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eDialogue: A Look Back at 2019

eDialogue A look back at 2019 Photo of Ashley Whillans and Marginalia logo

Suffice to say—2019 was a big year for SPSP!

February saw the most-attended annual convention yet; in May, a new team of editors launched a revamped Character & Content blog; in July, New York University hosted the largest SISPP class to date, with 100 pre-doctoral students in attendance; and Big Data ruled at SPSP’s first Summer Psychology Forum in St. Louis this past August.  

It was also a great year for eDialogue—with new writers contributing, new areas of coverage, and greater reach through our website and social media channels.

In case you missed it, here’s a look back at some of the most popular content featured in eDialogue from the past year.

Ashley Whillans headshotPast life of one social psychologist – As a young actor on stage and screen, Ashley Whillans realized early in her career that she enjoyed researching the motivations and external influences of her characters more than she did performing them. Best known for giving Ellen Page the stink eye in Juno, actress-turned-psychologist, Ashley shared her journey from performer to researcher and the similarities she sees in these two seemingly different worlds.

Latinx Researchers reflect – In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we reached out to some members seeking their insights into how being Hispanic/Latinx has influenced their own path as researchers. Their thoughtful responses were documented in one of our most popular articles of the past year, with a second article in October that focused on the need for new research around the Latinx experience.

A Chat with Dr. Oishi – He will be the one asking the questions when he sits down with Veronica Benet-Martinez for Out of the Lab at SPSP2020, but here our 2019 Diener Award for Social Psychology honoree  shared some personal insights with eDialogue, including where he might be now if had chosen a different path and the expansive, international study you would love to undertake if he had the opportunity.

Marginalia LogoA virtual community for diverse voices – Formed by four SPSP members as a platform for underrepresented social psychology scientists, the Marginalia Science website and newsletter showcases new research, events, funding opportunities and job postings by and for their peers. Having successfully secured a Community Catalyst grant from SPSP, the group of more than 160 members was able to meet up in person for the first time at SPSP2019 in Portland.

Grad school voices in the podcast universe – You might have stopped by their table at the Portland convention to say hello, or even sat down for a quick interview. Applied social psychology students and podcasters Emma O’Connor and Emily Denning like to talk and bring other voices into the conversation around tough issues regarding graduate school, including choosing a program, dealing with family emergencies, starting on a school relationship, and practical tips and advice on attending large and often intimidating academic conferences. With a dozen episodes available for download or streaming, the This is Grad School podcast is a must-listen for students of psychology and beyond.

Turning research into policy – With science funding, in general, on shaky ground these days, it has become all the more important for social psychologists to think more broadly about how their research relates to everyday life, and learning to communicate that in a way that is both relevant and relatable. This skill also comes in handy when the task at hand is to explain the importance of social science to lawmakers at both the national and local level. The SPSP Government Relations Committee even challenged members on this with a writing competition this past spring.

RMarkdown to the rescue – Are typos and minor errors messing up your data analysis or efforts to reproduce a research report? RMarkdown could be a solution to your problem. In September, contributor Kari Leibowitz gave a valuable overview of the benefits to learning this flexible and time-saving software. We look forward to providing more practical information like this in the new year—if you have a set of tools or resources that you would like to share with members through the newsletter, let us know!

Helping others be their best – Oftentimes the most valuable information we receive during our school and career lives is the advice and guidance of a mentor. And programs, like SPUR, Peer Advising and mentoring opportunities at convention can provide some of the most valuable benefits of membership in a community like SPSP. We asked previous winners of our teaching and mentoring awards to share their own joys and challenges of mentoring and why it’s important to “pay it forward.”

Inspired? If you have a story idea for our newsletter—or if you are interested in contributing—please reach out to us at


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