American Psychological Association

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American Psychological Association
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{{distinguish|text=the psychiatry organization, the American Psychiatric Association, or the philosophy organization, the American Philosophical Association}}

| membership = Over 118,000| leader_title = PresidentWEBSITE=APA.ORG, 1 March 2018, | leader_title2 = CEO| leader_name2 = Arthur C. Evans, Jr.weblink}}}}The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States,WEB,weblink About APA,, 2012-12-14, with over 118,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students. The APA has an annual budget of around $115m.WEB,weblink APA Reports,, 2015-02-20, There are 54 divisions of the APA—interest groups covering different subspecialties of psychology or topical areas.WEB, Divisions of the APA,weblink, 2012-12-14,


The APA has task forces that issue policy statements on various matters of social importance, including abortion, human rights, the welfare of detainees, human trafficking, the rights of the mentally ill, IQ testing, sexual orientation change efforts, and gender equality.WEB,weblink Council Policy Manual, 2012-12-14,,


APA is a corporation chartered in the District of Columbia. APA's bylaws describe structural components that serve as a system of checks and balances to ensure democratic process. The organizational entities include:
  • APA President. APA's president is elected by the membership. The president chairs the Council of Representatives and the Board of Directors. During his or her term of office, the president performs such duties as are prescribed in the bylaws.
  • Board of Directors. The board is composed of six members-at-large, the president-elect, president, past-president, treasurer, recording secretary, CEO, and the chair of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS). The Board oversees the association's administrative affairs and presents an annual budget for council approval.
  • APA Council of Representatives. The council has sole authority to set policy and make decisions regarding APA's roughly $60 million annual income. It is composed of elected members from state/provincial/territorial psychological associations, APA divisions and the APA Board of Directors.
  • APA Committee Structure: Boards and Committees. Members of boards and committees conduct much of APA's work on a volunteer basis. They carry out a wide variety of tasks suggested by their names. Some have responsibility for monitoring major programs, such as the directorates, the journals and international affairs.WEB,weblink APA Governance,, 2013-07-20,

Good Governance Project

The Good Governance Project (GGP) was initiated in January 2011 as part of the strategic plan to "[assure] APA's governance practices, processes and structures are optimized and aligned with what is needed to thrive in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex environment."WEB,weblink 2013-07-02, Good Governance Project,, 2013-07-20, The charge included soliciting feedback and input stakeholders, learning about governance best practices, recommending whether change was required, recommending needed changes based on data, and creating implementation plans. The June 2013 GGP update on the recommended changes can be found in the document "Good Governance Project Recommended Changes to Maximize Organizational Effectiveness of APA Governance".WEB,weblink Good Governance Project Recommended Changes to Maximize Organizational Effectiveness of APA Governance, American Psychological Association, 2013-06-28, 2013-07-20, The suggested changes would change APA from a membership-based, representational structure to a corporate structure. These motions will be discussed and voted upon by Council on July 31, 2013 and August 2, 2013.

Organizational structure

APA comprises an executive office, a publishing operation, offices that address administrative, business, information technology, and operational needs, and five substantive directorates:
  • the Education Directorate accredits doctoral psychology programs and addresses issues related to psychology education in secondary through graduate education;WEB,weblink Education Directorate of the American Psychological Association,, 2012-09-07,
  • the Practice Directorate engages on behalf of practicing psychologists and health care consumers;WEB,weblink APA Practice Directorate,, 2012-09-07,
  • the Public Interest Directorate advances psychology as a means of addressing the fundamental problems of human welfare and promoting the equitable and just treatment of all segments of society;WEB,weblink Public Interest Directorate,, 2012-09-07,
  • the Public and Member Communications Directorate is responsible for APA's outreach to its members and affiliates and to the general public;WEB,weblink Public and Member Communications,, 2012-12-14,
  • the Science Directorate provides support and voice for psychological scientists.WEB,weblink Science Directorate,, 2012-09-07,

Membership and title of "psychologist"

