The 2014 APA Convention

Maggie Campbell Obaid

The 2014 APA Convention was held in Washington, D.C. this past year, with many Division 48 members joining us to participate in our division’s theme of “Working for Justice and Building Peace.” 2014 was an exciting year, with the addition of both collaborative programming and “quick peace presentations,” as well as a special focus on the psychology of drones. Further, the location gave us a great opportunity to share a hospitality suite with Psychologists for Social Responsibility, bringing together two like-minded groups with common goals.

Division 48 was involved with a variety of innovative and successful collaborative proposals, tackling such varied issues as using social psychology for the public good, predicting and preventing gun violence, the human right to benefit from science, applying psychology to policy making, NSA surveillance, and cultivating compassion. Division 48’s own programming also covered a wide variety of topics, including human rights, teaching peace psychology, and using sports interventions to build peace. A special conversation hour with the Division 48 award winners was well-attended with lively discussion, and two new quick peace presentations allowed for brief introductions to exciting research and topics, from moral disengagement to psychologists as conscientious objectors.

The hospitality suite was also brimming with exciting programming, including a mini-convention on the psychology of drones and a documentary viewing and discussion on the topic. Presentations and discussions in the hospitality suite tackled issues like gun violence and youth, white privilege, alternatives to the DSM model, and working toward an inclusive definition of peace psychology. A successful joint social hour with both PsySR and Community Psychology (Division 27) led to new friendships and hopefully new avenues for working together. A second social hour focused on student and early career members brought new faces to the suite and new members to the new division. Additionally, this social hour honored the great peace psychologist Milt Schwebel, and gave us all the chance to meet his family friends and learn more about his legacy.

Now we are looking ahead to the 2015 Convention in Toronto, August 6th-9th. Renew those passports! Though the deadline for collaborative proposals has passed, there is still time to submit programming for Division 48 (deadline of December 1st). While all topics relevant to Peace Psychology will be considered, we especially want to encourage proposals related to Division 48’s themes for the year: 1) the use of technology to increase communication & inclusivity; 2) psychology and social advocacy; 3) narrative methods; 4) psychology of veterans & attitudes towards returning veterans; and 5) human rights. Symposia, skill-building sessions, collaborative proposals, quick peace presentations (5 minute talks), and posters will all be considered. The APA Convention Call for Proposals with more details can be found at Please feel free to email me ( and/or my co-chair Mona Sarshar ( with any questions. We are looking forward to seeing you all at the convention!

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