Programme

The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences 2018 (ACP2018) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy 2018 (ACERP2018). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow participants to attend sessions in both.

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • Psychological Literacy: The Most Important Literacy for the 21st Century
    Psychological Literacy: The Most Important Literacy for the 21st Century
    Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Dexter Da Silva (Panel Chair), Professor Steve Cornwell, Professor Ronald Mellado Miller & Dr Monty P. Satiadarma
  • Patterns of Depression Among Elderly Asian Immigrants to the United States Over the Past Decade
    Patterns of Depression Among Elderly Asian Immigrants to the United States Over the Past Decade
    Featured Presentation: Dr James W. McNally
  • On Being Tolerant and Acceptant to Survive Life Changes
    On Being Tolerant and Acceptant to Survive Life Changes
    Featured Presentation: Dr Monty P. Satiadarma
  • Law, Religion and Authoritarianism: From State Shinto to Religio-Trumpism
    Law, Religion and Authoritarianism: From State Shinto to Religio-Trumpism
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Frank S. Ravitch
  • Shinto: Window on Universal Religion
    Shinto: Window on Universal Religion
    Featured Presentation: Dr Brian Victoria
  • IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
  • IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening
    IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening

Previous Programming

View details of programming for past ACP conferences via the links below.

Psychological Literacy: The Most Important Literacy for the 21st Century
Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Dexter Da Silva (Panel Chair), Professor Steve Cornwell, Professor Ronald Mellado Miller & Dr Monty P. Satiadarma

Psychological literacy is the ability to apply psychological principles to personal, professional and societal issues. It includes, amongst the nine factors identified with it: 1) having a well-defined vocabulary and basic knowledge of psychology; 2) valuing scientific thinking; and 3) taking a creative approach to problem-solving. I have come to agree with those who consider it to be the most important literacy of the 21st century. The technological, social, geopolitical and other changes facing humans today enable and force us to make decisions and choices, to be more trustworthy and to have to trust more and more people who have more and more influence on important aspects of our lives. Understanding our communities and our world, our relationships, and ourselves, understanding what we can control or change and how we can control or change them for the benefit of ourselves and those in our communities and in our care is the most important and powerful tool for this millennium.

Read presenter biographies.

Patterns of Depression Among Elderly Asian Immigrants to the United States Over the Past Decade
Featured Presentation: Dr James W. McNally

Immigrants in the United States often face increased stressors associated with the transitions from an established home to a new environment. Factors such as cultural displacement, language barriers, economic and employment concerns, immigration status and safe housing can all contribute to fears that can manifest themselves in depression or anxiety. These risks can be further intensified when the individual is elderly, and their health, socioeconomic status and social support networks within the United States are weakened. This paper will use ten years of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to examine change in reported rates of depression or social anxiety among the elderly Asian population. The paper will compare immigrant elders to native born Asian elders and control for duration in the United States, sociodemographic characteristics, and health factors to isolate the impacts of immigration on mental health outcomes. The presence of social support networks, access to care, and level of disability will also be examined as part of the analysis. The paper argues that two factors play into the emotional uncertainty that can result in depression and or social anxiety. We argue that recent immigrants are more vulnerable to mental health challenges compared to US born due to increased levels of social displacement. We also argue that this risk can be attenuated among elderly immigrants by the presence of social support networks measured by contact with family or other individuals with a similar background.

Read presenter biographies.

On Being Tolerant and Acceptant to Survive Life Changes
Featured Presentation: Dr Monty P. Satiadarma

Every person needs to adjust to life changes in order to survive. Changes may create conflict. Conflict is the arousal of two strong motives within a person and can not be solved together. Festinger (1957) concluded that conflicting situation created discomfort leading to dissonance. In field theory, Lewin (1935) had previously mentioned that in various conditions people had to deal with multiple approach-avoidance conflict. In modern society such conflicting situations remain, and people are being challenged to change their behaviours, attitudes, and sometimes their beliefs in order to get adjusted and survive to live in the society. Tolerance (Fish, 2014) and acceptance (Fish, 2014; Taylor, 2013) are two key aspects people need to use to deal with such conditions. However, the process of being tolerant and ability to accept conditions is enduring and often needs painstaking efforts. This paper discusses the challenges on being tolerant and acceptant toward conflicting situations for people to remain survive in dealing with life changes.

Read presenter biographies.

Law, Religion and Authoritarianism: From State Shinto to Religio-Trumpism
Keynote Presentation: Professor Frank S. Ravitch

In recent years authoritarianism has become an increasing threat to democratic institutions, human rights, and the rule of law. Authoritarian regimes have taken hold throughout the world. One of the most troubling trends has been the rise of authoritarian movements, leaders, and policies buoyed by populist politicians in longstanding democracies such as the United States. This has occurred at the same time as authoritarian regimes in Russia and Turkey have increased their holds on power.

