Last week I returned from attending the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Psychonomics) which this year was held in Toronto, Canada. This conference brought back lots of memories for me as the Psychonomics meeting in 2005, also held in Toronto, was the first international conference I attended. In 2005 I’d been working as a full-time research assistant in a psychology department for nearly a year but I still didn’t really know if I was going to pursue a PhD and continue in academia or not. A lot has changed since then, both personally and professionally, and it was both weird and interesting to reflect on those things while in Toronto again.
Psychonomics is a great conference. Firstly, it’s free to attend! – No huge registration fees (and the membership fees are nominal too). Obviously if you’re not based in North America it is expensive to fly there, and downtown North American hotels are always pretty pricey, but it really is worth the price and the long flight*. Psychonomics is also the largest experimental psychology conference in the world. I don’t know how good it is for other areas of cognitive psychology (e.g., attention, perception) but for the research areas I am interested in (memory, metacognition) it is the best place to present your work, and to see the best new work coming out of the big North American cognitive labs. I still find that it can be pretty scary presenting your poster to a ‘big name’ whose papers you’ve read over and over, and sometimes they can verbally s&*% all over your data, but most of the time I have found their feedback and suggestions to be really helpful. Continue reading