Three Cities Across Canada June 19-July 6, 2018


        In the summer of 2018 I attended international psychology conferences in three cities across Canada: Edmonton, Montreal, and Guelph near Toronto.  I had been to Canada many times before, so this trip didn't add to the count of 51 countries that I have explored on six continents.  When my wife and I lived in Seattle, we visited Vancouver and Victoria.  When we moved to Boston, we took the train through the Canadian Rockies from Vancouver to Winnipeg.  And when we lived in Boston, we visited Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Quebec.  We also took a 10-day camping trip to Nova Scotia and it rained every day.  We didn't go camping again for another decade! 

        I will describe highlights of my travel experiences in the three cities and what I learned at the three conferences in 2018.  Photo numbers refer to 62 pictures that I have posted at To enlarge the photos, click on a photo, then use the arrows to scroll through the photos.


Sightseeing in Edmonton

        I flew from Los Angeles across the Canadian Rockies (photo 1) to Edmonton the day before the conference began. I didn't want to miss the opening ceremony and reception late the next afternoon.  I like to attend the opening reception of conferences to see who else is at the conference, since most are together at that one time before splitting into separate sessions.  Meeting new friends and seeing existing friends again from around the world is one of the highlights of my travels.

        That gave me a day for sightseeing in Edmonton, where I had never been before.  I wanted to go to the history museum, but it was closed since it was being moved to a new building.  So I took a bus to the Telus World of Science (photo 2), where there was an extensive exhibit about dinosaurs (photo 3).  It explained various features of different kinds of dinosaurs, such as walking on two legs versus four, neck length, horns, spikes, and types of teeth for eating plants or meat.  Most interesting were the dinosaurs that had feathers (photo 4), since dinosaurs were the ancestors of modern birds.  Also interesting was a carnival exhibit about the human body for kids (photo 5).  And there was an exhibit about Terry Fox, who lost his leg to cancer then walked halfway across Canada with an artificial leg to raise cancer awareness in 1981 (photo 6).  It had a flyer for a fundraising walk in his name this year.

        I then took a bus to the West Edmonton Mall, described as the largest indoor mall in the western hemisphere (photo 7).  It has a waterpark, ice rink, marine exhibit, pirate ship (photo 8), and amusement park (photo 9) inside the mall, since it is cold there in the winter!


ICLASP opening in Edmonton

        I often attend two conferences that are located near each other, since airfare is the biggest expense.  But this year I learned about another conference in Canada before the other two that I had planned to attend.  It was the International Congress of Language and Social Psychology (photo 10).  It relates perfectly to the Paired Course I have been teaching.  My Social Psychology course has been paired with Linguistics, which means that the other professor and I attend each other's classes to point out connections between them.  The theme of our pair is the social uses of languages, and we assign papers relating to both classes. 

        The conference was held at the University of Alberta where I stayed in a residence hall that had a room with a private bathroom.  It didn't have air conditioning, but the temperature cooled in the evening, after being warmer during the day than I had expected that far north. 

        The opening keynote address was about bilingualism across the lifespan.  Neuroplasticity refers to the fact that our brains restructure and make new connections based on our experiences. Bilingualism contributes to neuroplasticity.  In conversation, both languages are activated, and one needs to select which language to use, which improves attention systems.  Research on the benefits of bilingualism on cognitive development was reviewed, including the finding that bilingualism helps delay the onset of dementia.

        At the opening reception, two Inuit women performed throat singing.  I met colleagues from the US, Canada, Ghana, Brazil, and Japan then, and a number of others from around the world throughout the conference. There were only 111 participants plus some student volunteers, so there were repeated opportunities to interact.


