Scientific Program

Convention Theme

Themed “Psychology in Action” and organized around the CPA’s 32 Section subject matter areas, the CPA’s 2020 Annual National Convention will provide many opportunities for personal and professional growth, and highlight the many ways in which the science, practice, and education of psychology can benefit society, improve lives, and advance the discipline.

Thematic areas to be covered in the scientific program include:

Theme Sub-Areas Description
Understanding and improving the workplace Understanding what contributes to a successful workplace; what impact the workplace has on our lives and well-being
Understanding the mind and the brain Understanding what contributes to how the mind and brain works – or doesn’t work
Improving and promoting health Helping people make healthy lifestyle choices, facilitating peak human performance, and improving the treatment of complex human problems.
Creating a healthy(ier) planet Working to change human behavior to restore our environment.
Serving communities Strengthening communities by seeking to understand and address the specific needs of a given community
Understanding society and the world around us Helping people understand the world and improve our interactions within society and the people in our lives.
Examining what, where, when, why and how we learn and perform Examining how people learn and helping facilitate peak performance in the classroom, on the playing field, and in other situations that require physical and mental execution.
Human Rights and Social Justice Exploring the ways in which psychology – from the lenses of practice, science and education – can, does or should promote equity, diversity and inclusivity
Exploring life stages Exploring development across the lifespan from infancy, childhood, adolescence, adults, older adults and through to retirement
Professional and training issues Examining issues related to our discipline as a profession including accreditation, ethics, funding, training
Exploring intellectual roots Examining our discipline and various psychological constructs from a theoretical, historical and/or philosophical lens
Informing public policy Highlighting the ways in which psychology can and does inform public policy
Improving psychological research Highlights the ways in which psychological research – methods, analyses, design – can be improved and better used to inform the science, practice and education of psychology

Pre-Convention Professional Development (PD) Workshops

On the Wednesday immediately before the convention (May 27th, 2020), you can take part in various half- or full-day pre-convention workshops. Check back here in January for more information on these workshops and each workshop’s corresponding registration rate. Registration for workshops will open in January 2020.

Accepted Pre-Convention Professional Development Workshops

Check back here in January 2020 for a list of all pre-convention professional development workshops that have been accepted for inclusion in the scientific program.

Continuing Education Credit Certificates

Certificates of completion for pre-convention workshops and eligible in-convention workshops will be issued to participants post-convention.

Section-Featured Speakers/Symposia

Check back in January for a list of Section Featured Speakers, Chair Addresses, or Symposium Organizers.


During the convention, the Scientific Program will feature a number of workshops that are free to attend as part of one’s convention registration. Some workshops offered during the convention will qualify for CE credits; check the program and back here in early February for a listing of all workshops.

Presentation Formats

The CPA’s Convention Committee is pleased to offer a wide range of presentation formats for consideration in the scientific program. Click here to view the list.