Conference Theme: “Power”
March 26–29, 2015 | Osaka International Conference Center, Osaka, Japan
Power in its various forms, hard and soft, political, social, military, economic, and cultural, legitimate and illegitimate, can be defined as the ability to influence or even to control people’s thoughts, attitudes and behavior. As such it is at the core of human relations at all levels, from intra-personal to societal and the global. Appropriate or legitimate use of power can lead to remarkable achievement and success. Abuse of power however is the cause of a wide range of societal problems ranging from domestic violence to war. Social psychologists also refer to the power of the situation as a critical but often underestimated factor in human behavior. Systemic or structural relations have inherent power relations, and these are often more influential factors than personal power relations in human behavior.
By focusing on power we can raise awareness of its pervasiveness and transform our thinking about human relations and social and global problems. It also raises awareness of related issues of vulnerability, and human strengths such as resistance and resilience. Awareness and exploration of these issues can result ultimately in the empowerment of individuals, allowing them to resist or change the existing power relations in their lives.
ACP2015 was a joint interdisciplinary event with ACERP2015 that enabled 270 delegates to engage in an exciting programme. The programme addressed the central aim of the conference theme in a variety of ways – through the presentation of conference papers that drew upon solid empirical research and developed theoretical and conceptual insights, and also through synergetic networking opportunities across a variety of research approaches.
The ACP2015 Organising Committee was thrilled to welcome such a strong international line-up of Keynote and Featured Speakers, including Professor Mimi Bong of Brain and Motivation Research Institute (bMRI) at Korea University, Professor Satoru Nishizawa of Yamanashi Prefectural University,Professor James McNally, Director of the NACDA Programme on Aging, University of Michigan, and Professor Thomas Brian Mooney of Charles Darwin University. All were inspiring in their commitment to world-class research and the outstanding and informative ways in which they presented their latest projects.
Context-Specific Motivational Beliefs – The Critical Determinants of Adolescent Learning and Self-Regulation
In this presentation, Professor Mimi Bong will argue for the importance of context-specific motivational beliefs in the self-regulation and academic performance of adolescent learners.Whereas the importance of context-specific motivation in academic learning and performance is well established in the literature, the ways with which these diverse motivational beliefs complement or interact with each other to facilitate or hinder self-regulation and achievement remain less clear. She will briefly describe how “context” is typically defined in educational and psychological research and then introduce representative constructs such as interest, self-efficacy, and achievement goals, whose context-specificity has been clearly demonstrated. Results from several empirical studies will then follow, which show that these constructs do interact with each other within specific contexts to produce different learning outcomes as well as mediate the effects of stable personality dispositions and contextual variations on students’ learning processes and outcomes.
Frank S. Ravitch
Constitutional Revision in Japan: The Risks for Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and some of his political allies have worked hard to begin a process of Constitutional Revision that endangers not only Japan’s post war pacifist legacy, but also the fundamental freedoms of the Japanese people. Much of the attention has focused on Abe’s attempts to amend Article 9, often referred to as the “Pacifist” provision of the Constitution. Many Japanese people and politicians have strongly opposed any change to Article 9, and it is safe to say that Abe vastly underestimated the resolve of the Japanese people on this issue. Yet, like a shell game, while people try to follow the fate of Article 9, other risks are missed. Once the Constitution is open to revision, freedom of speech, which has already reached a postwar low in recent years, and freedom of religion, may be at risk. Professor Ravitch has argued elsewhere that Prime Minister’s visits to the Yasukuni Shrine violate Articles 20 and 89 of the Japanese Constitution, but with Constitutional revision such visits might become ordinary and in fact, it would be possible for the government to fund these shrines to appease nationalists. In the last few years Japan has fallen to 59th in the world for freedom of the speech and the press according to Reporters Without Borders. It is far below every other major democratic country with similar economic status (and many non-democratic nations). With constitutional revision free speech and a free press may be further limited. Shadows of the Meiji Constitution, where personal freedoms were empty promises subsumed to state interests and nationalist fanaticism are rearing their heads. It is not just the risk to the Pacifist provision, which has already been all but ignored by the current administration, but to the Freedom of Speech and Religion that bring those shadows forward. It is up to the Japanese people to protect the freedoms they have come to value and which they have used in ways that benefit the entire world with Japanese creativity and insight.
Interview: Dexter Da Silva & Frank S. Ravitch
In this follow-up interview IAFOR Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences (ACP) Conference Co-Chair Professor Dexter Da Silva speaks with Professor Frank S. Ravitch of Michigan State University College of Law and further explores the issues and challenges surrounding the Japanese Constitution and also discusses with Professor Ravitch his increasing involvement with IAFOR and our academic conferences.