APA policy on the use of the title psychologist is contained in the Model Act for State Licensure of Psychologists:WEB,weblink Model Act for State Licensure of Psychologists,, 2012-12-14, psychologists have earned a doctoral degree in psychology and may not use the title "psychologist" and/or deliver psychological services to the public, unless the psychologist is licensed or specifically exempted from licensure under the law. State licensing laws specify state specific requirements for the education and training of psychologists leading to licensure. Psychologists who are exempted from licensure could include researchers, educators, or general applied psychologists who provide services outside the health and mental health field.Full membership with the APA in United States and Canada requires doctoral training whereas associate membership requires at least two years of postgraduate studies in psychology or approved related discipline. The minimal requirement of a doctoral dissertation related to psychology for full membership can be waived in certain circumstances where there is evidence that significant contribution or performance in the field of psychology has been made.WEB,weblink Division Officers Handbook,, 2012-10-14,

Affiliate organizations

American Psychological Association Services, Inc. (APASI) was formed in 2018 and is a 501(c)(6) entity, which engages in advocacy on behalf of psychologists from all areas of psychology.


Each year, the APA recognizes top psychologists with the "Distinguished Contributions" Awards; these awards are the highest honors given by the APA.


The American Psychologist is the Association's official journal. APA also publishes over 70 other journals encompassing most specialty areas in the field; APA's Educational Publishing Foundation is an imprint for publishing on behalf of other organizations.WEB,weblink About APA Publications and Databases,, 2015-02-20, Its journals include:WEB,weblink American Psychological Association Publications Search, 1 May 2011, The APA has published hundreds of books.A search of the Library of Congress catalog on 24 September 2014 for books published by the American Psychological Association returned 1583 results, but some of these results are other media that are misclassified as books. Among these books are: the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (and a concise version titled Concise Rules of APA Style), which is the official guide to APA style;BOOK, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 2010, 1929, 6th, Washington, DC, APA, 9781433805592, 316736612, BOOK, Concise Rules of APA Style, 2010, 6th, Washington, DC, APA, 9781433805608, 317697841, the APA Dictionary of Psychology;BOOK, VandenBos, Gary R., APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2007, 1st, Washington, DC, APA, 9781591473800, 65407150, an eight-volume Encyclopedia of Psychology;BOOK, Kazdin, Alan E., Alan E. Kazdin, Encyclopedia of Psychology, Washington, DC; Oxford; New York, APA; Oxford University Press, 2000, 9781557981875, 42692282, and many scholarly books on specific subjects such as Varieties of Anomalous Experience.BOOK, Cardeña, Etzel, Etzel Cardeña, Lynn, Steven Jay, Krippner, Stanley, Stanley Krippner, Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence, 2014, 2000, 2nd, Washington, DC, APA, 9781433815294, 843454608, The APA has also published children's books under the Magination Press imprint, software for data analysis, videos demonstrating therapeutic techniques, reports, and brochures.WEB,weblink, Publications & Databases, July 27, 2012,

The Psychologically Healthy Workplace program

The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program (PHWP) is a collaborative effort between the American Psychological Association and the APA Practice Organization designed to help employers optimize employee well-being and organizational performance. The PHWP includes APA's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards, a variety of APA Practice Organization resources, including PHWP Web content, e-newsletter, podcast and blog, and support of local programs currently implemented by 52 state, provincial and territorial psychological associations as a mechanism for driving grassroots change in local business communities. The awards are designed to recognize organizations for their efforts to foster employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance. The award program highlights a variety of workplaces, large and small, profit and non-profit, in diverse geographical settings. Applicants are evaluated on their efforts in the following five areas: employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety, and employee recognition. Awards are given at the local and national level.WEB,weblink Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program,, 2015-02-20,

