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The unbearable automaticity of being

In 2006, Dr. Christopher R. Wolfe documented the history of the Society for Computers in Psychology in Behavior Research Methods: SCiP history may be divided into three eras: the Paleozoic (1971–1982), the Mesozoic (1982–1994), and the Cenozoic (1994–present). Following a list of Secretary–Treasurers, a list of all SCiP Presidents is provided in Table 1. Next I present personal highlights, including the first symposium on psychology and the World-Wide Web; David Rumelhart’s mathematical explanation of connectionism; and Stevan Harnad’s discussion of “freeing” the journal literature. I observe that a small conference is becoming more intimate and that much of our mission involves figuring out how to conduct high-quality scientific research with consumer-grade electronics. I argue that we are an increasingly international organization, that graduate students are welcome, and that we should become more inclusive in the areas of gender and ethnicity and should make membership more meaningful. I conclude by looking ahead and attempting to predict the future.

Computers and technology in psychology can be a cornucopia or a Pandora’s box. During the 20 years of its existence, the Society for Computers in Psychology has been an important focus for the appropriate and beneficial application of computing technology in psychology. Although the increase of computer use is unmistakable, cyclic trends in computer applications also can be identified and, together with current technological developments, lead to predictions, concerns, and challenges for the future. (Castellan, 1991)

As we enter the next decade, I believe it is important that the Society for Computers in Psychology (S.C.I.P.) develop a little sense of history. So I would like to cover some years of the organization’s development and, in the process, cite several highlights that are worthy of note…