ICLASP conference on June 21

        The first presentation I attended was about intergroup communication, which noted the need for communication to counter xenophobia (fear of foreigners), and the need for communication skills training in healthcare settings.  The next session was a symposium about the way words are used to divide and unite groups. Liberals and conservatives differ in interpretation of terms such as racism (how extensive it is) and feminism (how radical it is).  Uncertainty leads to support for autocratic leaders to be strong.  Language of leaders can affirm identities (who we are), and negate identities (who we are not).  Leaders can modify group identity by changing categories to define group members.  It is easier to get agreement on abstract principles than on concrete actions.

        During lunch there was a poster session, including my poster on "Heritage language loss across generations," using data from my Multiple Identities Questionnaire.  While the first generation struggles to learn English, the second learns English in school, and the third often does not speak the heritage language well if at all.  Since a first generation person may marry a second-generation person, this complicates counting generations. So I used the number of parents and the number of grandparents born in the US to measure generations, and compared it with the percentage who spoke only English, documenting dramatic heritage language loss.

        The next session I attended was on visual and verbal message enhancers.  One paper reported that a tear on the photo of a face changed the perception of faces expressing different emotions.  Another paper reported that swearwords, which indicate intensity of feelings, can be used in advertising to increase positive attitudes about a product.  A third paper talked about slam poetry events, in which the artist and audience may engage in call and response.

        Another session discussed language and the use of gestures.  Some gestures refer to the conversation partner, replacing the word you, while others refer to the topic of the conversation.  Romance-language speakers have been found to have higher rates of gestures than Asian-language speakers.  Gestures are also used for discourse navigation, marking changes of topic or asides when speaking.

        The last speaker of the day reported that bilingualism has increased economic benefits, and bilinguals may be more open-minded, empathic, and sociable. But bilinguals may feel that they can swear in their second language with impunity because of weaker emotional associations.


 ICLASP conference on June 22

        The first presentation I attended talked about maintaining face, the need to be appreciated and approved of by selected others, versus the need for freedom of action.  In regard to cultural differences, the speaker argued that individualists are more concerned with self-face, while collectivitist are more concerned with other-face or mutual face.

        The next session was about communication competence.   The first paper explored politeness in job rejection letters.  The least threatening letters expressed thanks for applying, emphasized strengths of the candidate, and expressed being sorry to inform you.  The second paper gave an example of college students conducting a community survey in rural India that failed due to lack of clear communication about the project.  The third paper spoke about double standards for competence when performed by persons of different gender or ethnicity.  Since the last paper was missing I attended the last paper in another session.  Interviews revealed that cigarette smokers considered themselves an in-group, and excluded E-E-cigarette smokers as out-group members, with negative terms for E-cigarettes and their users.


Excursion to Ukrainian Village and Elk Island

        That afternoon ICLASP arranged for a bus to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village that depicts life among immigrants to Canada in the 19th century.  It is similar to but smaller than other historical villages I have visited, including Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and six historical villages in Japan.  It depicts a farming community with a silo for grain and a railway station for shipping the grain (photo 11), a general store (photo 12), one of three churches (photo 13), and an earth-covered log hut (photos 14 and 15) with a millstone for grinding grain (photo 16).  We had a Ukrainian lunch there in a large barn before going on a tour.

        After the tour we rode to Elk Island National Park, which was originally for elk, but has been the cornerstone of bison preservation.   It is an island of conservation rather than an island surrounded by water.  American Bison, also called buffalo, used to be plentiful on the North American plains, but were decimated after the arrival of Europeans.  A ranger explained their success in sending bison to other locations where they once thrived, and showed us the chutes for handling them (photos 17 and18).  We also rode out where the bison were to see them in the distance (photo 19). 

        I later emailed the ranger to ask if the bison I had seen on Catalina Island came from Elk Island, and learned that those bison apparently were brought from Texas in 1924 for a movie, although they never appeared in the movie.  They were kept on Catalina Island, 26 miles by boat from LA harbor, as a tourist attraction.


ICLASP conference on June 23

        Following the General Meeting, which announced the next ICLASP conference planned for Hong Kong in 2020, there was a talk about the role of the media in a time of crisis.  The media frame topics, which define the problem, its causes and treatments.  That can affect thoughts and emotions, and perceived injustice can lead to political action, protests, or extremism.  