APA style

American Psychological Association (APA) style is a set of rules developed to assist reading comprehension in the social and behavioral sciences. Used to ensure clarity of communication, the layout is designed to "move the idea forward with a minimum of distraction and a maximum of precision."WEB,weblink APA Style,, 2015-02-20, The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association contains the rules for every aspect of writing, especially in the social sciences from determining authorship to constructing a table to avoiding plagiarism and constructing accurate reference citations. "The General Format of APA is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. General guidelines for a paper in APA style includes: typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11") with 1" margins on all sides. The font should be clear and highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font."WEB, APA Formatting and Style Guide,weblink Purdue OWL, 2012-02-09,


APA maintains a number of databases, including PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, PsycEXTRA, PsycCRITIQUES, PsycTESTS, and PsycTHERAPY.WEB, APA Databases & Electronic Resources,weblink, 2015-08-11, WEB, American Psychological Association (APA) - Information for CAUL,weblink Council of Australian University Librarians, 2015-08-11, APA also operates a comprehensive search platform, PsycNET, covering multiple databases.WEB,weblink PsycNET, University of San Francisco: Gleeson Library, 2015-08-11,weblink 2015-09-05, yes,


PsycINFO is a bibliographic database maintained by APA. It contains citations and summaries dating from the 19th century, including journal articles, book chapters, books, technical reports, and dissertations within the field of psychology. {{as of|2010|January}}, PsycINFO has collected information from 2,457 journals.WEB, January 2010,weblink PsycINFO Journal Coverage List,, 2010-01-25,weblink" title="">weblink 20 January 2010, no,



The APA was founded in July 1892 at Clark University by a small group of around 30 men; by 1916 there were over 300 members. The first president was G. Stanley Hall. During World War II, the APA merged with other psychological organizations, resulting in a new divisional structure. Nineteen divisions were approved in 1944; the divisions with the most members were the clinical and personnel (now counseling) divisions. From 1960 to 2007, the number of divisions expanded to 54.WEB,weblink, APA History and Archives, 24 September 2014, Today the APA is affiliated with 60 state, territorial, and Canadian provincial associations.WEB,weblink, State and Provincial Psychological Associations, 24 September 2014,

Dominance of clinical psychology

Due to the dominance of clinical psychology in APA, several research-focused groups have broken away from the organization. These include the Psychonomic Society in 1959 (with a primarily cognitive orientation), and the Association for Psychological Science (which changed its name from the American Psychological Society in early 2006) in 1988 (with a broad focus on the science and research of psychology). Theodore H. Blau was the first clinician in independent practice to be elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1977.NEWS, February 1, 2003,weblink Noted psychologist Theodore Blau, St. Petersburg Times, 2007-09-14,


{hide}Hidden begin
| showhide = left
| titlestyle = font-size:110%
| title = APA Presidents from the present to 1892
{edih}{{Div col
| colwidth = 15em
| style = white-space:nowrap
| content =

