APS runs some of the best conferences to attend, whether you’re a psychologist or not. Even though I’m a statistician by training, I always feel like I come away with dozens of ideas for new ways to apply my expertise, and a few new tricks of the trade being used in different areas! And if there’s any discipline with an abundance of weird science, it’s psychology!
It’s also a chance for me to get together with family. My geekdom is a function of both nature and nurture – I come from a family of geeks who enjoy exploring and researching (my father is into marketing, my mother is a psychologist, and my sister is in public relations and communication), and the APS convention always gives us a chance to collaborate on something interesting.
This year our topic was “Reverse Engineering Leadership,” and we used existing psychology techniques (the Jack Block Q-Sort) to evaluate first impressions of the personalities http://themsbproject.wordpress.com/ various leaders (social media influencers, CEOs, and four-star generals), and to see if there was a leader personality prototype shared across the three types. It turned out that our leaders did share enough personality traits in this small-slice look to qualify for a Q-Sort personality prototype, and while this was interesting, the differences were also extremely interesting. We’re looking forward to putting together and publishing a few interesting papers on the subject!