The Skyline College chapter of Psi Beta, an Honor Society focused on Psychology, attended the San Francisco Western Psychological Association (WPA) conference. The theme was Psychology in Action: Using psychology to address larger social problems. In line with this focus, they invited amazing speakers whose work applies psychology to improving the world.

Eight Psi Beta members participated and attended presentations on several topics, including the following:

Can Psychology Help to Save American Democracy, presented by Jon Krosnick of Stanford University, shared how factors like the name order effect (the order in which names are presented on a ballot, for example) may influence the outcome of elections. Dr. Jeanne Tsai, also from Stanford, presented How Culture Influences Our Emotions (and Why it Matters. Her research examines how cultural differences in emotional expression can influence what we purchase, define health and well-being, and communicate on social media. Other sessions attended included Psychology and the Law and From Stratford to Stanford, which examined heroism. In this last session, we heard from Dr. Christina Maslach, the person often credited for ending the (in)famous Stanford Prison Experiment.

We also had the opportunity to meet with Skyline alumni Noreen Singh. Noreen is a graduate student at CSU, Stanislaus, and a member of Psi Chi, Psi Beta’s sister organization. We had lunch with her team and learned about their experiences applying to and completing their Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and conducting research.

WPA is a great introduction to the world of conferences, and we feel very fortunate to have attended. We extend our deepest appreciation to the Associated Students of Skyline College and SOCC, as we would not have been able to do so without their financial support.

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