From Sunday, March 20, until Wednesday, March 23, about 800 participants here at Heidelberg constituted an activity that was labelled the “58. Conference of Experimental Psychologists” (or in short: #teap2016, to use the Twitter hashtag). More than 600 contributions were presented during the 3 days, 12 sessions were run in parallel. Wow!
The Teap (the acronym comes from “Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen”) was held 1958 for the first time at Marburg University, bringing together a small group of experimentalists. The idea was to develop and use a method that Wilhelm Wundt in 1858 learned from Heidelberg scholars, during his time of being Hermann von Helmholtz’ assistent. 100 years later, in 1958, the Teap started for the first time, and since then every year the Teap is hosted by one of the many Psychology Departments in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. Every 10 years we go all back to Marburg to celebrate that beginning - so, mark the date “60. Teap 2018 at Marburg” already, and the “59. Teap 2017 at Dresden”, too).
During the last 50 years, the number of participants increased steadily: I myself remember my first active participation at a Teap in the year 1982 at Trier University. It was a small conference compared to todays situation but nevertheless it still feels “to be with friends”. Since then, I have seen on many Teap events and have seen the conference growing.
BTW: the last time that the Teap was hold at Heidelberg was in the year 1979, that is, 37 years ago. How long might it take to come back to Heidelberg again? And will then the capacity of our buildings still be big enough for the then increased number of participants?
It is difficult to point to special highlights of such a huge program - but for sure, our three Keynote Lectures have been highlights:
- Asher Koriat, Haifa, Israel: “Monitoring the correctness of our own knowledge: Subjective Confidence and its accuracy” - showing in a lot of different experiments that the correlation between confidence and accuracy of our judgments about our own knowledge is positive only when people’s cognitive performance is largely correct, but is negative when people are largely in error;
- Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands: “Transparent Research Practices: Past Roots, Present Revolution, and Future Prospects” - showing his clear recommendations to overcome at least some of the problems resulting from Questionable Research Practices by making research more transparent than today;
- Klaus Scherer, LMU Munich & Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, Geneva, Switzerland: “Experimental evidence for major emotion theories: A comparative survey” - demonstrating within a huge number of studies (that I could not grasp in short time) the validity of his component process model of emotion.
Also, our delicious conference dinner at the famous “Stadthalle” was a nice event, with classical music from Noemi Zimdahl (violin) and her brother Malte Zimdahl (piano) - Malte is a psychology student at Mannheim University, Noemi a student of cultural management at Ludwigsburg. They played for us wonderful music with a romantic touch like Brahms or Schubert. For those, who preferred to dance, the nearby located Turmbar offered a late-night party.
A final highlight was the panel discussion on the issue of “Replicability crisis in experimental psychology?!”, with the panelists Eric-Jan “try preregistration” Wagenmakers, Andrea Kiesel, Susann Fiedler, Edgar “do the Neyman-Pearson statistics” Erdfelder, Thorsten Meiser, and Klaus “there is no crisis” Fiedler. A broad spectrum of opinions and recommendations delivered “food for thought” for the trip home. We as organizers were pleased to see that more than half of the 800 participants came to this final event in the Aula of the New University!
Together with my co-organizers Jan Rummel and Andreas Voß, I am happy now! Thanks to all participants for coming and contributing their research! Thanks also to our exhibitors and sponsors! Hope to see you again at Dresden 2017! Last but not least: Thanks to our local team, lead by Sabine Falke!