Talk:American Psychological Association

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Add 53 professional divisions?[edit]

Would it be too much to list the 53 professional divisions? -DoctorW 05:57, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Heh. I think so. :-) But a external link to a list with the 53 divisions would be okay. Cheers Raystorm 12:28, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the divisions should be used in wikiproject psychology to classify articles.Tstrobaugh 15:03, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Past APA Presidents?[edit]

What about a list of past APA presidents? I came here to find this and couldn't (unless I missed it). I think it would be useful -- after all, I'm sure most of them have entries on here already.

The list is now there, but I am rather concerned by the number of red names, suggesting wikilinks to psychologists who do not have articles in Wikipedia. I fixed the wikilink to Abraham Maslow tonight (February 20, 2008). ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:36, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

New Efforts of the APA?[edit]

Should we be describing the new efforts of the APA, such as the special work of Division 51 on helping men to get the needed insight to become more feminine? The national director of the APA, Dr. Levant is best known for his pioneering work in the new psychology of boys and men. He has developed the theory on normative male “alexithymia” – the idea that men are socialized to ignore much of their emotional lives, except for a few socially accepted emotions, such as anger and lust. He was also the co-founder and first President of APA’s Division 51 (the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity). homebuilding207.178.98.29 03:37, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

2008 anti-torture vote[edit]

This story should be noted in the article. Badagnani (talk) 02:25, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Pro-conversion criticism section[edit]

Isn't this section sounding biased? It's a bit strange to quote only NARTH people and people with ego-dystonic sexual orientation on this issue. If you don't know about NARTH etc. you would misunderstand it. -- (talk) 23:02, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Pedophilia controversy[edit]

Critics of the APA have claimed, among other things, that the organization has adopted a moderate attitude towards pedophilia, which is a rather serious charge, because it supposes that the notion of sexual orientation can be spontaneously redefined by members of liberal academiia. [1] ADM (talk) 11:56, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone besides NARTH think this is a controversy? -- Banjeboi 13:39, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Narth and the above comments mix up the American Psychological Association (subject of this article) and the American Psychiatric Association (subject of another article). --Crusio (talk) 08:38, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Stances on controversial issues[edit]

I notice that my addition of same-sex marriage as a controversy was removed due to APA actions not being verified as controversial. But should that actually be the criteria for addition to the controversy section? The APA has positions on a number of issues, including abortion and marital relations. Reliable sources could easily be found indicating these issues taken as a whole are controversial. If the controversy section is not a place to note the APA position then where should it be noted? —K. the Surveyor (talk) 01:42, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Generally Wikipedia frowns on separate sections labelled as "Controversies" because it tends to attract excessive weight on those issues, although such sections are not forbidden. But it is better to integrate the information into other parts of the article. In any event, if "reliable sources could easily be found indicating these issues taken as a whole are controversial", your best bet is to find those reliable sources and provide them. Be careful, however, that the issues (whatever they might be) are viewed as controversial by more than just a fringe group. For example, the role of psychologists in advising interrogators has been an extremely controversial issue within the ranks of APA itself, not just some small extremist group in the broader culture. My personal opinion is that neither the conversion therapy nor the same-sex marriage issues reach that level of controversy. But if you can source either of them as broadly controversial, that is your right. BTW, I hope your removal of "conversion therapy" is truly because you don't believe it to be controversial and not to make a point about removal of a section you wrote. If so, the point you make may be valid, but you make that point here, not by removing article content. Thanks for raising this entire matter on the talk page. Cresix (talk) 01:53, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, most importantly I removed it simply because we need to have uniform standards. As a matter of fact my guess is that "conversion therapy" is controversial at the level of American politics and society, but the implication of removing the SSM section was that this was irrelevant. If APA positions on issues that are politically controversial in America are allowed in the section without the APA position itself necessarily being controversial, then I will restore both my section and the other one with the necessary sources. Is overall political controversy what you meant by "broadly controversial"? —K. the Surveyor (talk) 02:06, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
At this point I'm not terribly concerned with how "controversial" is defined except that it needs to be sourced that more than a small or extremist group (e.g., scientologists, September 11 conspiracy advocates, or other fringe groups) views the issue as controversial. Almost any issue is considered controversial by someone. Beyond that, any further disagreement about what is considered controversial should be resolved on this talk page. This discussion illustrates my point above about separate sections for controversies. It is much more informative if the article presents an APA position, followed by sourced statements about substantial disagreement with the issue. Having a separate section on controversy invites unsourced or poorly sourced speculation about what is controversial. Cresix (talk) 02:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm the editor that removed the paragraph on SSM, and I was glad to see that you removed the paragraph on conversion therapy as well (I only skimmed it and assumed the content was "APA used to advocate it -> there was controversy -> now they don't," which on reading it more closely I saw was not the case).
In any case - "this thing is controversial in society" is not grounds for including the APA's position on it under "controversies." You would need to prove that the APA's position on it has caused controversy. Roscelese (talk) 03:57, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
This contrasts with the position of Cresix. Rather than simply take a side, where do you think the position should be noted? It seems against Wikipedia policy to delete sourced material simply because it is in the wrong section. I would prefer we agreed upon a place where all this can be restored. —K. the Surveyor (talk) 04:27, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's contradictory. My comment wasn't about the appropriateness of "controversy" sections in general, and I completely agree with Cresix's comment that any assertion of controversy has to be wider than a fringe view.
Would someone be willing to expand a hypothetical "APA Positions" subhead so that those positions could be included? Roscelese (talk) 04:35, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I must honestly say that I do not have time to create a well-rounded section on all APA positions as they are many. However, filling out a more limited section on "Positions on controversial issues" seems more doable, if that is acceptable. —K. the Surveyor (talk) 05:00, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
On reflection, I wouldn't see a problem with including the previously removed positions even if it wasn't a complete "positions" section, but it would be way POV to describe it as "controversial." The article would still need a bit of reorganization to accommodate that, though. Roscelese (talk) 05:09, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I suppose I wasn't entirely clear in articulating my points above. I do think the controversy needs to be in reaction to APA's position. As a hypothetical example, if APA took a position that the U.S. should eliminate all of its nuclear weapons, it's not enough simply to source that the issue of nuclear weapons is controversial; in my opinion there needs to be a sourced statement that someone or some group is reacting to APA's position. Again, it must be more than a fringe group whose reaction is cited. But to simply state that APA has a position against Issue X, followed by a statement that 25% of Americans are in favor of issue X (without reference to APA's stance) is not sufficient in my opinion. If APA takes a position that doesn't generate a reaction, then obviously APA's position per se did not cause controversy. I hope this is clearer, but if not I can try to explain further. Thanks. Cresix (talk) 18:04, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm coming to this debate pretty late (by 4 years!) but I think it's appropriate to retain a controversies section, although it should be expanded. A number of the APA's positions have stoked controversy, even within the field itself. Also, the section on warfare and torture should probably mention James Risen's book which alleges the APA colluded with the CIA on torture (the APA's replies should also be included of course). StoneProphet11 (talk) 20:24, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Coercive interrogation[edit]