        Next I attended presentation on intergenerational communication at the pharmacy. It talked about age stereotypes and underaccommodation, which is the failure to modify verbal and non-verbal communication to meets the needs of the other person.  I then went to a session on animal communication.  Animals communicate, whether or not they are intending to inform.  Squirrels make different kinds of alarm calls for aerial predators and terrestrial predators.  Mating calls of male crickets change with age, and female crickets use them to prefer male crickets that have survived longer.  Bird songs have very complex "syntax," ways of combining elements of songs.

        After looking at posters during lunch, I attended a session on accents.  One paper talked about code-switching between languages, which is important in maintaining ethnic identity.  Another talked about language confidence and perceived discrimination when speaking a second language.  A third studied voices that sound "gay," noting that they contribute to stereotyping.  A fourth discussed narratives, the stories that we tell about ourselves that give meaning to our lives, and scripts that identify sequences of behaviors in particular social contexts.

        The final presentation, by the founder of the International Association of Language and Social Psychology, which sponsors ICLASP, reviewed some of the history of research in the area, and some topics needing further research.  We then rode buses to the Muttart Conservatory (photo 20) for the closing banquet.


Sightseeing in Montreal

        I flew across Canada from Edmonton in Alberta, to Montreal in Quebec (photo 21) on July 24. But the second conference didn't have its opening until the evening of the next day.  So I had decided to spend the night at a Hostelling International Hostel, which I have often done when traveling. It is cheaper than a hotel and the common areas provide an informal way to meet other travelers. I reserve a private room in advance so I am not staying in a dormitory.  As expected, I was able to meet others during dinner and breakfast at this hostel. 

        In the morning I checked out of the Hostel and checked into a hotel near the Montreal convention center.  I spent the rest of the day exploring Old Montreal. I walked past historic sites (photos 22-24) to Chateau Ramezay Museum (photo 25), which was built in 1705 as the governor's house.  It has artifacts telling about the history of the house and a little about the history of Montreal.  The house was used in 1775 by the Continental Army of the 13 colonies that became the US.  Benjamin Franklin (photo 26) stayed there in 1776 trying to convince Canadians to join the American Revolution.  But the Canadians did not want to be assimilated by the US.

        The land had been occupied by indigenous First Nations, then fur trappers. In 1837-8 there was a rebellion of French militia in Quebec against the English cavalry, that was defeated. After that the Catholic clergy preached that collaboration with the English authorities would assure the survival of French Canada. During the 19th century Montreal became a thriving metropolis, since it was located at the center of the shipping lanes of the St. Lawrence River.  Among the artifacts in the museum was a 1903 automobile (photo 27) and an early bicycle (photo 28). 

        I walked around Place Jacques-Cartier and heard Andean musicians playing (photo 29).  I had a poutine bowl for lunch (photo 30), a popular dish in Montreal consisting of meat and cheese on Pommes Frites (French fries).  Down by the waterfront there was an amusement park with a ship (photo 31) and towers (photo 32) for climbing.  I also saw the exterior (photo 33) and interior (photo 34) of Notre Dame Cathedral, which had a beautiful organ (photo 35) and stained glass windows (photo 36).

         I then went to the Archeology Museum (photo 37), which had old ruins and archeological exhibits in the basement, including an old crowded cemetery (photo 38) and an old sewer tunnel (photo 39).  Upstairs there was an exhibit on queens of ancient Egypt, who exerted power alongside the pharaoh (photos 40). Most famous was Nefertiti (photo 41).  There also were a few mummies.  Ironically, the Egyptians mummified internal organs and the body, but discarded the brain because they were unaware of any purpose for it.


ICAP opening in Montreal

        In the evening I went to the opening reception of the International Congress of Applied Psychology (photo 42), which covers many fields of psychology. I saw several people that I had met at previous conferences, and I met others then and throughout the conference. But we saw each other less frequently since there were 3200 participants from 80 countries, scattered in many sessions at the same time.