2017  Antonio Puente 2016  Susan H. McDaniel 2015  Barry S. Anton 2014  Nadine Kaslow 2013  Donald N. Bersoff 2012  Suzanne Bennett Johnson 2011  Melba J. T. Vasquez 2010  Carol D. Goodheart 2009  James H. Bray 2008  Alan E. Kazdin 2007  Sharon S. Brehm 2006  Gerald Koocher 2005  Ronald F. Levant 2004  Diane F. Halpern 2003  Robert J. Sternberg 2002  Philip G. Zimbardo 2001  Norine G. Johnson 2000  Patrick DeLeon 1999  Richard Suinn 1998  Martin E.P. Seligman 1997  Norman Abeles 1996  Dorothy Cantor 1995  Robert J. Resnick 1994  Ronald E. Fox 1993  Frank Farley 1992  Jack Wiggins, Jr. 1991  Charles Spielberger 1990  Stanley Graham 1989  Joseph Matarazzo 1988  Raymond D. Fowler 1987  Bonnie Strickland 1986  Logan Wright 1985  Robert Perloff 1984  Janet Taylor Spence 1983  Max Siegel 1982  William Bevan (psychologist) 1981  John J. Conger 1980  Florence Denmark 1979  Nicholas A. Cummings 1978  M. Brewster Smith 1977  Theodore H. Blau 1976  Wilbert J. McKeachie 1975  Donald T. Campbell 1974  Albert Bandura 1973  Leona E. Tyler 1972  Anne Anastasi 1971  Kenneth B. Clark 1970  George W. Albee 1969  George A. Miller 1968  Abraham Maslow 1967  Gardner Lindzey 1966  Nicholas Hobbs 1965  Jerome Bruner 1964  Quinn McNemar 1963  Charles E. Osgood 1962  Paul E. Meehl 1961  Neal E. Miller 1960  Donald O. Hebb 1959  Wolfgang Köhler 1958  Harry Harlow 1957  Lee J. Cronbach 1956  Theodore Newcomb 1955  E. Lowell Kelly 1954  O. Hobart Mowrer 1953  Laurance F. Shaffer 1952  J. McVicker Hunt 1951  Robert R. Sears 1950  Joy Paul Guilford 1949  Ernest R. Hilgard 1948  Donald R. Marquis 1947  Carl Rogers 1946  Henry E. Garrett 1945  Edwin R. Guthrie 1944  Gardner Murphy 1943  John Edward Anderson 1942  Calvin Perry Stone 1941  Herbert Woodrow 1940  Leonard Carmichael 1939  Gordon Allport 1938  John Dashiell 1937  Edward C. Tolman 1936  Clark L. Hull 1935  Albert Poffenberger 1934  Joseph Peterson 1933  Louis Leon Thurstone 1932  Walter Richard Miles 1931  Walter Samuel Hunter 1930  Herbert Langfeld 1929  Karl Lashley 1928  Edwin G. Boring 1927  Harry Levi Hollingworth 1926  Harvey A. Carr 1925  Madison Bentley 1924  G. Stanley Hall 1923  Lewis Terman 1922  Knight Dunlap 1921  Margaret Floy Washburn 1920  Shepherd Ivory Franz 1919  Walter Dill Scott 1918  John Wallace Baird 1917  Robert Mearns Yerkes 1916  Raymond Dodge 1915  John Broadus Watson 1914  Robert Sessions Woodworth 1913  Howard Crosby Warren 1912  Edward Thorndike 1911  Carl Emil Seashore 1910  Walter Bowers Pillsbury 1909  Charles Hubbard Judd 1908  George Malcolm Stratton 1907  Henry Rutgers Marshall 1906  James Rowland Angell 1905  Mary Whiton Calkins 1904  William James 1903  William Lowe Bryan 1902  Edmund Sanford 1901  Josiah Royce 1900  Joseph Jastrow 1899  John Dewey 1898  Hugo Münsterberg 1897  James Mark Baldwin 1896  George Stuart Fullerton 1895  James McKeen Cattell 1894  William James 1893  George Trumbull Ladd 1892  G. Stanley Hall
}}{{Hidden end}}


