16th SPS SGP SSP Conference
September 09-11, 2019 | Bern

Psychology’s Contribution to Society

Keynote Speakers

Daphne Bavelier

Professor Daphne Bavelier

Daphne Bavelier is an internationally-recognized expert on how humans learn. In particular, she studies how the brain adapts to changes in experience, either by nature - for example, deafness - or by training - for example, playing video games.  Her lab established that playing fast-paced, action-packed entertainment video games typically thought to be mind-numbing actually benefits several aspects of behavior.  Exploiting this counter-intuitive finding, the Cognitive Neuroscience research team she now heads at the University of Geneva, Switzerland  investigates how new media, such as video games, can be leveraged to foster learning and brain plasticity.

Professor Bavelier is a co-founding scientific advisor of Akili Interactive, a company which develops clinically-validated cognitive therapeutics that exploit video games, and has contributed as an expert for the World Economic Forum in domains as varied as Education (New Vision for Education: Unlocking the potential of technology) or Human Enhancement (World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Human Enhancement).

Isabel Dziobek

Professor Isabel Dziobek

Isabel Dziobek is Professor of Social Cognition at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität Berlin and has been researching autism for over 15 years. Her work focuses on social cognition and empathy in children, adolescents and adults with autism and other mental disorders characterized by dysfunctions in social interaction (e.g., personality disorders, social anxiety, depression). Other foci are development of diagnostic tools and interventions in the field of socio-emotional competence for children and adults with mental disorders; and functional and structural imaging of the brain. Professor Dziobek is a psychotherapist (cognitive behavioral therapy) and head of the Outpatient Clinic for Social Interaction at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin.

Stephan Lewandowsky

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky (Public Keynote)

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol. He was an Australian Professorial Fellow from 2007 to 2012, and was awarded a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council in 2011. He held a Revesz Visiting Professorship at the University of Amsterdam in 2012, and received a Wolfson Research Merit Fellowship from the Royal Society upon moving to the UK in 2013. He was appointed a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science and a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science in 2017. In 2016, he was appointed a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry for his commitment to science, rational inquiry and public education.

His research examines people’s memory, decision making, and knowledge structures, with a particular emphasis on how people update information in memory. His most recent research interests examine the potential conflict between human cognition and the physics of the global climate, which has led him into research in climate science and climate modeling. As a result of his work in climate science he was appointed Visiting Scientist at the CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere laboratory in Hobart, Tasmania, in August 2017.

He has published more than 200 scholarly articles, chapters, and books, including numerous papers on how people respond to corrections of misinformation and what variables determine people’s acceptance of scientific findings. (See www.cogsciwa.com for a complete list of scientific publications.)

Professor Lewandowsky is an award-winning teacher and was Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition from 2006-2008. He has also contributed around 50 opinion pieces to the global media on issues related to climate change “skepticism” and the coverage of science in the media. He is currently serving as Digital Content Editor for the Psychonomic Society and blogs routinely on cognitive research at featuredcontent.psychonomic.org. His personal blog is at www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org.

Stefanie Schmidt

Professor Stefanie Schmidt

Stefanie J. Schmidt is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Children and Adolescents at the University of Bern. Her research mainly focuses on understanding how psychopathology develops and how to prevent onset of mental disorders in children and adolescents. In particular, she is interested in dynamic modelling of emerging psychopathology, the influence of social media on mental health, and the development of indicated prevention approaches targeting transdiagnostic mechanisms with the overall aim to positively influence future development and psychosocial functioning in adolescence. Within this context, Professor Schmidt led the expert panel for the development of the European Guidance on indicated prevention of psychosis and is one of the working group leaders of the COST-action “European Network on Individualized Psychotherapy Treatment of Young People with Mental Disorders”, which aims to identify potential mechanisms of change and moderators in youth psychotherapy to further shed light on potential (transdiagnostic) intervention targets. Further, prevention trials are currently underway in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and Cologne and investigate novel interventions with special focus on social cognition and potential neuroprotective substances.