Keynote Speakers

Moscovici Award session: Agency and Communion as Basic Dimensions of Social Cognition: The Dual-Perspective Model (DPM)

Andrea Abele Brehm

Professor of Social Psychology at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen, Nürnberg, Germany.

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Bogdan Wojciszke

Professor of Psychology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland.

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Abstract: We start with a short review of dual-content formulations in personality and social psychology. We show that there is a substantial overlap between these distinctions and propose agency and communion as the concepts capturing the common thread of these distinctions. We then present the Dual-Perspective Model (DPM) assuming that the defining feature of human interaction is the presence of two perspectives – that of an agent (the person who performs an action) and the of a recipient (the person at whom the action is directed and who experiences the action consequences). Agentic and communal dimensions of content are so universal because they reflect these two ubiquitous perspectives. We summarize a large body of research showing that: (1) the communal content is primary in social cognition, (2) perception of others is dominated by communion over agency, and (3) self-perception is dominated by agency over communion. We then show new applications of DPM in the area of asymmetrical social relations (power, status, wealth). We conclude that DPM has both explanatory and predictive power and may contribute to a more integrated and general theorizing in psychology.

Horizon Talk: Inequality: The Enemy Between Us?

Richard Wilkinson

Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, Honorary Professor at University College London and Visiting Professor at the University of York.

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Abstract: Richard Wilkinson will start by summarising the evidence that most of the health and social problems which occur more frequently lower down the social ladder become more common in most income groups in countries with larger income differences between rich and poor. He will then discuss the causal processes which centre on our human sensitivity to social status differentiation and its effects on social relations. Particularly important here is the recent evidence on the higher prevalence of psychopathologies involving the dominance behavioural system in more unequal societies.

Tajfel Award lecture: Discovering order in an uncertain world: Anchoring a Tajfel lecture in Henri Tajfel‘s seminal work

Klaus Fiedler

Professor of Social Psychology at the Institute of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

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Abstract: My lecture not only carries Henri Tajfel’s name. The research I want to present is also grounded in his seminal ideas. Tajfel’s (1957) accentuation theory affords an ideal example of strong theorizing, beyond mere re-labelling of phenomena, explaining discrimination as a consequence of redundancy in an uncertain world. This idea has greatly inspired my own cognitive-ecological approach, a sample of which I will present in this lecture. To understand individual social behavior, it is first of all necessary to understand the structural properties of the environment that impinges on the individual’s mind. While accentuation theory explains the impact of existing (observed or expected) correlations on discrimination, in my own research I have been deeply concerned with the origins of those (stereotypical) correlations that drive accentuation effects. As it turns out, correlations at the individual level can reflect accentuation effects at the ecological level: Individuals’ attributes (x) and group membership (y) appear to be correlated when average levels or base rates of x and y discriminate jointly between ecologies.