The APA has 56 numbered divisions, 54 of which are currently active:WEB,weblink Divisions of APA, American Psychological Association, 2012-03-12, {{div col start}}
  1. Society for General Psychology – the first division formed by the APA, in 1945, concerned with issues across the subdisciplines of psychologyWEB,weblink Social psychology network, Social Psychology Network, July 31, 2012, September 10, 2006,
  2. Society for the Teaching of Psychology – provides free teaching material for students and teachers of psychology and bestows many awardsWEB,weblink Division 2 - teaching of psychology, (New York Times group), July 31, 2012, Kendra Cherry,
  3. Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science
  4. Currently vacant – initially the Psychometric Society, which decided against becoming an APA divisionJOURNAL, APA Division 16 School Psychology- President's Message, Worrell, F. C., Beyond Division16, Inside APA, The School Psychologist, 2007, 61, 1, 1–28,
  5. Quantitative and Qualitative Methods – previously named Evaluation, Measurement, and StatisticsWEB,weblink Society for Quantitative and Qualitative Methods, Society for Quantitative and Qualitative Methods, May 19, 2015,
  6. Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology
  7. Developmental Psychology
  8. Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  9. Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
  10. Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts
  11. Currently vacant – initially Abnormal Psychology and Psychotherapy, which joined division 12 in 1946
  12. Society of Clinical Psychology – established in 1948 with 482 members, in 1962 it created clinical child psychology as its first sectionBOOK, Donald K. Routh, Clinical psychology since 1917: Science, practice and organization, 1994-02-28, New York, NY: Springer, 978-0306444524, 40–42,
  13. Society of Consulting Psychology
  14. Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  15. Educational Psychology
  16. School Psychology – originally formed as the Division of School Psychologists in 1945, renamed in 1969ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopedia of School Psychology, American Psychological Association—Division 16 (School Psychology), T. Steuart Watson, Christopher H. Skinner, 2004, New York, NY: Springer, 978-0306484803,
  17. Society of Counseling Psychology
  18. Psychologists in Public Service
  19. Society for Military Psychology
  20. Adult Development and Aging
  21. Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology
  22. Rehabilitation Psychology
  23. Society for Consumer Psychology
  24. Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology
  25. Behavior Analysis
  26. Society for the History of Psychology
  27. Society for Community Research and Action: Division of Community Psychology
  28. Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse
  29. Psychotherapy
  30. Society of Psychological Hypnosis
  31. State, Provincial and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs
  32. Society for Humanistic Psychology
  33. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities / Autism Spectrum Disorder
  34. Society for Environmental, Population and Conservation Psychology
  35. Society for the Psychology of Women
  36. Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
  37. Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice
  38. Health Psychology
  39. Psychoanalysis
  40. Clinical Neuropsychology
  41. American Psychology-Law Society
  42. Psychologists in Independent Practice
  43. Society for Family Psychology
  44. Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues
  45. Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues
  46. Media Psychology
  47. Exercise and Sport Psychology
  48. Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace Psychology Division
  49. Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy
  50. Society of Addiction Psychology
  51. Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinities
  52. International Psychology
  53. Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
  54. Society of Pediatric Psychology
  55. American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy
  56. Trauma Psychology – addresses issues of trauma with projects, working groups and via collaborationsWEB, ISTSS: Global connections: International collaborators and affiliates, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, July 31, 2012,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink August 25, 2011,
{{div col end}}

Positions on homosexuality

Cause of homosexuality

{{Further|Biology and sexual orientation|Environment and sexual orientation|Homosexuality and psychology}}The APA states the following:}}

Conversion therapy

{{Further|Conversion therapy}}In 1975, APA issued a supporting statement that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.JOURNAL, Spitzer, R. L., 1981, The diagnostic status of homosexuality in DSM-III: a reformulation of the issues,weblink 7457641, American Journal of Psychiatry, 138, 2, 210–15, 10.1176/ajp.138.2.210, NEWS,weblink An instant cure, Time Magazine, 103, 13, 59, 1 April 1974, There is a concern in the mental health community that the advancement of conversion therapy itself causes social harm by disseminating inaccurate views about sexual orientation and the ability of homosexual and bisexual people to lead happy, healthy lives.WEB,weblink Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel, 2007-08-28, 1999, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, The Interfaith Alliance, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, National Education Association, Most mainstream health organizations are critical of conversion therapy, and no mainstream medical organization endorses conversion therapy.WEB,weblink American Medical Association policy regarding sexual orientation, 2007-07-11, American Medical Association,weblink 2010-01-05, 2007-07-30, JOURNAL, Committee on Adolescence, 1993, Homosexuality and Adolescence, Pediatrics (journal), Pediatrics, 92, 4, 631–634,weblink 2007-08-28, PDF,weblink" title="">weblink 11 August 2007, no, WEB,weblink Physician Assistants vote on retail clinics, reparative therapy, 2007-05-29, 2015-02-20,, Mainstream health organizations critical of conversion therapy include the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of School Psychologists, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the National Education Association.The APA adopted a resolution in August 2009 stating that mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments. The approval, by APA's governing Council of Representatives, came at APA's annual convention, during which a task force presented a reportWEB,weblink Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, Judith M., Glassgold, Lee, Beckstead, Jack, Drescher, Jack Drescher, Beverly, Greene, Robin Lin, Miller, Roger L., Worthington, Clinton W., Anderson,, 2009-09-28, October 13, 2012, that in part examined the efficacy of so-called "reparative therapy", or sexual orientation change efforts.The "Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts" also advises that parents, guardians, young people, and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support, and educational services "that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth."WEB,weblink Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts,, 2015-02-20,