There are several issues here:

  • Are techniques like isolation, forced nakedness, slapping, scaring the detainee with a dog, and most notably, waterboarding considered to be "torture" itself, or rather something that is "just as bad" as torture?
  • If they are torture, then someone might need to change the definition of the word. The UN distinguishes between (1) torture and (2) degrading treatment, condemning both.
  • The APA might not be extending the definition of torture per se, but dodging the definition dispute may simply be going right ahead and directly condemning the "enhanced" techniques of interrogation (which it lists in its position statement)
  • This raises the question of why the APA condemns these additional techniques:
    1. Is it because it believes no person should ever be subject to these things (no matter what "greater good" some gov't agent "hopes" could come from slapping around, scaring or humiliating a "mutt"?
    2. Is it because it hopes that it can help the terrorist cause by guaranteeing that they won't have to reveal anything damaging to their cause, other than by their own free will?

Now before anyone accuses me of POV pushing, my own opinion is (a) irrelevant, I'm just trying to get all significant viewpoints in, but (b) for those who think my viewpoint matters, I think the best thing to do is put up the prisoners in a 5-star hotel and "kill them with kindness" so that they realize that their whole idea of destroying "our way of life" is wrong and just naturally want to turn in the guys who set them on the wrong path (note: I don't know of anyone who shares this viewpoint). --Uncle Ed (talk) 17:34, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Position on Homosexuality[edit]

I believe the section "Position on homosexuality" lends undue weight to this topic. The APA has taken positions on any number of psychological issues over the course of their history; why single out this issue? Understandably, this is an important issue, but it would probably be better to have a standalone article outlining the APA's (and other professional psychology associations') views on homosexuality. Such an article would have the benefit of concentrating only on this issue, while not giving the issue undue weight by having it be the only issue discussed in the overall APA article. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 16:01, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

It may be notable within the context of scientific positions on homosexuality. But as an island in this article, I would agree it carries undue weight. I would not actually recommend its removal, but for an expansion to cover other specific notable issues, and (if they balloon in size), moving them to an article of their own about the APA's notable positions. - Gilgamesh (talk) 14:10, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree. The APA has positions on intelligence (particularly race and intelligence), facets of child education, recovered memories of abuse, and so on, all of which are notably controversial and have difficult histories. One can't have anything more than a passing mention to these in an article on the APA itself. The position on homosexuality falls into the same category. They all merit separate articles. Churn and change (talk) 15:47, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Undue weight? Hardly! This topic is not like the others mentioned insofar as the morality/acceptability of homosexuality and gay marriage is still far from settled among the general population. That the reversal of the APA caused a real upheaval at the time is muted in the article, as its previous and longstanding categorization of homosexuality as a disorder is passed over. In fact, this watershed reversal on the part of the APA brought out into the open the highly political dimension of all claims of psychology, or what Thomas Szasz referred to as its "covert system of ethics." Orthotox (talk) 01:30, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

