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Palais des congrès de Montréal
1001 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5, Canada

Pre-Congress: Science For Scientists

Science for Scientists Day

Advancing the Science of Positive Psychology

Thursday July 13th 8:30-4:30

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what enables individuals and communities to thrive.
Science is thus the backbone of positive psychology. The goal of this Pre-Congress day is to more intensely focus on the advanced aspects of the scientific enterprise in positive psychology – methodological, theoretical, and professional. It is intended for all engaged in the science of positive psychology from graduate students to seasoned professionals. The day will include a variety of presentation formats such as advanced, state-of-the-science presentations by leaders in the field followed by open discussion with the audience, Flash talks (short 5-min presentations by scientists), poster sessions, and open discussion sessions.

8:30-8:45 Bob Vallerand – Welcome and Opening
8:45-9:45 Lisa Feldman Barrett – How Emotions Are Made
9:45-10:15 5-minute Flash talks (5x)
10:15-10:30 Health Break
10:30-11:00 Steve Cole – How Do I Get Some Biology in My Research?
11:00-11:30 Group Discussion
11:30-12:00 5-minute Flash talks (5x)
12:00-1:00 Lunch and Poster Session
1:00-1:30 5-minute Flash talks (5x)
1:30-2:30 Dan Benjamin – The Underappreciated Importance of Statistical Power; Why Statistical Power Is More Important Than You Think
2:30- 3:00 Group Discussion
3:00-3:30 5-minute Flash talks (5x)
3:30-3:45 Health Break
3:45 -4:15 5-minute Flash talks (5x)
4:15- 4:30 Meike Bartels – What Did We Learn Today and Future Perspectives


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Meike Bartels, Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Meike Bartels is Professor in Genetics and Wellbeing at the department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Over the past years, she made important progress in quantifying and identifying causes of individual differences happiness and subjective well-being by conducting a large scale meta-analysis that revealed that about 36% of the variance in SWB is accounted for by genetic influences. Furthermore, she published a ground-breaking paper providing the first evidence ever for molecular genetic influences on SWB, and, together with international colleagues, she found the first genomic locations for SWB. The importance of a focus on gene-environment interplay is supported by her recent finding of significant associations of SWB with DNA methylation. To share her ideas with the scientific community at large and to disseminate her findings, she published over 150 peer-reviewed publications, including papers in Nature Genetics, PNAS, Behavior Genetics, Psychological Methods, and JAACA). International acknowledgement of her expertise and scientific accomplishment is reflected in the Thompson Award and the Fuller-Scott Award awarded by the Behavior Genetics Association and her honorary and competitive University Research Chair position.

Robert Vallerand, Ph.D.

Professor Robert J. Vallerand is Full Professor of Social Psychology and Director of the Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social at the Université du Québec à Montréal where he holds a Canada Research Chair in Motivational Processes and Optimal Functioning. He is also a Fellow at the Australian Catholic University. Bob has published 7 books and well over 300 scientific articles and book chapters, mainly on motivational processes. Over 20 of his former students are university professors across Canada and Europe. He has served as President of the Quebec Society for Research in Psychology, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). Bob has been elected a Fellow of over a dozen learned societies including the American Psychological Association (APA, as well as Fellow of Divisions 8, 9, 15, 20, and 47), the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Society for Social Psychology and Personality Psychology (SPSP), and several others. He has also received the Donald O. Hebb Career Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his contribution to the science of psychology, as well as the Sport Science Award from the International Olympic Committee. His latest book is The Psychology of Passion (2015) with Oxford University Press.

Daniel Benjamin, Ph.D.

The Underappreciated Importance of Statistical Power: Why Statistical Power Is More Important Than You Think

Researchers correctly understand that statistical power is important for finding a significant result when there truly is an effect. Far less appreciated is that when a study is underpowered: statistical significance provides little evidence in favor of a true effect, the estimated effect size (even if the effect is real) is likely to be exaggerated, and there is a high likelihood of estimating the wrong sign of the effect. In this workshop, we will explain these crucial properties of statistical power, and we will discuss research strategies for increasing power and guarding against false findings, with examples drawn from recent research in psychology.
Daniel J. Benjamin, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor (Research) of Economics at the University of Southern California. He is a behavioral economist and a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (http://www.thessgac.org/), which promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and well-powered research in social-science genomics through coordinated analysis of many datasets. He also conducts research on the measurement of subjective well-being and its use for evaluating and guiding policies. For more information, see http://www.danieljbenjamin.com/.

Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D.

How Emotions Are Made

The science of emotion is in the midst of a revolution on par with the discovery of relativity in physics and natural selection in biology.  Emotions are your experience of the world, not your reactions to it, and you are the chief architect of your own experience. This paradigm shift has far-reaching implications for every domain of life and what it means to be human.
Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D., is University Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory (IASLab) at Northeastern University, with research appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Barrett received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1986, and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Waterloo in 1992.  Her research focuses on the nature of emotion from both psychological and neuroscience perspectives and incorporates insights from anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics. Dr. Barrett is known as an innovator in psychology and received the prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for transformative research on emotion. Dr. Barrett is the recipient of numerous research awards and is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In addition to publishing over 180 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, Dr. Barrett has authored a white paper on the science of emotion for the National Research Council, she has testified before Congress in support of basic behavioral research funding and she has edited six volumes, including the 3rd and 4th editions of the Handbook of Emotion. Her new book, How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Steve Cole, Ph.D.

How do I get some biology in my research?

This workshop discusses “field-friendly” methods for integrating genomic, neuroendocrine, and immune markers into laboratory and field studies of human social, behavioral, and cultural processes.  Includes a brief theoretical overview as well as technical considerations related to sample collection, biomarker data analysis and interpretation, study design, costs, and general research strategy, as well as an interactive triage session for session attendees to begin work on their own studies.
 Steven Cole is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His research utilizes molecular genetics and computational bioinformatics to analyze the pathways by which social and environmental factors influence the activity of the human genome, as well as viral and tumor genomes. He pioneered the field of human social genomics, and serves as Director of the UCLA Social Genomics Core Laboratory. Dr. Cole is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. He is also a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Norman Cousins Center, the UCLA AIDS Institute, and the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute.

Pre-Congress Speakers

Jeffrey Auerbach, Ph.D.

Coaching for Executive Well-Being

In this workshop you will learn techniques to enhance executive well-being based on a model that compliments the Emotional Quotient Inventory Well-Being Indicator.  Whether you use the EQI2.0 in your coaching or not the model’s focus on positive self-regard, optimism, self-actualization and interpersonal relationships lends a practical “how-to” roadmap for a well-being coaching practice.  
Dr. Jeffrey E. Auerbach has been conducting executive coaching sessions since 1986. He designs and delivers executive coaching and emotionally intelligent leadership programs globally.  Auerbach is the founder and President of the College of Executive Coaching, an International Coach Federation Accredited Coach Training Program.  Auerbach is past Vice-President of the International Coach Federation Global Board of Directors.  Dr. Auerbach directs the Positive Psychology Well-Being Coaching Certification program which qualifies participants to sit for the new National Board of Medical Examiners’ (the licensing examiners for physicians) credential as a Health and Wellness Coach.

Auerbach is the author of the classic coaching book, Personal and Executive Coaching, The Complete Guide for Mental Health Professionals, now in its 20th printing, as well as, Seeing the Light: What Organizations Need to Know about Coaching, the Well-Being Coaching Workbook: Everything Needed for the Coaching Participant, and Positive Psychology in Coaching:  Applying Science to Executive Coaching.  He is an Accredited Master trainer in the Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 and the EQ360.  Dr. Auerbach holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with post-graduate certifications in executive coaching and behavioral medicine.  An expert on emotional intelligence in the workplace, Dr. Auerbach is a frequent keynote speaker on peak performance, well-being and emotional intelligence.

Ernst Bohlmeijer, Ph.D.