Same-sex marriage

{{Further|Same-sex marriage}}The APA adopted a resolution stating that it is unfair and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage and to all its attendant rights, benefits, and privileges. It also filed an amicus brief in the federal court case in which Judge Vaughn Walker struck down California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.WEB,weblink Brief of the American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as amici curiae in support of plaintiff-appellees - Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of California Civil Case No. 09-CV-2292 VRW (Honorable Vaughn R. Walker), PDF, 2010-11-05, The APA later praised the decision and denied the existence of any "scientific justification" for a ban on same-sex marriage.WEB,weblink APA Praises Prop 8 Decision as Victory for Science, Human Dignity,, 2010-08-04, 2012-10-14, In August 2011, the APA clarified their support of same-sex marriage in light of continued research suggesting that the same community benefits accepted as result of heterosexual marriage apply to same-sex couples as well. Dr. Clinton Anderson, associate executive director of the APA and director of the Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, said that, prior to this research, "We knew that marriage benefits heterosexual people in very significant ways, but we didn't know if that would be true for same-sex couples". Anderson also put forward the APA's view that merely allowing same-sex civil unions is an inadequate option: "Anything other than marriage is, in essence, a stigmatization of same-sex couples. Stigma does have negative impacts on people."WEB, Alden Mahler Levine, CNN,weblink Psychological association calls for legalization of same-sex marriage,, 2012-10-14,

APA internship crisis for graduate students

The APA is the main accrediting body for U.S. clinical and counseling psychology doctoral training programs and internship sites.WEB,weblink About Accreditation,, 2012-10-14, APA-accredited Clinical Psychology PhD and PsyD programs typically require students to complete a one-year clinical internship in order to graduate (or a two-year part-time internship). However, there is currently an "internship crisis" as defined by the American Psychological Association, in that approximately 25% of clinical psychology doctoral students do not match for internship each year.WEB,weblink Doctoral Internships in Professional Psychology,, 2015-02-20, WEB,weblink 2011 APPIC Match Statistics - Phase I, February 25, 2011, APPIC: Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, July 16, 2013, This crisis has led many students (approximately 1,000 each year) to re-apply for internship, thus delaying graduation, or to complete an unaccredited internship, and often has many emotional and financial consequences.JOURNAL,weblink Vasquez, Melba, The internship crisis: strategies and solutions, Monitor on Psychology, April 2011, 42, 4, 5, Students who do not complete an APA accredited internships in the U.S. are barred from certain employment settings, including VA Hospitals, the military, and cannot get licensed in some states, such as Utah and Mississippi.WEB,weblink Frequently Asked Questions: Internship Applicants - Match Eligibility & Participation, Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, July 16, 2013, JOURNAL,weblink Smith Bailey, Deborah, Why accreditation matters: Accreditation guidelines set the standard for your education—and can ease your way to licensure, gradPSYCH Magazine, April 2004, Additionally, some post-doctoral fellowships and other employment settings require or prefer an APA Accredited internship. The APA has been criticized for not addressing this crisis adequately and many psychologists and graduate students have petitioned for the APA to take action by regulating graduate training programs.

