SIOP Executive Committee APA Program Committee Report
Robert R. Sinclair, PhD, Chair
January 25, 2009
In this report, I discuss the current status of the APA program and describe some of the programming highlights. I also note a couple of observations about the process and suggest some minor improvements in the process for next year.
SIOP was allocated 20 substantive hours, 7 non-substantive hours, and two poster sessions for up to 40 posters each. After reviewing papers submitted to APA and recruiting additional submissions from papers submitted to but rejected from the SIOP annual conference, I assembled a program using all 27 hours. We have several good symposia, invited speakers, and panel discussions likely to appeal to a broad cross section of scientist and practitioner interests. The program summary sheet attached to this report lists these sessions along with a tentative schedule (the schedule in this document is still subject to change and should not be used for planning at this point).
APA Submission Results
We received 18 individual paper submissions, 27 poster submissions, and 0 symposia or other submissions (panel discussions, etc.). Each submission was reviewed by 3 reviewers and ultimately, we accepted 16 papers and 24 posters. I grouped the 16 papers into 4 paper sessions (3 papers each) with the remaining 4 papers being assigned to poster sessions. These papers were among the lowest rated of the papers I accepted and/or concerned topics that fit poorly with other submissions. I also accepted one other symposium from the APA Science Student Council and one other poster forwarded to us from another division.
Division 14 submissions to the APA conference appear to have declined this year from past years. This is likely a combination of the continued downward trend of APA participation by SIOP members as well as two additional reasons SIOP members offered reasons for declining to participate. First, many universities have seen steady cuts to travel budgets that have been accelerated by current economic conditions. Second, the APA conference dates (August 6th – August 9th) substantially overlap with the Academy of Management conference (August 7th to August 11th), forcing many people to pick one conference or the other. Although these are anecdotal reports from SIOP members who originally expressed an interest in having their SIOP submissions considered for APA, they were persistent themes among many people who declined our offer to be included on the program. Therefore, the SIOP “Bubble Papers” played a critical role in filling out the remainder of the program hours.
SIOP “Bubble Paper” Results.
We continued the past practice of considering papers submitted to but rejected for the SIOP annual conference for inclusion in the APA program. SIOP sent a data base with all of the rejected submissions whose author(s) indicated they were willing to have their submission considered for APA. Using this data base, I invited 24 symposium/panel discussion/tutorial submissions, 10 of which accepted. I also extended invitations to authors of 74 poster submissions, 38 of whom accepted my offer.
I used the following process to invite authors. For posters, I invited all authors of posters with a summary rating of 2.5 or higher from the SIOP rating form. This was the same cut score we used for the APA submissions and reflected an effort to accept a large number of papers while maintaining some quality standards. For symposia, I invited the highest rated symposia among those not accepted at SIOP (these sessions had ratings ranging from 3.5 to 4.0). When those authors turned down invitations or did not respond by my requested deadline, I extended the invitation to the next highest ranked symposia, continuing down the list until I had filled our program hours.
We have 2 invited speakers giving 50 minute invited talks. Dr. Julian Barling will be giving a presentation titled Workplace Aggression and Violence: Myths, Realities and Remaining Questions and Dr. Kurt Kraiger will be giving a presentation titled When Worlds Collide: What Training Research Tells Us About Learning.
Collaboration with Division 5
Division 14 engaged in three forms of collaborative conference programming with Division 5. First, we used one program hour to co-sponsor a Division 5 session titled Revising the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Second, we also continued our traditional joint social hour with Division 5. I note that we had considered the idea of inviting other divisions to join in this social hour, but ultimately decided to keep the social hour limited to Division 5 and 14. Third, we donated two hours to APA President Bray’s Convention within a Convention Initiative. I solicited suggestions for session topics from the program committee and shared the sessions with Division 5. In response, Division 5 created two sessions: Dr. Noel Card will give a presentation titled Meta-Analysis: The State of the Art and Opportunities in Psychological Research and Dr. Kris Preacher will present A Comprehensive Framework for Multilevel Mediation.