Navigating the app-wilderness: Learn to find the best app or start to design one yourself

In this workshop you will learn how to evaluate existing apps on their theoretical basis, their usability and their persuasiveness to keep users engaged. We will provide hands-on experience in evaluating and selecting the right app for the job; give examples of high quality and lower quality apps to improve e.g. self-compassion and positive emotions; and give you the tools to apply this to your own field of interest.
Ernst Bohlmeijer graduated in 2007 on the effects of life-review on depression in older adults. Since 2007 he worked as an associate professor and since 2011 as full professor at the department of Psychology, Health & Technology at the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences at Twente University. His research comprises two main topics: 1) mental health promotion, 2) the use of (e) technology in (mental) health care. He has a special interest in the development and evaluation of innovative (web-based) interventions in health care. In the last years he was principle investigator and supervisor of over 12 randomized controlled trials. He developed 8 interventions aiming at enhancing resilience and well-being and reducing distress based on positive psychology, acceptance and commitment therapy and compassion focused therapy. Since 2010 Ernst Bohlmeijer (co-) published over 80 peer reviewed papers and three scientific books. He was editor of the Dutch Handbook of Positive Psychology. Since 2000 he obtained over 10 grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) and other scientific funds.

Ilona Boniwell, Ph.D.

Making Positive Psychology Tangible

Using tangible tools and facilitation methods in positive psychology coaching and training.
Dr. Ilona Boniwell, one of the world leaders in the field of positive psychology, founded and headed the first Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) in Europe. Nowadays, she heads the International MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (I-MAPP) at Anglia Ruskin University (UK and France), teaches Positive Management at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and HEC Business School, writes a monthly column for Psychologies (UK and Russia), and consults around the world as a director of Positran. Her main teaching expertise lies in the areas of positive psychology and positive scholarship, with research interests around: subjective time use, time perspective, eudaimonic well-being and applications of positive psychology to business, one-to-one work and education.

Jane Dutton, Ph.D. & Monica Worline, Ph.D.

Awakening Compassion at Work

Compassion is an undervalued yet essential part of today’s workplaces. In this workshop we will engage you with four steps that you can take to unleash compassion in your own work and give you a new focus on aspects of organizations that enable and block compassion. We will draw on evidence from two decades of research and put them to use in ways that are highly interactive and practical, equipping you with insights and resources to become a compassion architect in your organization. 
Jane E. Dutton, Ph.D., is the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration and Psychology at the Ross School of Business. She is a co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations, and passionate about cultivating human flourishing at work. Her research focuses on compassion, job crafting, high quality connections, and meaning making at work.  She has written over 100 articles and published 13 books (see http://webuser.bus.umich.edu/janedut/), including How to be a Positive Leader: Small Actions, Big Impact. She is a founding member of the Compassionlab—visit us and read more about our research at www.compassionlab.com.
Monica C. Worline, Ph.D., is founder and CEO of EnlivenWork, an innovation organization that teaches businesses and others how to tap into courageous thinking, compassionate leadership, and the curiosity to bring their best work to life. She is a research scientist at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and Executive Director of CompassionLab, the world’s leading research collaboratory focused on compassion at work. Monica holds a lectureship at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and is affiliate faculty at the Center for Positive Organizations.

Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.

The Science and Practice of Loving-Kindness Meditation

Come experience the love!  Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Love, teams up with Barbara Fredrickson, author of Love 2.0, to share the practical “how to” and the scientific “why” of loving-kindness meditation.


Juan Humberto Young, D.M.

Strategic Awareness Training for more Wellbeing in the Workplace and in Life

Skillful and wise decisions are a major source of happiness and wellbeing in professional and private life. Participants in this session learn about a structured program to train strategic awareness, a prospective quality of effective decision-making. The program is based on mindfulness tools, positive psychology, behavioral strategy, behavioral finance, risk management and cognitive therapy interventions and geared towards a non-clinical population confronted with the prevailing challenges of our time (pressure in the workplace, fast changing circumstances, uncertainty) that reduce subjective well-being.
Juan Humberto Young, D.M., is the Academic Director of the Executive Master in Positive Leadership and Strategy at IE University, Madrid. For the last 20 years he has also been a partner of PODAG-Positive Organizational Design AG, Zurich, a company specializing in applying positive approaches to management and investing in turnaround companies using positive methods to increase their economic value and re-selling them. His professional experience includes among others creating and leading an asset management department at UBS, Zurich, and strategic planning in the hospitality industry and in the health sector.