Warfare and the use of torture

A year after the establishment of the Human Resources Research Organization by the U.S. military in 1951, the CIA began funding numerous psychologists (and other scientists) in the development of psychological warfare methods under the supervision of APA treasurer Meredith Crawford. Donald O. Hebb, the APA president in 1960 who was awarded the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1961, defended the torture of research subjects, arguing that what was being studied was other nations' methods of brainwashing. Former APA president Martin Seligman spoke upon the invitation of the CIA on his animal experimentation where he shocked a dog unpredictably and repeatedly into total, helpless passivity. Former APA president Joseph Matarazzo designed a new CIA interrogation regimen and supervised the torture of Abu Zubaydah at a secret CIA detention site in Thailand. Former APA president Ronald F. Levant, upon visiting Guantanamo Bay, affirmed that psychologists were present during the torture of prisoners, arguing that their presence was to "add value and safeguards" to interrogations.WEB, Chalquist, Craig, Why I Am Not a Member of the American Psychological Association,weblink 21 September 2014, Former APA president Gerald Koocher argued, referring to allegations of continuing systemic abuse by psychologists, that such allegations were originating from "opportunistic commentators masquerading as scholars".JOURNAL, Koocher, Gerald, Gerald Koocher, Speaking against torture,weblink Monitor on Psychology, February 2006, 37, 2, 5, When it emerged that psychologists, as part of the Behavioral Science Consultation Team, were advising interrogators in Guantánamo and other U.S. facilities on improving the effectiveness of the "enhanced interrogation techniques", the APA called on the U.S. government to prohibit the use of unethical interrogation techniques and labeled specific techniques as torture.WEB,weblink American Psychological Association calls on U.S. government to prohibit the use of unethical interrogation techniques,, 20 August 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 13 May 2007, yes, Critics pointed out that the APA declined to advise its members not to participate in such interrogations.WEB,weblink Psychologists and Guantanamo,, 19 August 2008, 2015-02-20, WEB,weblink American Psychological Association Sees No Evil,, 16 June 2009, 2015-02-20, In September 2008, the APA's members passed a resolution stating that psychologists may not work in settings where "persons are held outside, or in violation of, either International Law (e.g., the UN Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions) or the U.S. Constitution (where appropriate), unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights." The resolution became official APA policy in February 2009. However, the APA has refused to sanction those members known to have participated in and, in some cases, designed abusive interrogation techniques used in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, and Afghanistan interrogation centers.NEWS,weblink Ackerman, Spencer, US psychology body declines to rebuke member in Guantánamo torture case, The Guardian, 22 January 2014, WEB,weblink A Call for Annulment of the APA's PENS Report, Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, 31 March 2014, WEB,weblink Reisner, Steve, Eidelson, Roy, Soldz, Stephen, Olson, Brad, Arrigo, Jean Maria, Bond, Trudy, APA Fails to Sanction Psychologist in Guantanamo Torture Case,, 11 February 2014, 31 March 2014, The APA directive was in contrast to the American Psychiatric Association ban in May 2006 of all direct participation in interrogations by psychiatrists,WEB,weblink Position Statement on Psychiatric Participation in Interrogation of Detainees, American Psychiatric Association, May 2006, 2015-02-20, and the American Medical Association ban in June 2006 of the direct participation in interrogations by physicians.WEB,weblink Opinion 2.068 - Physician Participation in Interrogation, American Medical Association Ethics Group, November 2006, 2015-02-20, An independent panel of medical, military, ethics, education, public health, and legal professionals issued a comprehensive report in November 2013 that "charged that U.S. military and intelligence agencies directed doctors and psychologists working in U.S. military detention centers to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm".WEB,weblink Interrogation/Torture and Dual Loyalty, Institute on Medicine as a Profession, 31 March 2014, One group of psychologists in particular, the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, has been very harsh in its criticism of the APA stance on its refusal to categorically prohibit members from participating in any phase of military interrogations. They recently stated their continuing disagreement with APA leadership in an open letter posted on their website on October 31, 2012, in which they reiterated their condemnation of torture and enhanced interrogation techniques, and called for the APA to require its members to refuse participation in military conducted interrogations of any kind.WEB,weblink Open Letter, Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, 31 March 2014,

