Sixth EUSPR Conference and Members’ Meeting, 22-24 October 2015, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The 2015 conference has ended. The next EUSPR conference will be held in Berlin, Germany from October 31st to November 2nd 2016. Please see the 2016 conference page for details.

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The 2015 EUSPR Conference priority was Prevention Without Talking although we welcomed submissions on all prevention science related topics, and encouraged presentations that focused on improving the use of evidence in policy and practice. Dedicated parallel sessions were held for PhD students and Early Career delegates to present their work.

EUSPR 2015 LogoChanging Behaviour without Talking: automatic processes and the regulation of behaviour.

Prevention has until recently been dominated by approaches that assume that humans always act rationally, make informed and free decisions, and are consciously aware of the motives of their own behaviour. However, it is clear that such approaches only partly explain health and social behaviours. Crucially, non-conscious and automatic processes are important in determining human behaviour.

Industries make use of such processes to modify attentional focus through advertising, packaging, or the withholding of healthy choices. In accordance with the socioecological model of health, environmental cues such as the design of cities, the availability, affordability and acceptance of certain commodities, the ease of making relatively heathier choices and what we perceive as prevailing social norms in a given environment may determine our behaviour far more than we are generally aware of, and are ready to admit. Such determinants may go some way to explain a good deal of unhealthy and anti-social/criminal behaviour.

Some prevention responses already make use of unconscious processes, for example when using cognition bias modification training, social pressure in group-contingent rewards, or by changing opportunities and incentives within environments. These types of prevention strategies often face resistance from some sections of industry and from some professional groups, as they are sometimes rejected as paternalist, manipulative and unethical since they may undermine prevailing beliefs in the rational mind. This year’s EUSPR conference invites researchers, policy makers and prevention professionals to discuss the ethical, neurobiological, developmental and implementation aspects of the theme and to explore findings of research that have examined the effectiveness of such approaches.

See the following links for details of the social events, and early career activities:

Social events Early career activities

Workshops: As in previous years we convened pre-conference workshops on 21st October in collaboration with colleagues from the Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN).

SPAN offered bursaries of up to € 800 to early career delegates to assist in covering workshop and associated fees, travel and accommodation costs for the entire duration of the EUSPR conference.

Venue: The conference took place in the city centre of Ljubljana at the Hotel Lev. Vošnjakova ulica 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Note to attendants: Perhaps you attended our Ljubljana conference but are not yet a member of the EUSPR. If so, we would encourage you to register as a member. Registration will ensure that, amongst other benefits, you receive our latest announcements and access to the conference presentations from all EUSPR conferences (please see each conference page for details of the presentations that are available for Members to download)

Non members please contact us to be added to the conference distribution list to be sent updates on future EUSPR conferences. Attendees at previous conferences and EUSPR members have been added to the conference distribution list.


Co-organisers, collaborators, and sponsors

We are very pleased that the conference was co-organised with UTRIP (Institute for Research and Development), a Slovenian research institute working on youth risky behaviours and the prevention of alcohol and drug addiction, together with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia. Supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia, Office for Youth, and the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia.

Pre-conference workshops were held in collaboration with the Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN), which aims to support the development of prevention science education across the EU. The conference proceeded in collaboration with the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, UK; the State Agency for the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems, PL (PARPA); and SPAN.

SPAN is funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), managed by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission


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SPAN logoLifelong Learning logo