APS Global Collaboration on COVID-19

Informing solutions for public health crises through psychological science
Fri, 01/21/2022 - 9:00am to 11:30am

Psychology Meets Biology in COVID-19: What We Know and Why It Matters for Public Health

A webinar, organized by Sarah Pressman, professor of psychological science, and graduate student Cameron Wiley, for the Association for Psychological Science as part of the APS's Global Collaboration on COVID-19.

Roxane Cohen Silver, vice provost of academic planning and institutional research and Distinguished Professor of psychological science, medicine, and public health, will be a discussant at this webinar. Pressman will moderate.

About the webinar

Psychologists have long explored the role of psychological and social factors in health inequalities. This has included understanding the role of these factors in our responses to viral infections and vaccinations. Factors such as loneliness, stress, culture, and social standing have been repeatedly shown to predict not only mental health but also COVID-19-relevant outcomes such as inflammation, general immune protection, likelihood of viral infection after virus exposure, symptom severity, and even the effectiveness of vaccines. There has never been a more critical time for this information to be shared and discussed broadly. 

At this event, you will learn from leading scientists about what was known about the importance of psychosocial factors for health and physiology before the COVID-19 pandemic, and what this evidence tells us about the importance of these factors now. We will reveal how pandemic survival and recovery is not just about whether you get the virus; it’s also about the complex interactions between the virus, ourselves, our social surroundings, and so much more. Join our scientists and our expert discussants for a lively debate on how these factors impact public health, what we know and don’t know, and what we can do to maximize the health and well-being of a global population ravaged by this pandemic. 

PART 1: Prepandemic insights: Evidence from before the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological, social, contextual, and behavioral influences on viral and infectious disease outcomes. 

  • Keely Muscatell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  
  • Anna Marsland, University of Pittsburgh  
  • Rodlescia Sneed, Michigan State University  

PART 2: Pandemic insights: Evidence from the COVID-19 and related literature on the psychological, social, and behavioral impact of the pandemic (e.g., lockdowns, social distancing, school closures, bereavement) and the potential implications for COVID-19 outcomes. 

  • Adam Geraghty, University of Southampton 
  • Kavita Vedhara, University of Nottingham 
  • Hannah Schreier, The Pennsylvania State University  
  • Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Brigham Young University 
  • Judy Moskowitz, Northwestern University 

PART 3: The road to recovery: Psychobiological influences on inflammation/long COVID and responses to vaccines. 

  • Julie Bower, University of California, Los Angeles 
  • Neetu Abad, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
  • Aric Prather, University of California, San Francisco

Discussion led by:  

  • Amy Greer, University of Guelph 
  • David Robson
  • Roxane Cohen Silver, University of California, Irvine 

This special event is free and open to the public. 

Pressman, Silver and Wiley