        The next morning on June 26, the opening welcome speeches acknowledged that the conference center was located on unceded (not given up willingly) indigenous lands (photo 43).  Then I attended a presentation on interpersonal relationships and students' academic and personal wellbeing.  It stated that relationships are important because they provide:  a buffer against stress and risk, instrumental help for tasks, emotional support in daily life, companionship in shared activities, and a basis for social and emotional development. 

        A brief talk on transgender and gender non-conformity noted that it is no longer viewed as a disorder, but as an identity.  Another talk emphasized that teacher expectations impact teacher behaviors which impact student motivation which impact academic achievement.  This is especially relevant for minority students for whom teachers might make prejudicial assumptions that they might not even be aware of.  Still another talk had high school students and elderly residents of a nursing home share life stories, to reduce stereotyping of both groups.

        A symposium on LGBT and mental health included a talk about high rates of depression and suicide among LGBT persons in Korea, where only 39% of the population think that homosexuality should be accepted, due to conservative Christian beliefs.  A second talk reported that LGBT youth have more negative

views of the past and the future, and emphasized the importance of parental support.  A third talk found that religious music triggered more negative sexual attitudes. 

        A symposium on economic psychology included a paper on using simulations and games to teach entrepreneurship.  A second paper noted that intuition involves having prior knowledge and recognizing new information, and that experience will make your intuition more accurate.  A third noted that entrepreneurs are not satisfied with the status quo, want to be their own boss, and try what no one has done before.  A fourth on consumer ethics noted that shoplifting and employee theft results in an annual loss of $180 billion (1.8%) globally.  Research on people who love money finds that they are less happy and more likely to cheat.

        After that I looked at several posters on a variety of topics.


ICAP conference on June 27

        In a symposium on mental health among university students, the first paper noted the importance of participating in extra-curricular activity.  In the transition to adulthood, one needs to be able to engage in goals and disengage in goals, and this goal regulation is promoted by extra-curricular participation.  The second reported that that finding meaning in life is correlated with positive coping styles. The third explored motives for drinking among college students, in particular drinking to cope among those depressed.  A fourth described a mental health course offered for credit, which increased resilience and decreased depression.

        In a symposium on children, the first paper reported that authoritarian parenting decreased children's emotion regulation.  The second paper used conversation training with 3-5 year olds to develop Theory of Mind, the awareness that others have thoughts and feelings.  The third explored empathy among 9-12 year olds.

        After lunch I attended a symposium on sexual well-being in couples. The first identified types of emotional barriers to sexual communication, including threat to the relationship, threat to the partner, and threat to the self.  The second argued that relationship therapists should be trained to assess and treat sexual well-being.  The third discussed therapy for victims of sexual violence, including acknowledging and accepting the past, setting limits, and opportunities for growing intimacy.  The fourth noted that 20% of women aged 18-29 reported pain during intercourse, and recommended expansion of sexual repertoire, along with partner support.

        A session on bullying noted that it involves intentionality, repetition, and a power differential.  Some bullies are popular, while others are marginalized.  While bullying in schools is common, teachers and peers rarely intervene.  Bullies are impulsive, narcissistic, and indifferent to pain they cause others. Bullying increases to grade 10 then decreases in grades 11 and 12. Anti-bullying programs can reduce bullying.  For coping with bullying, one supportive adult makes a difference.


More sightseeing in Montreal

        I had dinner in a mall with a fountain (photo 44) north of the conference center, then walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art (photo 45). Inside was a light installation that responds to your heartbeat (photo 46), and many other works involving light or sound. There also was an installation in which one's breathing was amplified by bellows to inflate a chandelier of paper bags (photos 47 & 48).  On the way back to my hotel I found an ice cream shop with many flavors (photo 49).


