ECP 2017 in Amsterdam

Live from the European Congress of Psychology 2017

Wednesday, 12 July, 2017

Amsterdam, July 14, 2017 - With the knowledge that most conference participants were enjoying a boat tour last night I was not expecting a really large crowd this morning, but the track I chose was quite full. 

Behavioral measurement, facial expressions in pain research 

At 9am sharp, the session about behavioral measurements of body perception started. All speakers talked about the many faces of pain.

What is pain and how can we measure it accurately. In a clinical setting, self-rating scales are still very common. They are easy to use. However, since people have different interpretations of for example the word "severe" the scale doesn't tell you something about pain in general but only pain for this specific person. So the field is searching for other methods to assess pain.

Enters FACS coding. Dr. Lautenbacher, University of Bamberg (beautiful city), gave an inspiring talk about how to distinguish between disgust and pain in facial expressions. What is great to see is that researchers are challenging measures that exist but aren't telling us what we really want to know. It is only the subjective pain we are measuring. Instead, they propose to look more at what behavioral changes occur and how we can make sense out of them. 

Amsterdam, July 13, 2017 - ECP conference offers many interesting sessions. Today I (and other participants) also enjoyed some culture in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.

Emotions at the Rijksmuseum

 The Dutch, as you might know, talk a lot about the weather, as it is always changing. It is a cultural thing. So if you want an easy conversation-starter in Dutch, just comment on the weather. Today it is actually really nice in Amsterdam, specially if you compare it to yesterday. 

Because of the good weather, I left the conference venue for a couple of hours to go to the Rijksmuseum. Of course I saw the "Nachtwacht" by Rembrandt and I looked for Oopjen and Maerten, but maybe they already left for Paris. There was so much to see!

Talking about behavioral research, I must say that the facial expressions of two Japanese guards impressed me the most. I would think twice about entering throug the temple gate they are guarding. 

I also saw many conference bags marked ECP 2017. I wasn't the only one wanting to enjoy the city for a bit.

Amsterdam, July 12, 2017 - Today the ECP 2017 conference started with a Keynote of Daniel David Ebert. His talk was about "Using technology to increase access to and outcome of behavioral and mental health interventions". After the coffee break, I also joined the "Understanding human behavior" track.

Internet-based or face-to-face?

Some people choose an internet intervention over a face-to-face intervention. Some others would rather go to a scheduled face-to-face appointment.

Ebert explains that the typical user of an Internet-based intervention is a woman, higher educated, single mom, really busy, and thus has no time for a face-to-face intervention. He also shows that users choose an internet based treatment - over face to face - to be able to independently deal with a depression.

Keynote ECP 2017 Conference in Amsterdam

Data also shows that not everybody wants to use internet based treatment. In other words, a user should consider such a treatment as a suitable option  ensure a successful intervention.

He closes his talk with a look towards the future: start investigating and testing the use of technology to improve the effects of face-to-face interventions.

Color and choice behavior

As I am blogging for the Behavioral Research Blog, I also joined the "Understanding human behavior" track.

Dr. Hui-Yi Lo, from National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan presented her research about what kind of influence colors have on choice behavior.

I know researchers at the Restaurant of the Future which is located in Wageningen, The Netherlands, change the light conditions or product presentation to study choice behavior. Today I learned more about the psychological processes behind it.

So different colors have different associations. We see orange juice when we see an orange label. But what about other associations? Are they all that lineair and is there a gender difference? Red and blue have different meanings within human cognition. Dr. Hui-Yi Lo tested these two colors and found that red is more often associated with energy drink and blue with milk. Participants gave different meanings to the colors used.

From a study with different fruit drinks she concluded that females were much more focused on color when wanting to order quickly via the webshop. Interestingly this difference was only found in the online test and not in the lab situation.

The influence of Color

ECP 2017

Today it feels great to be at the European Congress of Psychology (ECP) in Amsterdam. I've just selected the talks I'll follow the rest of the day. Looking forward to hearing more about the use of technology in the field of psychology.

Today is the first full conference day, three days in total. Since Amsterdam also has a lot to offer, it will be a good mix between sessions and sightseeing.

Noldus exhibiting at the ECP 2017 conference in Amsterdam

Yesterday, my colleagues already met many participants in the Noldus booth (#13) and discussed their research needs. Technology that drew the most attention was related to our latest AV solution that empowers recording in multiple rooms at once.