Evidence Based Practice Session
Dr. Rich Klimoski once again led the effort to assemble a special invited session on Evidence Based Practice in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Last year, this was a panel discussion among the APA Council Representatives. I had initially conceived of this year’s session continuing that tradition. However, Dr. Klimoski decided to invite a set of practitioners and/or academics noted for their expertise in topics related to evidence based practice to be in keeping with the conference theme, etc. He has obtained commitments from Nancy Tippins and Larry Fogli to participate in this session. Unfortunately, we had a couple of people cancel at the last minute, but I decided to leave the session on the program so Dr. Klimoski could continue to search for a couple of other speakers (together we have generated several possibilities that he is pursuing).
The most difficult part of the APA Conference Programming process was entering the SIOP submission data into the APA data base. The difficulty of this process was considerably increased by the fact that the data I received from SIOP was incomplete in some ways. The three most important problems were that some authors were missing from the SIOP data, the order of authorship was unclear on all papers with multiple authors, and some papers were missing from symposium submissions. I am unsure about the source of that problem, but it is something to watch out for in the future and to potentially consider with regard to whether it would affect what appears in the SIOP program. Last year, Dr. Robert asked all of the people he invited to submit a form with the complete set of information he needed for the conference. I would strongly recommend doing that in the future, as I found out somewhat late in the process that the information I had was not complete. I will share the form Dr. Robert used for this with Dr. Mayer (the incoming APA conference chair) and suggest modifications as needed to make the process run more smoothly.
SIOP should lobby APA for more fine grained distinctions among the possible topics that participants can use to code their APA submissions. The current three subtopics for Industrial/Organizational Psychology are 36.1 Management/Administration, 36.2 Consumer Psychology and 36.3 Personnel. Some recommendations for additions/changes would include job performance/productivity, organizational development, work stress and health, employee motivation/leadership, workplace diversity, organizational behavior, and work-family integration. These are mostly “O” recommendations because the substantial majority of the presentations fell on the O side. I suspect that we could not include all of these, but I believe the current list could easily be improved to more accurately reflect the range of research conducted by our members.
If it is not in the SIOP submission forms already, SIOP could list the date of the APA conference someplace on the application form where participants indicate their willingness to be considered for APA. Several of the people I invited to present at APA never responded to my invitation to participate. I actually think that some mild effort to discourage people from checking the APA box unless they are “serious” about going would have speeded up the process of assembling the program. This is a relatively minor issue though, as there were quite a few more symposia that could have been included in the APA program if we had additional programming hours available.
The data base from SIOP lists all of the presenters in each symposium but does not include the titles of each separate paper within a symposium or the order of authorship. Some of this can be identified by obtaining a copy of the original submission (which Larry Nader did for me on several occasions). However, if possible, it would be helpful to add that information into the data base or perhaps create a 1 page session summary that included the title and all of the relevant contact information for each session (paper titles, authors, etc.). These are not critical issues, but would save a little time and effort in terms of tracking down information on participants.
I frequently used the SIOP membership data base to fill in the gaps in the information I needed for APA. One thing that could be made more accurate in the SIOP membership data base would be the distinction between highest current degree and highest expected degree for current student affiliates. For example, many student affiliates enter Ph.D. as their highest degree if they are enrolled in a doctoral program and put the expected year of graduation as some point in the future. Others list their current highest degree obtained. It also would be useful to clarify their APA membership status with codes similar to the ones used by APA (although ultimately, these are very minor issues). This is a challenge for SIOP because SIOP student affiliates are not necessarily APA affiliates. I would reiterate though that Larry Nader was quite helpful and responded quite quickly to my requests for additional information.
I have prepared a separate document to share with incoming program chair David Mayer, that I hope will evolve in years to come into a Program Chair’s Guide.