ICAP conference on June 28

        A lecture on competition noted that self-development attitudes toward competition (competing to improve yourself) are healthy.  Hypercompetitive attitudes reflect insecurity and envy.  Competition avoidance is related to physiological symptoms of anxiety.  And indifference to competition reflects lower self-confidence.

        A lecture on personality reported the discovery of a sixth personality dimension in addition to the Big 5 previously discovered, using linguistic analyses of personality terms.   The original five include openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability.  The sixth factor includes honesty & humility.  It is strongly negatively correlated with the "dark triad" personality traits of psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism, along with cheating behaviors.

        I then attended a workshop on a program to develop peer support programs in schools.  It mentioned the three basic needs identified in Self-Determination Theory: Competence, Autonomy, and Relatedness (belonging). 

        After lunch there was a symposium on close relationships and health.  The first paper noted that 40-50% of marriages end in divorce, and 58% of women and 70% of men remarry.  The risk of divorce is 10% higher in second marriages, and stepchildren increase the risk of divorce, so nearly half of the children see their custodial parent divorce again.  The second paper reported correlations in cortisol levels between spouses, indicating similar levels of stress.  The third paper noted that physical activity reduces cancer recurrence, and used communication skills training in couples to provide partner support for it. The fourth paper used smartphone-based support groups to promote healthy eating. The fifth studied companionship, defined as pleasurable social interaction, to alleviate distress and to have fun.

        A brief report described the effectiveness of a peer-support training program.  Another report described factors leading to college student success, including cognitive predictors (IQ, SAT test, high school grades), emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, and relationship management), work ethic, and lack of career uncertainty. A final session that day concerned training to prevent sexual assault.


Music in Montreal

        That evening was the conference dinner at a museum, with a live band (photo 50) that was pleasant to listen to but made it harder to talk to friends.

        Afterward I walked back by the Museum of Contemporary Art where the previous night I had seen stages set up for the Montreal Jazz Festival that was begining this night.  I listened to groups perform at three different outdoor stages (photos 51-53).  There were other groups performing in indoor venues around the city.


ICAP conference on June 29

        The first session concerned motivation in school.  It distinguished between intrinsic motivation (doing it for its own sake) versus extrinsic motivation (doing it for external reward), and made further distinctions among extrinsic types, in a complex model of school motivation that raised even more questions. 

        I then attended a presentation on Autism by a member of the Canadian Parliament.  He spoke about the increased incidence of autism, which is now 1 in 59, and the need to expect more.  The goal is not just inclusion, but discovering what they can contribute.  He showed videos of his non-verbal autistic son at various ages, who is now 22. 

        Following his presentation there was a panel discussion, in which he was joined by two researchers, a clinician, and a spokesperson for Autism Speaks Canada.  They are part of a Partnership for a national agenda on autism in Canada. They spoke about what we have learned (about mental health problems, difficulties in transitions, need for early intervention), challenges (the need to work together), and the future (addressing inequities, cross-training in autism and mental health).  They also noted that politics can get in the way, so you need to build a critical mass, instead of waiting for the government to act, since it can change.  Focus on investing in people.

        After lunch I attended a counseling symposium about work among low-qualified emerging adults (age 18-24).  The first paper talked about the importance of being friends with co-workers. The second spoke about unregulated work, where there are no legal protections, low payments, and overwork.  The third spoke about work on call, where work schedules are not known in advance.  The fourth talked about temporary work. It was disheartening to hear about the prospects of those with little education.

        A brief talk followed about pressure on boys to conform to masculine norms concerning body image.  A second paper talked about the multiple roles of women from both positive (increased fulfillment) and negative (role overload) perspectives. A third paper talked about how a high quality friendship can serve as a buffer to bullying, so teaching social skills is important.  A fourth paper noted that inappropriate emotional responses from parents, less cohesion, and strict control can contribute to overeating.  A fifth paper examined consequences of breakups among adolescents, and found that they can lead to personal growth, but can also lead to depression, resentment, loneliness, obsession, and harassment of the former partner.

