Sep 28, 2012

Thoughts from the 47th Annual Australian Psychological Society Conference

I attended Friday 28th of the 47th Annual Australian Psychological Society (APS) Conference, Perth, where I was involved in a poster presentation and two individual research paper presentations about:
For more details about these presentations, see James Neill's publications 2012.

This is the first time I've attended the APS conference. I was struck and reminded that:
  • Psychology is diverse
  • Psychology is a hub (is relevant to many other disciplines)
  • There is a "tension" between academia and practice (many presenters were academics presenting research; many attendees were practitioners wanting approaches to treatment of psychological problems)
I attended several 15 min. individual research and 45 min. symposium sessions, the highlights of which included:
  • Reading the play and situational awareness of AFL athletes (Craig Harms, Edith Cowan University)
  • A critique of cross-cultural psychology (favouring instead emphasis on intra-individual and inter-individual differences) (Graham Davidson)
  • Treating body image disorders (Vivienne Lewis, University of Canberra)
  • Pain enhances sensory awareness (Bastian)
  • Neurofeedback (a type of biofeedback which uses EEG feedback which allows people to learn to control amplitude) is an efficacious treatment for ADHD (Symposium; Clark, Duff, Perl Aniftos)
  • - Web survey design should focus on simple, classical design and seek to build of trust with respondent via "social presence" of researcher (e.g., background about who is conducting the research) (Tristan Casey)
I perused several posters. In particular, I noted a poster that distinguished usefully between:
  • Positive procrastination (prioritising/managing tasks) and negative procrastination (avoiding tasks)
With many presentations and posters I noted that:
  • Font sizes could often be larger to improve readability
  • Images are often used without apparent permission
In terms of professional psychology practice, I noted that:
  • The APS has released a reconcilitation plan and there were several sessions around bridging the mental health gap for indigenous Australians
  • The federal Australian eHealth infrastructure is now live and being gradually rolled out - it will give every Australian citizen and health provider unique IDs that will allow citizens to have health information about themselves (on average 22 visits to health practitioners per year) shared with their health providers.
Other topics I noted to follow up included:
  • APA standards for levels of (treatment) efficacy 1, 2