Programme

The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences (ACP) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy (ACERP) as part of “Think Tokyo". 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.


  • The Value of High-stakes Exams: Do Teachers Help or Hinder?
    The Value of High-stakes Exams: Do Teachers Help or Hinder?
    Keynote Presentation: David Putwain
  • The Religious and Ethical Void of Trumpism & the Oddity of Trump Support Among Some Evangelical Christians
    The Religious and Ethical Void of Trumpism & the Oddity of Trump Support Among Some Evangelical Christians
    Keynote Presentation: Frank S. Ravitch
  • The Next 50 Years
    The Next 50 Years
    Featured Presentation: Nicholas Benes
  • Is Religious Tolerance Always Desirable: The Case of Shinto and Buddhism
    Is Religious Tolerance Always Desirable: The Case of Shinto and Buddhism
    Featured Presentation: Brian Victoria

Previous Programming

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

The Value of High-stakes Exams: Do Teachers Help or Hinder?
Keynote Presentation: David Putwain

High-stakes school exit examinations are a feature of many educational systems. The results of such examinations are used to select students for transition into higher-level education and/or training, for entry into the workplace, and for accountability purposes to judge the quality of schools and individual teachers. The results of high-stakes school exit examinations can have a profound impact on the life trajectory of students. It is not surprising, therefore, that teachers communicate the value and importance of such qualifications to their students; how can success or failure impact on one’s life chances. What impact might these communications have on students? Does it increase pressure; does it motivate and engage students to work hard; does it ultimately relate in any way to exam performance? This presentation will use findings from a 10-year programme of research undertaken in relation to the secondary school leaving qualification in England, the General Certificate of Secondary Education, to address these questions. The key finding is that students differ in the way that they interpret messages about the importance and value of their examinations. Exam value messages can be interpreted in a positive way, to inspire motivation and engagement, or a negative way to trigger threat and worry. The way that messages are interpreted determines whether they relate to educational gains or losses. We will close the presentation by considering the reasons why students interpret messages differently and what the implications are for educators of students preparing for high-stakes school exit examinations. How can we ensure they are a help rather than a hindrance.

Read presenter biographies.

The Religious and Ethical Void of Trumpism & the Oddity of Trump Support Among Some Evangelical Christians
Keynote Presentation: Frank S. Ravitch

The rise of Donald Trump in U.S. Politics has accelerated a decline in public discourse over culture war issues; a decline that was already underway at a slower pace even before Trump. It has also emboldened religious conservatives and those opposed to LGBT rights, immigration, religious minorities, the environment and reproductive freedom. Trumpism is demonstrably authoritarian, resistant to facts, and heavily based on lies and memes that become self-justifying almost through sheer repetition in social media and right wing media. Yet, in all of this Trump has found an odd, and remarkably loyal, ally, namely, a large swath of socially conservative Evangelical Christians. They seem to ignore Trump’s obvious moral indiscretions, lies, and lack of care for the poor because they believe he can deliver them judges and victories on culture war issues. The hypocrisy of this has been repeatedly noted by commentators and scholars. Yet, it is part of a larger religious and ethical void created by Trumpism and needs to be understood in that broader socio-legal-religious context. In fact, data is emerging that suggests the social conservatives backing Trump may have made a faustian bargain that will cost them future generations or increasingly alienated young evangelicals who see the hypocrisy of their elders quite well. That same sort of bargain may help explain the support for Trump in other parts of society as well.

Read presenter biographies.

The Next 50 Years
Featured Presentation: Nicholas Benes

If we think about the last 50 years of history and the next 50 years, what challenges lie at the intersection of ethics, philosophy, psychology, and values that may affect the worth of what we own, the enjoyment we derive from living, and even our survival as a species? Certainly, global warming, weather and climate change, toxic pollution, and the extinction of species are a few of them. Over-population, income/wealth inequality, technological inequality, cyber-warfare and risk, global violence, human migration, and the risk of pandemics are some others. Are these things linked to each other? What do they have in common as a root cause? Is it time to re-think how we structure our economies, our governments, and how we live our lives….or will these challenges be addressed by the magic of markets? If not, how can they be addressed?

Read presenter biographies.

Is Religious Tolerance Always Desirable: The Case of Shinto and Buddhism
Featured Presentation: Brian Victoria

In a world still characterized by contention, even violent conflict, between religions and their adherents, “religious tolerance” remains a much promoted value, an ideal to be strived for. This is as it should be, for in an increasingly globalized world, the day in which a single religion can claim the exclusive right to provide the spiritual nourishment for the entire population of a nation is fast drawing to a close. Thus, organized religions are required to compete, yet tolerate, and ideally cooperate, with one another to an ever increasing degree. But is there a down side, a danger, to this mutual tolerance? This presentation suggests there is, a danger vividly demonstrated by the relationship between Shinto, the indigenous, animistic religion of Japan, and Buddhism, a later religious import. The question is addressed of how the mutual influence these two religions exerted on each other over their 1,500 years of interaction should be valued.

Read presenter biographies.