President’s Report to the BOD IAAP

Actions and Strategic Plan for the Future of Division 9

 

By Christine Roland-Lévy

President of Division 9, Economic Psychology, IAAP

July 2004

 

 

The links between Psychology and Economics are popular these days. Economists became aware of the rich possibilities of experimenting and of including psychological variables in their research. The Nobel Prize in Economics 2002 for the psychologist Daniel Kahneman is a good example of this interest and promising approach in Economic Psychology.

 

Present situation of Division 9, Economic Psychology, IAAP

Division 9, Economic Psychology, IAAP may be described with the following characteristics:

1     International Division with members coming from 24 countries, from 4 continents

2     Innovative: starting new research topics with potential applications

3           Co-operative: international research projects (household economic issues, euro, decision-making and retirement, economic socialization) and

4          Supportive with non-academics.

 

Actions applied for the Promotion of Division 9, Economic Psychology, IAAP

To promote Economic Psychology, Division 9 had various main goals for which it organized and participated in the following activities:

  1. The first goal was to promote specific topics and to encourage more joint research in Economic Psychology. In order to do so, Division 9 has started to launch a joint international research project on decision-making (financial and others) related to retirement. This project will start soon in its real size. (Do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested by this project!).
  2. The second goal was to build stronger links with other associations, and more specifically with the International Association for Research of Economic Psychology (IAREP). In order to achieve this goal, Division 9 actively participated in the Annual colloquium of IAREP, with a presentation and discussion of what the Division is and does at each General Assembly. Division 9 also participated actively in colloquia which are organized by the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics, SABE, which allows to also enlarge the scope of Economic Psychology.
  3. Division 9 has tried to better co-ordinate with other international organizations, specifically with IAREP, by organizing joint workshops and symposia at IAAP international congresses every four years (1998: San Francisco; 2002: Singapore; and in 2006: Athens), as well as at the IUPS conferences, with invited symposia in the name of IAAP.
  4. The final goal was to try to increase and to retain members…

 

Membership of Division 9, IAAP:

In fact, even though, we have tried, Division 9 membership is not increasing as it should with the popularity of economic psychology.

Membership is connected to the colloquia in the sense that participants to a colloquium become members of IAAP for the next year after the colloquium, but not so many renew their membership during the 4 years in between colloquia. For example, before the Conference in Singapore, we were 49 members, following the Conference, we were 63 members and we are now only 55 members… Division 9 remains a very small Division of IAAP.

 

Why is Division 9 less successful than it should be? What Strategies can we develop now?

It could sure be better and more successful, especially with regard to the promotion of the field, in the coming years. The goal, which therefore remains, for the time being, is the acquisition and retention of members.

First of all, there are relatively few members of Division 9 that are members without participating to a colloquium. One solution might be to develop new “strategies” to renew membership; linked to this idea, we need to develop the incentives to become and to remain a member. Acquisition of members needs to be increased through various activities which remain to be found. In principle, more activities, and more participation at these activities, will increase membership.

Second, it seems that developing better communication among members of Division 9 is the next reachable idea. Regular email announcements of activities to a large group of previous members, actual members and potential new members would contribute to make IAAP more “visible” and to increase the participation to colloquia and workshops. Nevertheless, even in the regularly updated list of members, many of the emails addresses still need to be corrected by their owners. Another idea, which could also be very useful, could be the sharing of lists of potential members.

Third, Division 9 would also appreciate being able to create more links with the other Divisions of IAAP, especially Work and Organizational Psychology. For this, cooperation is needed among us all!

Finally, the location of the colloquia which is often “far away” as well as expensive, is a problem for some members… But we really trust that the next one, in Athens, will allow more European members to be able to join.

 

 

 

Let us do it!

 

 

 

 

For information about the International Association for Research of Economic Psychology (IAREP), it was established in the mid-1970’s, as a professional scientific organization promoting the position of economic psychology. IAREP is an international organization of economic psychologists and behavioral economists who aim at promoting and discussing research as well as teaching on the interface of psychology and economics. It includes research on the behavior of economic actors (e. g., consumers and households, tax payers, investors, entrepreneurs, organizations, and government) including psychological and social variables as antecedents and consequents. It also includes research on consumers’ confidence and satisfaction (sentiment) in a society.

A summary of typical research topics in the Journal of Economic Psychology, is provided in a review by Kirchler & Hölzl (2003, Economic Psychology. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 18, 29-80).

One could also read Advances in Economic Psychology, by Antonides, van Raaij, & Maital, (1997, New York: Wiley) to find out more about Economic Psychology.