Amending the Ethics Code

In February 2010, the APA's Council of Representatives voted to amend the association's Ethics CodeWEB,weblink American Psychological Association amends ethics code to address potential conflicts among professional ethics, legal authority and organizational demands,, 2010-02-24, 2015-02-20, to make clear that its standards can never be interpreted to justify or defend violating human rights. Following are the two relevant ethical standards from the Ethics Code, with the newly adopted language shown in bold:}}In its 2013 "Policy Related to Psychologists' Work in National Security Settings and Reaffirmation of the APA Position Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment the APA condemns the use of any of the following practices by military interrogators trying to elicit anti-terrorism information from detainees, on the ground that "there are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether induced by a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, that may be invoked as a justification."WEB,weblink Policy Related to Psychologists' Work in National Security Settings and Reaffirmation of the APA Position Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,, 2013, 2015-02-20,

Hoffman report

In November 2014, the APA ordered an independent review into whether it cooperated with the government's use of torture of prisoners during the George W. Bush administration, naming Chicago attorney David H. Hoffman to conduct the review.NEWS,weblink American Psychological Association Bolstered C.I.A. Torture Program, Report Says, The New York Times, 2015-05-01, On July 2, 2015, a 542-page report was issued to the special committee of the board of directors of the APA relating to ethics guidelines, national security interrogations, and torture.WEB,weblink July 2, 2015 report to the special committee of the board of directors of the American Psychological Association, The report concluded that the APA secretly collaborated with the Bush administration to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners.Outside Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds, By James Risen, New York Times, July 10, 2015 Furthermore, the report stated that the association's ethics director Stephen Behnke and others had "colluded with important Department of Defense officials to have the APA issue loose, high-level ethical guidelines that did not constrain" the interrogation of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. The association's "principal motive in doing so was to align APA and curry favor with DOD.""Inquiry: Psychologists group colluded with Pentagon, CIA on interrogations" by Greg Miller The Washington Post, July 10, 2015 An APA official said that ethics director Stephen Behnke had been "removed from his position as a result of the report" and indicated that other firings or sanctions might follow.On July 14, 2015, the APA announced the retirement of its CEO, Norman B. Anderson, effective the end of 2015, and of Deputy Chief Executive Officer Michael Honaker, effective August 15, 2015, and the resignation of Rhea K. Farberman, APA's executive director for public and member communication. Anderson had been CEO since 2003.NEWS,weblink Three senior officials lose their jobs at APA after US torture scandal, Ackerman, Spencer, July 14, 2015, The Guardian, July 15, 2015, PRESS RELEASE,weblink APA Announces Retirements and Resignation of Senior Leaders, July 14, 2015, American Psychological Association, July 14, 2015,

Ban on involvement

For at least a decade, dissident psychologists within and outside the APA, including the group WithholdAPAdues,The Sphinx: A site for inquiry and innovation in psychoanalysis, Withholding APA Dues in Protest over Policy on Torture {{webarchive|url= |date=2015-02-01 }} had protested the involvement of psychologists "in interrogations at CIA black sites and Guantánamo". Prior to the release of the Hoffman report, which undermined the APA's repeated denials and showed that some APA leaders were complicit in torture, the dissidents were ignored or ridiculed.The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology, Volume 1, By Daniel J. Christie, Wiley-Blackwell, December 2011, pp 580-581, {{ISBN|1405196440}}On August 7, 2015, just weeks following the release of the Hoffman report, the APA council of representatives met at the association's 123rd annual convention in Toronto, Ontario. At that meeting, the APA council passed Resolution 23B, which implemented the 2008 membership vote to remove psychologists from settings that operate outside international law, and banning the participation of psychologists in unlawful interrogations. With 156 votes in favor and only one vote against, the resolution passed with the near unanimous approval of council members.Psychologists Approve Ban on Role in National Security Interrogations, By James Risen, New York Times, August 7, 2015 The adoption of Resolution 23B aligned the APA's policy with that of the American Psychiatric Association and that of the American Medical Association by prohibiting psychologists from participating in interrogations deemed illegal by the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Convention against Torture.No More Torture: World's Largest Group of Psychologists Bans Role in National Security Interrogations, Democracy Now, August 10, 2015}}The ban will not "prohibit psychologists from working with the police or prisons in criminal law enforcement interrogations".

See also





External links

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