American Psychological Foundation[edit]

I created American Psychological Foundation REDIRECT to American Psychological Association

APF: What We Do is on the American Psychological Association site tho no mention of APA is made in the ref given. Therefore none is given in American Psychological Association for now...

If anyone has more information they may put it here so we can be enlightened... DadaNeem (talk) 19:45, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Split Category:American Psychological Association academic journals?[edit]

Pls see Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2015_January_30#Category:American_Psychological_Association_academic_journals. Thx. Fgnievinski (talk) 00:09, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Staff changes[edit]

Please see these links about "retirements" at the APA: and Eastmain (talkcontribs) 02:10, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Ethical controversies proposed merge[edit]

Fgnievinski proposed at 16:10, 22 July 2015 that the section of this page that is currently titled "Warfare and the use of torture" should be split into APA Ethics Code § Ethical controversies. (I take this to mean that the content in this section is proposed to be merged into APA Ethics Code § Ethical controversies.) I agree that this may be a logical merge, but I recommend that a very brief (one-paragraph) summary of the topic remain on this page with a Template:Main indicating that the topic is covered in full at APA Ethics Code § Ethical controversies. The reason why I think at least a summary should remain on this page is that some of the controversies involve the APA itself and not the APA Ethics Code. But some of what is covered here does pertain more directly to the Ethics Code itself. Biogeographist (talk) 21:23, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

Actually, I was checking Wikipedia:Criticism, especially POVFORK, and I think the merge should be in the opposite direction. Your thoughts? fgnievinski (talk) 23:15, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Fgnievinski: I would say that this is a (probably inadvertent) content fork situation rather than a point of view fork situation, more precisely. I think merging from APA Ethics Code to this page is fine, although you may be able to see why I was confused about the direction of the merge. To clarify the direction of the merge, you can use Template:Move portions from on one page and Template:Merge to on the other page. (I just changed the pages to use these templates.)
I have not contributed any content to these sections and I am not likely to be inspired to do the merging myself, but I have some advice for whomever executes the merge: Pay careful attention to the use of hatnotes. Use Template:Further or Template:See also to direct readers to articles about more general related topics. For example, it is not correct to include a section titled "Psychologists involved in torture" followed by a hatnote that says Main article: Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. This is not correct because the article on Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse is not about "Psychologists involved in torture". It is about a closely related, but more general topic, so the proper hatnote would use either Template:Further or Template:See also: e.g., See also: Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. (I just corrected this point as best as I could in APA Ethics Code § Ethical controversies.)
Furthermore, the point of using such a hatnote is so that you can include the minimum amount of background information necessary to make the section intelligible to an average reader, and refer the reader to the more general article for further information if he or she needs it. Whoever merges and edits these sections should pay close attention to cutting as much information as possible from these sections, and to include only the information that is most relevant to APA, and including a hatnote and/or other wikilinks to other articles for further information.
I also think that the section of this page that is currently titled Amending the Ethics Code could profitably be merged in the other direction (into APA Ethics Code) since it is primarily about the content of the ethics code and not primarily about the APA. But I agree that any content that is primarily about the APA, and not primarily about the ethics code (which applies to all psychologists), belongs on this page. Biogeographist (talk) 02:00, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I just noticed that a user named Ianagutierrez, who may be the same Ian A. Gutierrez who was just elected to the Board of Directors of the APA (I don't think I am revealing anyone's identity here given the obvious user name and content of the edits), very recently made a series of edits to this section. I would ask Ian, as well as anyone else who is involved in the administration of the APA, to consider their possible conflict of interest in editing this page. They should thoroughly read the articles Wikipedia:Conflict of interest as well as Wikipedia:Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms and Wikipedia:Contact us - Subjects, and consider whether it may be more appropriate to request certain edits on the talk page of the article rather than directly edit the page themselves. Biogeographist (talk) 10:56, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Ianagutierrez: Thank you Biogeographist for highlighting Wikipedia's conflict of interest policy. I will request edits to this page, rather than edit this page directly, in the future. Ianagutierrez (talk) 12:42, 09 December 2015 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Divisions of the American Psychological Association[edit]

An editor has started a discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Divisions of the American Psychological Association proposing that Divisions of the American Psychological Association be merged here. – Joe (talk) 07:52, 5 July 2017 (UTC)