        The final session of the day was on mental toughness, defined as the ability to cope with pressure, rebound from failures, persist, and have the right attitude toward problems, pressure, mistakes, and competition.


More music in Montreal

        A couple, whom I had known from previous conferences, and I had dinner, then I went to see some outdoor stages of the Montreal Jazz Festival, along with thousands of other people (photos 54 & 55).


ICAP conference on June 29

         The first presentation was an historical overview of research on loneliness, which involves a discrepancy between one's actual and desired social relations.  Loneliness is associated with anxiety, low self-esteem, hostility, sexual deviance, sleep disturbances, and low academic performance, as well as a 26% increased risk of mortality.  After his talk, he and I discussed the book manuscript that I am revising for Cambridge University Press.  [It published in 2019 with the title, Intimate Relationships Across Cultures:  A Comparative Study.]

        A brief paper reported on comparisons of science, reading, and math scores among 15 year olds across 70 countries.  The US scores were 25th, below Asian countries and in the middle of European countries.  Another brief paper looked at pictures preferred by prisoners, and found that they preferred landscapes. 

        Next was my presentation titled, "Emotional attachment to possessions: To what extent does it reflect magical thinking?"  Using a questionnaire, I learned that students have moderate beliefs that certain possessions incorporate the essence of someone they care about, but they have low beliefs in magic.  I that concluded that certain possessions are symbolic representations of people, places, and events, and we attach emotions to those symbols. 

        After dessert and conversation with friends, I attended a symposium on career development.  The first paper talked about peer mentoring in which upper-division students are matched with new students, and professional mentoring in which business leaders are matched with business majors.  The second talked about the need for career education in Japan, which is changing from working for the same employer for life.  The third tested a career development program that emphasized finding meaning in work.  The fourth paper noted that there are about 772 million internet users in China, and they spend an average of 27 hours a week on the internet.  The internet changes the way careers are pursued, and what people are pursuing.  The fifth paper argued that students need more information to reduce career indecision.

        In the closing ceremony I learned that the next ICAP in 2020 is planned for Cancun, Mexico, and the 2022 ICAP will be in Beijing.


Bus hassle leaving Montreal for Guelph

        The next morning I boarded the bus to the airport across the street from my hotel, with two Canadian five-dollar bills to pay for the fare.  But the bus driver wouldn't accept the bills, only coins.  Everywhere else in Montreal and across Canada you can pay for virtually anything using plastic, but only coins and not even exact fare bills are accepted on buses in Montreal.  The driver dropped me and my luggage off at the next stop, where there happened to be a coffee shop open on a holiday (Canada Day).  When I asked for change for the bus, the clerk asked if I was an American.  Apparently my frustration is common among visitors from the US.

        I caught the next bus to the airport, and still arrived early since I had allowed extra time.  On the flight to Toronto I sat next to two airline pilots, and learned that it takes about ten years to work your way up from flight school through small airlines to major airlines.  Upon arrival in Toronto, I shuttle that I had reserved took me to Guelph, about an hour away.  There I checked into a hotel that was about half a mile from the building where the conference was held at the University of Guelph.  I found a restaurant that was open and had dinner before walking to the campus.


Fireworks after IACCP opening in Guelph

        When I entered the campus, I walked past a statue of a mythological griffin (photo 56), which is the school mascot.  Buildings on campus reflected both old (photo 57) and new (photo 58) architectural styles.

        At the opening reception for the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (photo 59), I met new friends, and saw many existing friends since I had attended ten previous IACCP conferences all over the world.  Several of us decided to take a bus from campus to downtown, then a special bus to a large field where there were fireworks celebrating Canada Day, which is Canada's birthday similar to the 4th of July in the US. 

