Technology, Mind and Society – an interdisciplinary conference exploring the links between psychology and technology

The conference will focus on efforts to understand and shape the interactions of human beings and technology. The meeting will bring together psychologists, computer scientists, roboticists, neuroscientists, education scientists, engineers, industrial designers and others to share discoveries, make new connections and set the agenda for future research. Session topics will include:

•    Older adults and technology
•    Innovative approaches to applying digital games in therapy
•    Using online technology to build skills for future workforce needs
•    Virtual reality for health and well-being
•    Dietary behavior and technology
•    Transforming access to mental health care for rural and underserved populations


Keynote speakers include:

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD, director of medical virtual reality, University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, and research professor, USC Department of Psychiatry and School of Gerontology, will address the question “Is clinical virtual reality ready for prime time?” The talk will include an overview of the various forms of virtual reality treatments for a variety of psychological disorders, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, depression and pain management and will make the case that clinical virtual reality applications are ready for prime time and will soon become indispensable tools for health care researchers and practitioners.

Sara Czaja, PhD, professor of gerontology and director of the Center on Aging and Behavioral Research in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, will speak on how technology can help people successfully age, including staying healthier, more active and socially connected and being able to continue to contribute to the workforce into older age.

Valerie Shute, PhD, the Mack & Effie Campbell Tyner endowed professor in education in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at Florida State University, will focus on the assessment of games as learning tools. Games can be powerful vehicles to support learning, but this hinges on getting the assessment part right. Shute will cover stealth assessments, measurement tools embedded in games to determine how well students (or other players) are learning. She will address why stealth assessments are important and how to develop them in such a way to ensure the games are still fun.

Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS, associate professor of behavioral medicine in the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health, School of Medicine, UC San Diego and director of the Research Center for Optimal Digital Ethics, will speak on the ethics of using digital technology for research. Digital tools. including apps, wearable sensors and social network platforms, offer unprecedented opportunities for research. However, this rapidly evolving landscape is outpacing the regulatory structures for protecting research participants. Nebeker will describe how technologies are being leveraged to capture personal health data for research, drawing attention to nuanced technical and ethical aspects that require careful consideration during the study design phase. She will also underscore the important role of funding agencies, policymakers, editors, researchers and ethicists in creating the infrastructure necessary to allow digital health research to flourish.


Grand Hyatt Washington 1000 H St., N.W. Washington, DC 20001


Thursday, Oct. 3, 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 4, 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 5, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A full program can be found here.

Media wishing to attend should register in advance by emailing APA Public Affairs or calling 202-336-5700. Registration is limited to credentialed journalists and journalists who have assignment letters on the letterhead of a media organization. All media personnel must be registered and wear their badges while attending any conference session or activity.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 118,400 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.


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