CUNY Hunter College’s 46th Annual Psychology Convention took place on April 29th, 2018 and was a major success! An unprecedented number of people showed up to learn about new and exciting research studies in psychology.
The convention’s opening key-note speaker was Dr. Joshua Plotnik, who spoke about his research on elephant cognition. The study of elephant cognition has important implications for understanding the evolution of human and non-human animal intelligence. He brought to light an important question, how can understanding the mind of elephants also help us in protecting them from extinction? In his talk, he discussed his own research on elephant behavior and cognition, focusing on the elephants’ physical and social intelligence as well as their use of smell in the decision-making process. He highlighted how this research can help us better understand the evolution of similar intelligence in evolutionary distant species, but also how it can be applied to conservation efforts, specifically in terms of human/wildlife conflict mitigation and childhood education.
Our closing key-note speaker was Dr. Michael A. Westerman, who lead a discussion on interpersonal defense theory! Interpersonal defense theory draws on ideas from psychoanalysis, several lines of work in psychology on interpersonal behavior, and philosophy to provide an interpersonal
re-conceptualization of defense processes. The theory offers new ways to conceptualize patients’ problems and think about therapy process. The presentation outlined some of the main tenets of the theory, briefly reviewed relevant research, illustrated the theory with a clinical case example, and discussed implications of the theory for treatment.
We will also had Martin and John Dull performing in The Arts Meet Neuroscience, where they explored the importance of transcendent experiences for overall health and for our understanding of humankind. They will did this through song, question, discussion and a fine arts Power-Point.
All day long we hosted oral and poster presentations of research conducted by students from Hunter College and other institutions!
-The Psychology Collective Team