        While we were walking through the crowd looking for space to sit, I paused to take a picture, and lost my friends among the thousands in the park.  I found a vacant seat at a picnic table near the concession stands (back right of photo 60), which was better for my back than sitting on the ground.  After 20 minutes of fireworks (photo 61), I followed the crowd out of the park, but they turned to go to a parking lot.  So I had to walk halfway around the park to get to the special bus stop.  When I changed buses downtown, I ran into someone I had originally gone with, who told me that everyone else made it back okay.


IACCP conference on July 2

        The next morning I attended a talk that compared inter-ethnic relations in countries that previously were part of the USSR, and heard that security promotes ethnic tolerance, while intercultural contact promotes fitting into the mainstream.

        A brief talk presented evidence that merely owning something, without even using it, can increase self-efficacy, one's confidence that one can do things.  Applying this notion to books, I imagine that owning a book can make you feel more knowledgeable about the topic even if you haven't read the book.  The second talk was about the brain drain in Spain, where high unemployment leads youth to migrate elsewhere to find work, where they encounter barriers (language, specific job qualifications, lack of networks).  The third talk reviewed 76 studies on the importance of perceived social support for the adjustment of international students, such as feeling that you can count on your friends. A fourth paper defined Master Narratives as culturally shared stories that provide frameworks for specific behaviors or trajectories, such as how to get a job; these influence personal actions and narratives.  The fifth paper said multiculturalism can refer to three different aspects - the cultural diversity of a population, public policies that support cultural diversity, and psychological attitudes and actions.

        Next was a lecture on organizational psychology in Latin America, which reported that 50% of the working-age population has worked in the informal economy.  Following that was a symposium on honor cultures, which reported that when insulted, people in those cultures are more likely to experience shame and anger, and to respond with more retaliation, aggression, and violence, due to fear of stigma and exclusion.  A cross-cultural study distinguished among threats to honor (reputation), dignity (betrayal), and face (embarrassment).  A third paper discussed the challenge of understanding a different cultural perspective than one's own.

        Next was a session with brief papers.  One studied ritual fire-walking communities, finding they had less wealth and education. Another reported that Black persons in Canada were 60% less likely than White persons to seek treatment for depression, partly due to fears of stigmatization.  A third defined grit as perseverance and passion for long-term goals, and reported it is correlated with student academic achievement.   A fourth reported that higher materialism was associated with lower pro-environmental attitudes.  Other papers discussed other findings.

        I gave a presentation titled, "Self-ratings in the Boston Couples Study predict life satisfaction 38 years later."   I have been conducting a cross-cultural study of intimate relationships, in collaboration with colleagues around the world, which is online in multiple languages at  That provided an opportunity to conduct a 38-year follow-up of former participants in the Boston Couples Study, by sending them a letter inviting them to participate in the online study, with a unique code number to enter online that allowed me to link up their responses in both studies.  Among those with still valid addresses who responded, I found that self-ratings of their intelligence, physical attractiveness, and desirability as a dating partner at age 20 predicted their life satisfaction at age 58.

        The final presentation that day was an overview of the contribution of cross-cultural psychology to mainstream psychology.  It reviewed achievements in social psychology, cognition, personality, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, and research methods. It concluded that there is still a long way to go before culture will be fully integrated into psychology.


IACCP conference on July 3

        The first talk, about multiculturalism and psychology in Latin America, noted that every Latin American country is multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual.  It reviewed examples of psychological research in various countries.

         Next was a symposium on cultural variations in relationships.  The first paper made a distinction between a growth-oriented approach to social relationships, characterized by personal and emotional fulfillment, and a maintenance-oriented approach, characterized by harmony, obligation, and kin connections.  The second paper talked about filial piety, which emphasizes obligation and obedience to parents.  Interdependence refers to being embedded in a kin network, while independence refers to voluntary relationships and is at odds with authoritarian filial piety. The third paper contrasted emotional support in growth-oriented relationships and material support in maintenance-oriented relationships, then compared filial piety in Asia contexts with familism in Latin American contexts. Familism refers to priority of family over individual needs, and respect of family's wishes.  The fourth paper argued that the maintenance-oriented approach is not sub-optimal, but reflects viable strategies for assurance of support.

