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View Diary: Why I'm Leaving APA (A Special Kind of GBCW Diary) (144 comments)

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  •  After some searching... (16+ / 0-)

    The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has taken a strong anti-torture position.  I don't think (after some searching) that the Association for Psychological Science has taken a position.

    When I attended the APA convention last year in San Fran, I noticed that there was a good amount of focus on military psychology. I expect APA gets a lot of funding from the military, and this must make the politics of torture complicated.

    BTW, I just reread your diary from Aug 2006 on APA and torture, and I must agree with your analysis of the crowd at those conventions.  Boring!  Whatever happened to eat, drink, and be merry?

    •  Could the APA be censured ? (10+ / 0-)

      Could the APA be censured by
      the professional psychological associations of other nations, or by the international body
      of psychologists ?

      There is a precedent for this. Back in the 1970's, the professional psychiatric organization of the Soviet Union had its membership suspended from the international association of psychiatrists because the russian psychiatrists were involved with torture in the gulags of the USSR. They were re-instated when they "promised" to not do those things. How much that happended is another questions, but the russian psychiatrists were quite shamed by the experience.

      To those mental health professionals outside the U.S., please consider getting your national professional organization to either publicly censure the APA, or move to get the international body involved in a censure.

      H.L. Mencken: "A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves"

      by igneous on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 03:54:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also APS (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heiuan, Valtin, kraant, 4Freedom, kurt

      A couple of thoughts.

      I have not been a member of APA since graduate school although trained as a clinical psychologist, my work is almost entirely research focused at this point, thus I have been unaware of the goings-on within the APA.

      I do teach a course that involves the history of clinical psychology and ethics and am very much aware of the historical relationship between the field and military complex in that the growth of the field has always been tied to war.

      Specifically, WWI served as the basis for initial expansion through testing to determine fitness to serve. This was followed by expansion during WWII to treat those who experienced what would now be termed PTSD, as a function of too few psychiatrists, who were serving as medical professionals.

      Having worked in the mid-west, I can tell you there is strong relationship between universities and researchers in that region of the country and the military. A significant portion of their funding comes not from NIH/NSF but from DOD funded programs.
      I'm not sure why it appears more predominant in this region of the country but is seems to be the case.

      Last but not least, thank you to the diarist. This has been very informative, especially the link to Phil Zimbardo's prisoner study, which I will incorporate into my class on ethics, the slides are great.

      •  Research in mid-west? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Perhaps this is because midwesterners have traditionally a stronger identification with the country, and is a region (outside Chicago) with less "malcontents" or dissatisfied than elsewhere.

        The classic case of midwestern researcher, done in by his ties to the military, is Frank Olson. It would be worth studying his case very closely. It has been written up extensively in a number of books and publications, including big pieces in the New York Times Magazine, at Salon, the Baltimore Sun, etc. Norman Mailer included a version of the Olson story in this novel Harlot's Ghost.

        He worked with MKULTRA and the biowarfare program at Fort Detrick. He was ultimately killed for what he knew. Everyone should know about his case.

        You can find more info on him at The Frank Olson Legacy Project

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