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 Small Group Meeting in Berlin on 17-18 June 2013
Posted by: Daan Scheepers
Title/Position: Dr.
School/Organization: Leiden University
Sent to listserv of: SPSP, SESP
Date posted: January 24th, 2013

Small Group Meeting on the Social Determinants and Consequences of Threat

17-18 June 2013, Berlin, Germany

Organized by Daan Scheepers, Kai Sassenberg and Kai Jonas

As apparent from the media coverage of intergroup conflicts and rapid demographic, technological, and environmental changes, threat is a core psychological state in our modern society. Not surprisingly, threat is also a central motivational principle in a wide range of social psychological theories (e.g., terror management theory, social identity theory). Research in this area has been directed at exploring the different sources of threat (from material resources to self-esteem, belonging, meaning in life) as well as the different consequences of threat, ranging from information processing biases to prejudice against out-groups.

Despite the prominence of threat as an explanatory principle in social psychology, the concept of threat is complex, dynamic, and somewhat slippery. Different researchers have approached the topic in different ways (either as a contextual variable, or an emotional, motivational, or physiological state). Furthermore, the state of threat is difficult to capture using self-report measures due to defensive responding by research participants.

In order to bring more unity and clarity in the phenomenology, causes, and consequences of threat in social contexts, the current small group meeting aims to bring together a diverse group of researchers who have examined in their research the concept of threat in a variety of ways (e.g., cognitive processing, physiological responses) in a variety of domains (e.g., stereotyping and prejudice, group dynamics, attitudes, decision-making). The aim is an interactive meeting in order to stimulate theoretical unity and discuss methodological challenges.

We are planning to host the meeting at 17-18 June (arrival: June, 16, departure: June, 19) at the headquarters of the Leibniz Association located in the middle of Berlin. We are asking for indication of interest and/or submissions from both junior and senior researchers.

If you are interested in participating, please send an email including an abstract (max. 250 words) and your contact details to Daan Scheepers ( before 15th of February 2013.

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