        After lunch was another symposium on cultural variations.  The first paper distinguished between rice culture and wheat culture in China, noting that rice culture farmers are more collectivistic, since cooperation is requiring for growing rice.   The second paper quoted Toshio Yamagishi's theory of trust that highly mobile societies increase the need to develop generalized trust.  Toshio, who died recently, was my student when I was teaching at the University of Washington before coming to Whittier College.  We published three articles on person perception together.  The third paper in this symposium compared a relational mobility scale (it is easy for them to meet new people) and a personal mobility scale (it is easy for me to meet new people).

        The final session that day was on intergroup relationships. The first paper

reported that more competent immigrants are viewed more favorably.  The second reported less intergroup trust if the other group is perceived as a threat.  The third paper explored the notion of preserving national face (national image in a public forum) as well as personal face.  The fourth paper described an example of a community staging plays to express feelings as a way to cope with the aftermath of a disaster.

        The conference dinner was that evening in the atrium of a museum, followed by dancing to the music of a DJ.  Dancing is a tradition at IACCP conference dinners!


IACCP conference on July 4

        The first session provided a Caribbean perspective on psychology education and training, arguing that global psychology is still dominated by Euro-American psychology.  In the next session, the first paper talked about teaching introductory cross-cultural psychology.  The second paper contrasted mother-infant co-sleeping and breast-feeding to promote interdependence versus infant sleeping alone and bottle-feeding to promote independence.  The second paper talked about declining birth rates in Japan at the same time as increased enrollment in higher education, and described having students conduct a cross-cultural interview with specific guidelines.

        After lunch, a colleague reviewed his intellectual journey as a cross-cultural psychologist, discussing theorists and research findings along the way.  In another session, it was reported that having a superordinate Lebanese identity predicted inclusion of subgroups in segregated Lebanon.  A second paper reported that a strong social identity predicts academic achievement.  A third paper reported that perceived inclusion promoted organizational identity, which predicted work engagement and life satisfaction.

        The next session included a paper that reported that experiencing awe is correlated with the personality traits of openness to experience and extraversion in Japan. The second discussed a generation gap in use of technology by musicians in Ghana.  The third explored perceived threat as a predictor of prejudice against Syrians in Turkey.  The fourth examined national, European, and trans-national identities, finding them in the listed order of importance in Luxembourg.

        In the General Assembly I learned that the next two IACCP conferences are planned to be in Costa Rica in 2019, and in the Czech Republic in 2020. After the meeting, the editorial boards of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and the Online Readings in Psychology and Culture had dinner at a French restaurant.  I am part of the ORPC editorial board.  The food was good but it took about three hours to serve a three-course meal!


IACCP conference on July 5

        The first presentation studied human development in favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, finding that among 12-17 year olds, 2 in 3 report an absent father, 2 in 5 an absent mother, and 1 in 6 both parents absent.  I had visited favelas in Salvador, Brazil, when I was teaching on Semester at Sea.  The favelas are shanty towns on the hillsides in Rio and in the shadows of high rise apartments in Salvador. 

        The next presentation stressed the importance of cultural sensitivity in reducing mental health disparities.   The session afterward included a talk about belonging to many groups, which can increase self-esteem unless one cannot leave undesirable groups.  Another talk reported that the well-being of ex-prisoners was poorer if they experienced rejection.  And another found that people in countries where there is more inequality dislike the rich.


Visiting my student's family and travel home

        After the brief closing ceremony, one of my students drove to Guelph and took me to meet his family in a city adjacent to Toronto.  He and his dad and I went for a walk through a marsh conservation area (photo 62).  Then I had enjoyable dinner with his family.  He is the president of the International Club that I was advising at Whittier College, and he travels with his dad to take photographs around the world.

        The next day I took a shuttle from my hotel to the Toronto airport, and flew back to Los Angeles.