FIRE research fellow to present on trigger warnings at Paris psychology convention

March 1, 2019

Author Cynthia Meyersburg is a psychology research fellow with FIRE’s ongoing Speech, Outreach, Advocacy, and Research (SOAR) project. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University.


I am happy to announce that next week I will be presenting at the 2019 International Convention for Psychological Science, in Paris, France. The event brings together scholars from “psychological science, neuroscience, genetics, sociology, economics, anthropology, linguistics, and related fields” for “presentations of cutting-edge integrative research by world-renowned scientists.”

I will be part of a March 8 symposium on trigger warnings entitled “Trigger Warnings! Helpful, Harmful, or Neither?” The symposium will be chaired by Harvard psychology professor Richard J. McNally, author of a New York Times op-ed suggesting that, rather than requiring trigger warnings, colleges should be providing empirically-validated treatment for students who have PTSD. (Disclosure: Professor McNally was my graduate school advisor.) The symposium will present findings from some of the first empirical studies examining whether trigger warnings are beneficial, detrimental, both, or neither.  

My presentation at ICPS is titled “Are Trigger Warnings Functionally Inert?” Other presenters on the symposium include Harvard doctoral student Ben Bellet, author of “Trigger Warning:  Empirical Evidence Ahead”; Middlebury psychology professor Matthew Kimble, author of “Why the Warning? Student Responses to Triggering Material Based on Trauma History and Symptom Profiles”; and Harvard doctoral student Payton Jones, who authored “Does the Ever-Expanding Definition of Trauma Contribute to PTSD?” (You may recognize Bellet, Jones, and McNally’s names because I blogged about their recent recent trigger warning research study.)

If you’ll be in Paris and are interested in this event, registration is still open.