Division adds "Technology" to name

Following a member vote and 60-day Council review period, Division 46 adds "Technology" to its name

Following a motion by its Board of Directors and an approval from its members, Division 46 has officially changed its name from "Division of Media Psychology" to "Society for Media Psychology and Technology." Per Association Rule (PDF, 718KB) 100-3.1, "A division may change its name as long as the change: a) does not extend the scope of the scientific and/or professional field for which the division was recognized at the time it was established by the Council of Representatives; and b) is not inimical to the welfare of any other division.

In its summer newsletter (PDF, 760KB), the division provided the following explanation of the name change: 

1. Although some of our members realize that media psychology includes technology (indeed, the purpose statement in the Division 46 bylaws highlights this), and technology has always been an integral part of media, this concept has not been obvious to members of other divisions or affiliated professions. 

2. Our past activities indicate how technology-oriented the division has always been. Our members have been presenting symposia and papers on media psychology and the new technologies for years and have been publishing articles and books and offering workshops in this area of interest.  

  • In 1993, an article appeared in The Amplifier that discussed interactive media technologies and many technology articles have appeared in The Amplifier since then.  

  • In 1996, the division established a committee called Media and New Technologies. 

  • New Technologies (originally called Media Psychology and New Technologies) was established in the mid 1990s. 

  • In 1999, the division’s membership brochure highlighted “Psychologists at the Forefront in Media and New Technologies.” 

  • In 2001, the division’s APA Convention program featured presentations entitled “Computer Distorting Technology,” “Interactive Media-Based Tools for the Chronically Ill,’’ “Clinical Outcome Data on Virtual Reality Therapy in Psychology” and “E-Therapy: Emergence of a New Field and Industry.”  

  • Most recently, in 2011 our convention program featured symposia on such technology topics as “Innovative Technologies for Psychological Intervention, Consultation and Training” and “Psychological Services via Technology in Australia and the United States.” 

3. We are not expanding our purview. We are instituting a name change to more accurately describe the scope of the divsion, as well as what our members do, to the outside world. 

4. By making the implicit, explicit, those who are interested in what we do will be more likely to join our division. 

5. By changing our name to include the term ‘’technology,” it will help to increase our collaboration with other societies/divisions within APA and relevant entities outside of APA. 

6. The Society for Media Psychology and Technology is a unique name that is cutting edge and more attractive to current and incoming members. Media has changed significantly since the division began and the new name is more inclusive of members’ research and clinical interests (to date, 29 of APA’s 54 divisions have changed their title to “society”).

Following the division's bylaws amendment vote to change the name that closed in July, a 60-day comment period passed in which existing divisions and members of APA Council could comment and/or object to the proposed name change. No comments or objections were received before the deadline therefore the name change took effect on Sept. 25, 2012.