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Location: A105  |  Thursday, February 7  |  8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

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Media and digital technologies play a central role in our daily lives. The latest Census data indicate that the average individual spends over 3,515 hours per year using media (e.g., email, cell phones, movies, books, television). In this preconference, we bring together prominent researchers from across psychology, communication science, data science, and industry to explore the psychology of media and technology. Speakers will explore the psychological, social, and moral effects of social media, artificial intelligence, and gaming. Using big data, speakers will also show how the digital footprints that people leave through their media use can be used to understand and predict behavior. Finally, speakers will demonstrate how the latest technological developments (e.g., smartphones) can be used as tools in psychological research. The preconference will also feature a data blitz and poster session, showcasing work from emerging scholars.


Preliminary schedule. Subject to change.

8:00 - 8:30am: Breakfast

8:30 - 9:50am: Psychological Impacts of Media & Technology

Juliana Schroeder: Dehumanizing Consequences of Communication Technology

Brad Okdie: Can Burdensome Facebook "Friends" Cause You Pain? Self-reported Pain as a Motivation for Exclusion

Elena Goetz Davis: Facebook and Well-Being

9:50 - 10:20am: Practical Session: Applying Technology to Your Research

Gabriella Harari: Mobile Sensing - A Tutorial

10:20 - 10:35am: Coffee Break

10:35 - 11:05am: Data Blitz

11:05 am - 12:15 pm: Poster session

12:15 - 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 - 2:20pm: Moving Past Aggression – Other Effects of Videogames in Psychology

Melissa Boone: The videogame experience - Leveraging Player Motivations to Create Communities

Rachel Flynn: Positive Effects of Gaming on Children”

Elizabeth Lyons: Psychological & Health Outcomes of Exergames & Active Games

2:20 - 3:15pm: Societal Implications of Media & Technology

Tara Behrend: Surveillance and the Ethics of Big Data

Ryan Boyd: Social Media as a Force for Good

3:15 - 3:30pm: Coffee Break

3:30 - 4:25pm: The Psychology of Media & Technology - Looking Ahead

Nate Fast: Technology, Behavior Tracking, and the Future of Work

Kostadin Kushlev: The Psychological Effect of Pervasive Connectivity: A Theoretical Model

4:25 - 4:30pm: Closing Remarks


Tara Behrend headshotTara Behrend, Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, George Washington University

Dr. Behrend’s research interests center around understanding and resolving barriers to computer-mediated work effectiveness, especially in the areas of training, recruitment, and selection. She is also interested in career decision-making, specifically relating to STEM fields.

Melissa Boone headshotMelissa Boone, Microsoft Corp.

Dr. Boone is a user researcher at Microsoft Studios User Research, where she provides insights for developing video games and other interactive media at Xbox. Recently, she has been working on multiple initiatives dedicated towards increasing the reach and diversity of our experiences.

Ryan L. Boyd headshotRyan L. Boyd, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Boyd’s research primarily deals with using language analysis techniques for revealing/understanding a person’s psychology, as well as their low-level psychological processes. Additionally, his recent research has also begun looking at how important individual differences, such as life experiences and future behaviors, can be detected, predicted, and better understood from a person’s language in social media contexts.

Elena Davis headshotElena Goetz Davis, Facebook Inc.

Dr. Davis is a clinical psychologist on the Foundational Well-being team at Facebook. She focuses her research on understanding the interplay between mental health/well-being and technology use, studying how technology can impact experiences like loneliness or problematic use of social media.

Nate Fast headshotNate Fast, USC Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

Dr. Fast studies the factors that facilitate and hinder effective leadership. His research examines the determinants and consequences of power and status in groups and organizations as well as the psychological underpinnings of social networks and the individual and organizational implications of the adoption of new technologies.

Rachel Flynn headshotRachel Flynn, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Dr. Flynn’s research examines the mechanisms of media's impact on development. She is particularly interested in how young children learn from media; and how interactive media can promote health behaviors and cognition, specifically executive functioning skills, which include attention, inhibition, and working memory.

Gabriella Harari headshotGabriella Harari, Department of Communication, Stanford University

Dr. Harari’s research focuses on behavior change, individual differences, and digital media use. She studies how digital media technologies (e.g., smartphones, social media) can be used to understand behavior and psychological experience in the context of people’s daily lives.

Kostadin Kushlev headshotKostadin Kushlev, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University

Dr. Kushlev studies the causes and consequences of subjective well-being. His research on the psychology of technology focuses on how mobile computing (e.g., using smartphones) interacts with nondigital activities, such as spending time with family and friends, to influence basic social needs and well-being.

Elizabeth Lyons headshotElizabeth Lyons, School of Health Professions, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Dr. Lyons research focuses on creating interventions to improve cancer prevention and control by changing weight-related behaviors. She is particularly interested in using technology to increase motivation for physical activity among sedentary older adults and breast cancer survivors.

Brad Okdie headshotBrad Okdie, Department of Psychology, Ohio State University

Dr. Okdie’s primary focus lies at the intersection of social psychology and media. Specifically, he investigates the emergence, maintenance, and ending of relationships through media.

Juliana Schroeder headshotJuliana Schroeder, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley

Dr. Schroeder researches how people navigate their social worlds: first, how people form inferences about others' mental capacities and, second, how these inferences influence their interactions. In particular, she studies how language affects the expression of one’s own—and the evaluation of others’—mental capacities.



Save $25 when you register for both convention and preconference together!

Registration for preconferences is limited and fills quickly.
Registration is now open and will not reopen once this preconference fills.

Data Blitz & Poster Sessions:

Emerging scholars (graduate students, post docs, and those within 5 years of receiving their Ph.D.) are encouraged to submit an abstract for consideration as a data-blitz talk (no longer than 4 minutes). Poster submissions follow the same rules, but can also be submitted by undergraduates.

Submissions for this preconference are now closed.

All presenters will be considered for one of three complimentary preconference registrations. Awardees will be selected based on the quality of their submissions, but priority will be given to applicants with limited funding.


Sandrine Müller headshot

Sandrine Müller, Data Science Institute, Columbia University

Website | Email

Sandrine Müller uses smartphone sensor data to study human behavior. In particular, she examines how mobility patterns (e.g., the places people visit, their daily routines, distance traveled, etc.) can inform our understanding of personality and mental health.

Patrick Ewell headshotPatrick Ewell, Department of Psychology, Kenyon College

Website | Email

Dr. Ewell is interested in the psychological intersection between people and new and emerging media. In particular, he conducts research on aggression and morality in videogames, as well as the impact of social media on social behavior and self-regulation.

Kostadin Kushlev headshotKostadin Kushlev, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University


Dr. Kushlev studies the causes and consequences of subjective well-being. His research on the psychology of technology focuses on how mobile computing (e.g., using smartphones) interacts with nondigital activities, such as spending time with family and friends, to influence basic social needs and well-being.


2018 Preconference  |  2017 Preconference

2019 Annual Convention
February 7 - 9, 2019
Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, Oregon 97232, USA