#Psynom16: Sequel to the next generation

Stephan Lewandowsky. Some of the other folks who were approached at their posters during the Psychonomics meeting in Boston a few weeks ago got back to me after the Thanksgiving holiday. This gives me a chance to present a few more faces of the next generation of Pyschonomes. (If you missed the first instalment, it can be found here.)

I interviewed the authors of the (arbitrarily chosen) posters by email and asked the following questions:

 

1. What’s the punchline of your poster? What have we learned from it?

2. What did you enjoy the most about #Psynom16?

3. What would you change for future meetings (e.g. #Psynom17)?

4. Looking at the world right now, what do you think is the most important societal problem that Psychonomic research can help address?

Here are the posters and the responses from the second group of authors:

Spatial Dependency in Local Resource Distributions. VALAREE BEDELL, JOSIE LYDICK, JORDAN TREAT, TAYLOR DAWLEY, MADISON COLLINS and ANDREAS WILKE, Clarkson University.

Valaree replied on behalf of her co-authors as follows:

1. What’s the punchline of your poster? What have we learned from it?

“We have a new methodology that allows us to observe new domains to determine their underlying spatial distributions. So far, we have found a lot of the distributions in modern domains to be indicative of aggregation, which ties back to our foraging ancestral past.”

2. What did you enjoy the most about #Psynom16?

“Being undergraduate students, we are not presented with many opportunities to meet professionals and hear about their current work. Hearing all of the presentations and seeing the poster sessions allowed us to consider new ideas for our own research and future educational paths that we had not thought of before.”

3. What would you change for future meetings (e.g. #Psynom17)?

“Overall, this meeting was amazing to be a part of. We would have liked to see the poster presentation time be slightly longer, opposed to the 1:30. There were a lot of people in the poster sessions so that it felt slightly rushed.”

4. Looking at the world right now, what do you think is the most important societal problem that Psychonomic research can help address?

“I don’t think there’s any one answer for this. Psychonomic research can be applied to a vast amount of issues that are occurring in the world right now. I think that all Psychonomic research addresses some issue, and every issue solved is an improvement in society.”

 

Bilingual Experience and Executive Control Over the Adult Lifespan: Evidence From the Wisconsin Card Sort Task. SIVANIYA SUBRAMANIAPILLAI and M. NATASHA RAJAH, McGill University, STAMATOULA PASVANIS, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, DEBRA TITONE, McGill University.

Sivaniya replied on behalf of her co-authors as follows:

1. What’s the punchline of your poster? What have we learned from it?

“Using a large lifespan sample of people with varying bilingual experience, we found that women had worse age-related declines in performance than men on the Wisconsin Card Sort Task, a non-linguistic task of executive function.  Moreoever, greater bilingual language experience reduced this age-related decline in women’s performance.”

2.  What did you enjoy the most about #Psynom16?

“In addition to the poster sessions, I found the special events to be informative. I enjoyed attending the workshop on successfully publishing research. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives from editors in different fields, and I appreciated their tips and guidance for paper publication.”

3. What would you change for future meetings (e.g. #Psynom17)?

“The conference was well organized! It was a bit unfortunate to see the remaining abstract books at the end of the conference.  I would suggest printing abstract books based on a pre-ordered amount – to be more eco-friendly!”

4. Looking at the world right now, what do you think is the most important societal problem that Psychonomic research can help address?

“Considering gender differences in cognitive performance is critical when understanding one’s research findings.  Men and women may perform differently depending on the experimental task or the particular age cohort that is being studied, so it’s important to consider these possibilities and how they might affect our interpretation of the results.”

 

Effects of Consecutive and Random Presentation of Varied Contexts on the Acquisition of New Word Meaning. CAITLIN RICE, University of Pittsburgh, MICHAL BALASS, Towson University, NATASHA TOKOWICZ, University of Pittsburgh.

Caitlin’s replies were as follows:

1. What’s the punchline of your poster? What have we learned from it?

“Acquisition of vocabulary words encountered in varied context sentences is facilitated when encounters are grouped instead of spaced.”

2. What did you enjoy the most about #Psynom16?

“For me, the highlight of #Psynom16 was the Women in Cognitive Science (WiCS) panel “Life in the academy: Balancing work and home” and the WiCS speed mentoring event following the panel! I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet some truly inspirational cognitive scientists.”

3.  What would you change for future meetings (e.g. #Psynom17)?

“I would like to see Psychonomics incorporate more training and methodology workshops.”

4. Looking at the world right now, what do you think is the most important societal problem that Psychonomic research can help address?

“Our society is currently grappling with crucial issues of racial, gender, and economic inequality. I was happy to see many presentations addressing the cognitive mechanisms underlying these issues, such as response and decision biases and facial perception studies. I hope that future research in these areas will help society as a whole better understand the forces that drive continued societal inequalities.”

Following on from Caitlin’s last response, readers should note that the Psychonomic Society has a Diversity and Inclusion initiative that is described here, and that is chaired by Janet Metcalfe of Columbia University. I will be blogging about the Society’s commitment to diversity next month, around the 20th of January perhaps.

And now stand by for the next iteration, imaginatively called #Psynom17 and set in Vancouver, Canada.

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