Law has proven an inadequate tool to stem this tide and in some cases has been used to reinforce authoritarian agendas. Moreover, even in democratic countries constitutional structures have sometimes proven inadequate to prevent authoritarian actors from inflicting significant harm to human rights and the rule of law. To protect against the damage that is being inflicted we must first understand the dynamics underlying authoritarianism and dispel some myths that may confuse policymakers and social justice advocates as they work to stem the tide.

One such myth involves the relationship between religion and authoritarianism. This talk will address that myth, which confuses the relationship between authoritarianism and religion by assuming that religion is a driving force for authoritarian leaders and especially for many of their followers and acolytes. Certainly religion is an especially powerful tool in the hands of authoritarians, but without that tool authoritarians and their followers will, and have, found other tools to use.

A better understanding of the real relationship between religion and authoritarianism (where religion is a tool rather than a cause of authoritarianism) can be explored by studying two seemingly different situations: the role and use of State Shinto in Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa periods in Japan and the use of religious culture war issues and religio-patriotism by Trump and his followers in the U.S. today. Eerily, these two seemingly different situations have significant commonalities.

Read presenter biographies.

Shinto: Window on Universal Religion
Featured Presentation: Dr Brian Victoria

To claim that Shinto is in some way connected with “universal religion” would appear to be an oxymoron. As explained in any guidebook on Japan, Shinto is the indigenous religion of the Japanese people, and only the Japanese people. By comparison with the five great world religions, i.e. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, Shinto appears to an exclusively ethnic religion.

At the same time, it is important to recall that everyone alive today is a homo sapiens, a human species with a history of at least 200,000 years and likely longer. Nevertheless, the five major world religions have, at most, a history of only 5,000 years. Even older religions, such as those of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Indo-Europeans, add perhaps another five thousand years to our knowledge of religious history. Thus, we currently have some idea of the spiritual life of homo sapiens dating back, at most, 10,000 years. This means we currently understand only about 5% or less of our collective religious history, or in other words, we are largely ignorant of 95% of the spiritual life of our species.

The thesis of this paper is that what existed prior to known or historic religions, and therefore the oldest form of religious belief, is today called “animism.” Animism is a religion (or, more accurately, a series of closely related religions) once prevalent throughout the entire world and can therefore be rightfully identified as the universal religion of all homo sapiens. Inasmuch as Shinto is today one of the most vibrant forms of animism still in existence, it can serve as a window to that time when animism was the universal religion of humankind. This paper explores not only Shinto’s ritual and mythological content but also the impact that animism, as manifested in Shinto, has had on today’s world religions.

Read presenter biographies.

IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

As an organization, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In 2018, we are excited to launch a major new and ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative which uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges.

IAFOR is headquartered in Japan, and the 2018 inauguration of this project aligns with the 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when Japan opened its doors to the trade and ideas that would precipitate its rapid modernisation and its emergence as a global power. At a time when global trends can seem unpredictable, and futures fearful, the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative gives the opportunity to revisit the question of the impact of international relations from a long-term perspective.

This ambitious initiative will encourage individuals and institutions working across the world to support and undertake research centring on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia – from Gibraltar to Japan – and the maritime routes that went beyond, into the South-East Continent and the Philippines, and later out into the Pacific Islands and the United States. The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative will be concerned with all aspects of this contact, and will examine both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.

For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.

IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in 2015 as an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The award has benefitted since the outset from the expertise of an outstanding panel of internationally renowned photographers, including Dr Paul Lowe as the Founding Judge, and Ed Kashi, Monica Allende, Simon Roberts, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Simon Norfolk and Emma Bowkett as Guest Judges. Now in its third year, the award has already been widely recognised by those in the industry and has been supported by World Press Photo, Metro Imaging, MediaStorm, Think Tank Photo, University of the Arts London, RMIT University, British Journal of Photography, The Centre for Documentary Practice, and the Medill School of Journalism.

As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In keeping with this mission, in appreciation of the great value of photography as a medium that can be shared across borders of language, culture and nation, and to influence and inform our academic work and programmes, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched as a competition that would help underline the importance of the organisation’s aims, and would promote and recognise best practice and excellence.

Winners of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 were announced at The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2017 (EuroMedia2017) in Brighton, UK. The award follows the theme of the EuroMedia conference, with 2017’s theme being “History, Story, Narrative”. In support of up-and-coming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

Access to the Award Winners Screening is included in the conference registration fee. For more information about the award, click here.

Image | From the project Single Mothers of Afghanistan by IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 Grand Prize Winner, Kiana Hayeri.