In This Issue
By David Washburn, PhD
The Regional Reach-Out initiative is designed to increase the name recognition of Div. 3, to advertise the benefits of membership and to highlight the contributions of experimental psychology and cognitive science more broadly. It involves organizing Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science (SEPCS) symposia for the programs of regional psychological association meetings, partnering with these other organizations to draw attention to cutting-edge experimental psychology research in the region. Each symposium includes participants who are Div. 3 members, plus other scholars, typically from locations near the regional convention site, who are doing related research. In 2016, the Regional Reach-Out initiative was launched with a “Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science Symposium on Cross-Cutting Perspectives on Stroop Interference” at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) meeting in New Orleans.
Our Society partnered again with SEPA for its 2017 annual meeting in Atlanta. The SEPCS symposium topic was cognitive control and featured invited talks by Div. 3 members Randy Engle (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Michael Beran (Georgia State University), as well as clinical neuropsychologist Robert Latzman (Georgia State University) and cognitive neuroscientist Jennifer McDowell (University of Georgia), whose talks were presented by graduate student collaborators Brooke Jackson and David Parker.
A second Regional Reach-Out symposium was organized for the 109th annual meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SSPP), in Savannah, Georgia. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landmark publication "Cognitive Psychology" (1967) by Ulric Neisser, the SEPCS symposium featured presentations on professor Neisser's life and career, the enduring influence of this important book and its impact on contemporary studies of memory and other aspects of cognition. Shown in this photograph are symposium presenters Robyn Fivush (Emory University); Div. 3 members James Pate (Georgia State University), Debra Sue Pate (Jackson State University), and David Washburn (Georgia State University); and Joseph Neisser (philosophy professor at Grinnell College and Dick Neisser's son).
Each SEPCS symposium included a brief introduction about Div. 3 and the benefits of membership. Recruitment brochures were distributed at the meetings, and Div. 3's name was listed in each convention program.
Interested in participating in the Regional Reach-Out initiative? Div. 3 members are encouraged to organize and to submit symposia, invited talks or similar sessions to the annual meetings of the regional psychological associations or other organizations. It requires no funding, just a little effort to identify researchers in experimental psychology or related areas who might be willing to attend the convention and to identify a theme that links those participants together. By highlighting the participation of Div. 3 members at these other conferences and by recruiting speakers who might not otherwise attend or participate, the Regional Reach-Out initiative benefits not only Div. 3 but also the scientific programs for those other organizations with whom we are partnering. We hope that Div. 3-branded programming can be scheduled for future meetings of the Eastern, Midwestern, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern, and Western Psychological Associations (and others), in addition to the continuing presence that we anticipate at SEPA and SSPP. This initiative complements the growing presence of Div. 3 at the Psychonomic and Comparative Cognition meetings.