.S. consulate or embassy to find out when you may apply for a visa. For security purposes, letters of invitation can only be sent to individuals registered for the 2019 Summer Psychology Forum. To request a letter of invitation, please contact the Registrar at

Note: Registration refunds will not be issued for denied visas after July 5, 2019. View the SPSP cancellation policy below.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

All cancellations and refund requests for the 2019 Summer Psychology Forum must be submitted in writing. For cancellations made by July 5, 2019, your registration fee will be refunded minus a 30% cancellation fee. No refunds will be given for registration cancellations made after July 5, 2019. Cancellation requests must identify the registrant's name, email address, membership type and amount paid. Send cancellation requests to

Substitution Policy

Substitutions are allowed upon approval of written request and replacement registrant must be of the same membership type. Substitution requests must come from the original registrant and include the original registrant's name, membership type and amount paid; it must also include the replacement attendee's email, full name and affiliation. Substitution requests should be sent to

Registration: Sean Terry,

Sponsorship: Brian Riddleberger,

Program Co-Chairs:

John T. Jost

John T. Jost
New York University, USA

Sandra Matz

Sandra Matz
Columbia University, USA

Peter J. Rentfrow

Peter J. Rentfrow
University of Cambridge, UK

Other Questions: Rachel Bader,


If you have questions, email, or call 202-869-3240.