Exploring the link between psychological science and well-being
The inaugural Psychological Science and Well-Being Conference covered a broad array of topics relevant to the associations between psychological science and well-being.
James Cook University (JCU), Singapore’s first-ever Psychological Science and Well-Being Conference took place 4–5 March 2022. The two-day event was held in a hybrid format to provide participants with the option of joining virtually or in person. This marked the University’s first hybrid public event since the COVID-19 pandemic, with international presenters gracing the event in person. Overall, approximately 70 participants attended the event.
The conference aimed to explore the link between psychological science and well-being by discussing a wide array of topics relevant to both subjects. In a call for submission, the conference received 54 abstracts that contributed to the discussion, which were presented during the event.
In addition to paper and poster abstract presentations, conference participants were offered the opportunity to sign up for face-to-face pre-conference workshops to extend their skills and knowledge. These workshops included a showcase of the path to becoming a Forensic Psychologist and some interesting cases in the field; a sharing session on Program-Wide Positive Behaviour Support practices, which have been demonstrated to be effective in increasing engagement and appropriate behaviours, reducing difficult behaviours and improving social skills; a workshop teaching how to utilise Google Trends for predictive research; and an introduction to the concepts of the Moderated Multiple Regression.
The conference also featured two keynote speeches. Professor Sylvia Chen — Associate Dean in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, and Director of the Yan Oi Tong Au Suet Ming Child Development Centre at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University — examined the effects of containment and closure policies on controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in East Asia, as well as the consequences of the pandemic on mental health and the effects of government responses to the outbreak. Meanwhile, Associate Professor William Tov — Associate Professor of Psychology at Singapore Management University, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research on Successful Ageing (ROSA) — highlighted critical findings from the field of well-being science to facilitate dialogue between citizens and governments on how policies can be crafted to improve and sustain well-being.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, people frequently feel wistful. At the same time, research has shown that nostalgia is a useful psychological resource that can boost our well-being. Headlining the conference was a discussion forum titled “Strengthened by the Past”. With insights from diverse perspectives, the forum discussed how the psychology of nostalgia has been applied in various settings, such as tourism, psychological treatment, marketing, gaming, and consumer behaviour. Led by moderator Dr Denise Dillon — Associate Dean Research Education at JCU, Singapore — the panel comprised of:
- Professor Abhishek Bhati — Campus Dean and Head of Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at JCU, Singapore
- Professor Nigel V. Marsh — Professor of Clinical Psychology, and Director of Professional Programs at JCU, Singapore
- Associate Professor Xi Zou — Associate Professor Division of Leadership, Management & Leadership, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University
- Associate Professor Roberto Dillon — Academic Head of Science and Technology at JCU, Singapore
- Mr David Wee — Founder and Managing Director, Wee's Collection
Dr Ai Ni Teoh — Academic Head of Social and Health Sciences at JCU, Singapore, and Chair of the Organising Committee behind the event — said, “The event was truly an eye-opening opportunity to learn from the research of various experts, and focus on the important issue of well-being supported by psychological science. Through the Psychological Science and Well-Being Conference, I hope that we can foster a progressive and constructive psychological research community in Singapore. Huge thanks to the many dedicated teams at JCU in Singapore and psychology student volunteers for contributing to the success of this conference!”
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