At the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and IE University, Madrid, Dr. Young has been teaching widely popular courses integrating Positive Psychology and Mindfulness approaches with functional management areas such as business strategy, corporate finance and risk management. Dr. Young’s goal is to bring more mindfulness and wellbeing to where it is needed: especially in business organizations and the workplace but also to everyone involved in life’s struggles. He therefore developed a specific, structured program to train the prospective quality of strategic awareness allowing skilful decision-making for a fulfilling life. The protocol is called Mindfulness-Based Strategic Awareness Training-MBSAT and was published in November 2016 by Wiley: Oxford. For more information, see www.juanhumbertoyoung.com.


Saskia Kelders, Ph.D.

Navigating the app-wilderness: Learn to find the best app or start to design one yourself

In this workshop you will learn how to evaluate existing apps on their theoretical basis, their usability and their persuasiveness to keep users engaged. We will provide hands-on experience in evaluating and selecting the right app for the job; give examples of high quality and lower quality apps to improve e.g. self-compassion and positive emotions; and give you the tools to apply this to your own field of interest.
Dr. Saskia M. Kelders received her PhD in 2012 at the University of Twente. Her dissertation (Understanding adherence to web-based interventions) focused on keeping people engaged with (mental) health interventions, using persuasive technology. She now works as Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, Health and Technology at the University of Twente. Her research interests are in positive psychology and technology, persuasive technology, developing and evaluating digital interventions. She also teaches these subjects to Psychology Master students and is involved as supervisor in several PhD-projects. Ongoing research projects are focused on understanding why and how technology can support people to change their behavior. Methods used for this goal are e.g. analysis of logdata, experimental studies and randomized controlled trials. Examples of interventions Saskia works on are a web-based gamified intervention based on positive psychology to increase wellbeing, a web-based ACT intervention to reduce depressive complaints and mobile apps to increase wellbeing.

Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D.

Character Strengths Interventions: Tools for the Strengths-Based Practitioner

This workshop will offer the most recent research and practices on character strengths to assist coaches, counselors, educators, and managers in fostering well-being in their clients, students, and employees. Participants will learn essential concepts in application, work with exercises in the workshop, and walk away with tools they can begin using tomorrow.
Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D. is Education Director of the VIA Institute on Character, a non-profit organization in Cincinnati, Ohio, that is viewed as the global leader in advancing the science and practice of character strengths. Ryan is author of the new book, Character Strengths Interventions: A Field-Guide for Practitioners and other books including: Mindfulness and Character Strengths and Positive Psychology at the Movies. He’s an award-winning psychologist, certified coach, international workshop leader, and adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Xavier University.

At VIA, Ryan develops (or co-develops) VIA’s courses, reports, and programs, and helps professionals around the globe, across disciplines, apply character strengths, personally and professionally. He’s published over 50 peer-reviewed or invited articles on character strengths and related topics. Ryan is especially interested in the intersection of character strengths with resilience, intellectual/developmental disability, mindfulness, savoring, and health.

Ryan is creator of the evidence-based, Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), the first, structured program for building character strengths. Over the last 15 years, Ryan has led hundreds of mindfulness groups for various audiences and has offered hundreds of presentations on character strengths.

On a personal level, Ryan’s signature strengths are hope, love, curiosity, fairness, honesty, and appreciation of beauty.

Sharon Salzberg

The Science and Practice of Loving-Kindness Meditation

Come experience the love!  Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Love, teams up with Barbara Fredrickson, author of Love 2.0, to share the practical “how to” and the scientific “why” of loving-kindness meditation.
Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher and NY Times bestselling author. She has played a crucial role in bringing meditation and mindfulness practices to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and the author of ten books including NY Times bestseller, Real Happiness, her seminal work, Lovingkindness and her forthcoming release by Flatiron Books, Real Love. Renowned for her down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them instantly accessible. She is a regular columnist for On Being, a contributor to Huffington Post, and the host of her own podcast: The Metta Hour. For more information, visit www.SharonSalzberg.com.


Register Today!

Onsite Registration Begins July 12th!