April 26, 2014
8:30 AM to 1:45 PM

Middle Tennessee State University
Business and Aerospace Building
South Lobby
First Floor

MTSU Campus Map and Driving Directions

Lodging Information
Middle Tennessee Psychological Association
Spring 2014 Meeting
April 26, 2014

Middle Tennessee State University will be hosting the Middle Tennessee Psychological Association’s 2014 spring meeting. The meeting provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to present their efforts to colleagues from other colleges and universities.

Download a printable call for papers (Submissions are closed)

The schedule for this year’s meeting will be as follows:
8:30—9:00 AM    Registration
9:00—9:45 AM    Poster Session I/Lab Tours and Study Participation
10:00—11:00 AM    Keynote Speaker
11:15 AM—12:30 PM    Paper Sessions (up to five concurrent sessions, based on demand)
12:45—1:30 PM    Poster Session II/Interactive Psychology Education Advice
1:30—1:45 PM    Business meeting

Online Registration Form (Registration is closed)

Online Submission Form (Submissions are closed)


Joseph O. Baker

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

East Tennessee State University


Paranormal America:
Adventures in Qualitative, Statistical, and Subcultural Analyses

Using a mix of qualitative fieldwork and quantitative analyses of national survey data, we explore patterns of paranormal belief, practice, and experience in the United States.  Several noteworthy themes emerge.  First, we find that Americans engage the paranormal at relatively high rates and in multiple ways—some broad and shallow (generalists), others narrow and deep (specialists).  Second, we outline a particularly interesting non-linear relationship between conventional religious involvement and paranormal belief that resolves a longstanding paradox in the scholarly literature.  Finally, we detail the critical role of language, narrative, and (socially constructed) knowledge in paranormal experiences and subcultures.

Joseph O. Baker is an assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at East Tennessee State University and a senior research associate for the Association of Religion Data Archives.  His research focuses on culture, with specific attention to religion, secularism, perceived knowledge, and deviance.  His work has been featured in journals such as the Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Public Understanding of Science, Social Forces, Social Science Research, Sociological Forum, Sociological Quarterly, Sociological Perspectives, and Review of Religious Research.  He is an editorial board member for Sociology of Religion (Oxford University Press).  He is co-author of Paranormal America and is currently finishing the book American Secularism: Social and Cultural Contours of Nonreligions, which will be available in 2015 from New York University Press.

Copies of Paranormal America will be available for purchase at the event.

Guidelines and Information
  • The advance registration deadline is April 18, 2014. Please register by April 18, as this will help us with an accurate count for refreshments. All attendees (including presenters) are required to register for the meeting.
  • The registration fee is $5.00 for students and community members and $15.00 for faculty/professionals. High school students may attend for free, but still need to register. Registration includes membership in MTPA, a program, access to the conference, and breakfast.
  • The submission deadline is April 18, 2014. All submissions received by the deadline will be accepted for presentation. Presenters will be notified by email that their submission has been received. A final program will be available online by April 25, 2014.
  • The research should have been conducted by an undergraduate or graduate student. If a faculty member is a co-author, the student should be first author. The student researcher will be expected to make the presentation.
  • Papers on completed research, ongoing research, or theoretical reviews are encouraged.
  • Presenters may choose to make an oral presentation or to present a poster describing their research.
Poster Instructions
  • Participants must provide all materials for their posters, including the actual poster itself. Please do not exceed 4' high by 4' wide. Free-standing, tri-fold project display boards work well.
  • MTPA will provide tables to place your posters for viewing. Nothing may be attached to the walls of the building. Be sure to duplicate all handouts and materials before the meeting.
Oral Presentation Instructions
  • Student papers will be presented in fifteen (15) minute blocks. Plan to speak for 10-12 minutes, allowing 3-5 minutes for questions.

Past MTPA Programs