Volume 9, Number 2

September, 2005

Submissions Welcome!

The Editors encourage submission of any announcements, and/or letters to the editors, regarding psychological science. 

Comments on the content and presentation of the newsletter are also appreciated.

Submit to:


Editors, The Experimental Psychology Bulletin

Kristi S. Multhaup

Davidson College

(704) 894-2008


Mark E. Faust

Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte

(704) 687-3564


 Humor Needed…

Why waste your time subjecting your family and friends to your humor when you can elicit guffaws from your colleagues?  Send us your science related humor: krmulthaup@davidson.edu 

Division 3 E-mail Listserve Access

Subscribe to the Division 3 E-mail network to keep informed about Division 3 and issues regarding psychological science.  This is a monitored network to keep the number of e-mails down.

Subscribe:  Send an e-mail to listserv@lists.apa.org.  Leave the Subject line blank and type “subscribe div3” in the body of the message.

Send a Message (once subscribed):  div3@lists.apa.org

Questions:  Send e-mail to Neal Johnson, Ohio State University, johnson.64@osu.edu

Division Representatives



Thomas R. Zentall

University of Kentucky

(859) 257-4076



Howard Egeth

Johns Hopkins University

(410) 516-7910


Past President

Alice Healy

University of Colorado

(303) 492-5032



Angelo Santi

Wilfrid Laurier University

(519) 884-0710



Charles L. Brewer

Furman University

(803) 294-3216


Members-At-Large of the

Executive Committee

Mark A. McDaniel (8/05-08)

Washington University, St. Louis

(314) 935-8030


Valerie F. Renya (8/05-08)

Cornell University

(607) 254-1247


Nelson Cowan (8/04-07)

University of Missouri

(573) 882-7710


Ralph R. Miller (8/04-07)

Binghamton Univ., SUNY

(607) 777-2291


Mark H. Ashcraft (8/05-06)


(702) 895-3305


Veronica J. Dark (8/03-06)

Iowa State University

(515) 294-1688


 Representative to APA Council

Lewis P. Lipsitt (8/04-07)

Brown University

(401) 863-2332


Emanuel E. Donchin (8/03-06)

University of South Florida

(813) 974-0466


Board of Directors

J. Bruce Overmier

University of Minnesota

(612) 625-1835


Committee Chairs

William D. Timberlake (Awards)

Indiana University

(812) 855-4042


Mark H. Ashcraft (Fellows)


(702) 895-3305


Randall W. Engle (Membership)

Georgia Institute of Technology

(404) 894-8036


Marvin Lamb (Program)

Cal. State Hayward

(510) 885-3484





Meeting of Council of Representatives of APA, August 2005

Emanuel Donchin, U. of South Florida

Lew Lipsitt, Brown University

Division 3, representatives to the COR



The Council of Representatives met, as usual, a day before and on the last day of the convention, held in the new Convention Center in Washington, DC. This is a venue that will become very familiar to those attending the APA Conventions, as the APA and the District of Columbia are close to completing an agreement that will relieve the APA of the substantial tax burden its properties carry in DC in return for our meeting at the Washington Convention Center every three years. The new Convention Center is huge and very well appointed. It is surrounded by quality hotels, although August is not a month in which walking even two big blocks is a pleasure. But we are scheduled to meet next year in New Orleans, also in August, and it will certainly be less climatically accommodating than DC.

As these words are written the afternoon following Katrina's devastation, nothing is certain any more about next summer's plans.

One important implication of the Tax/Convention deal is that the APA is affluent. Of course, there is never enough money given the power of the imagination. However, it is important to understand that the APA represents a very substantial resource. The Association enjoys a very healthy revenue stream from its publications, it owns two lucrative properties in DC, and we have a healthy and, it would seem from reports presented to COR, well managed portfolio of investments. Member dues, high as they may be, account for a relatively small percent of the APA's income. As members of the Science community, it is important for us to note, and the point has been made several times on the Council floor, that the most important source of revenue, and a source that shows continuing growth, is the electronic publication enterprise of APA. What this means is that the Science community is the source of much of the Association's wealth.

This point has been much on the mind of the members of the Coalition of Academic, Scientific, and Applied Psychologists (CASAP), of which Division
3 is a member. Both of your Division 3 representatives serve on CASAP's Executive Committee. Much of our time at the meetings of CASAP and its Executive Committee was spent considering the paucity of representation of the Science oriented divisions on the Boards and Committees of APA, and in particular on the Board of Directors. This election cycle we were dismayed to find that none of the candidates endorsed by CASAP was elected. This outcome is to a large extent due to the fact that even those academics who are members of the APA fail to vote in the elections. To some extent this attitude reflects the perception that we are a minority and, therefore, our voice will be swamped. This, it turns out, is a grave error.
The fact is that only some 20-30% of the membership actually votes in the elections. Thus a systematic vote by the academic scientists can actually affect the outcome.

We believe it is unwise for the community of scientists to not claim its fair share of the APA's power and resources. The only way, however, in which we can lay claim to the APA's resources is by joining the Association. This report, going as it does to members of Division 3, is clearly preaching to the converted. However, we should all spread the word among our colleagues. The riches of APA have been, in part, amassed by our effort. Joining the Association will help return to the Scientific community in Psychology its just share.

The discussions at the Council this time lacked major controversies. The most threatening controversy was avoided before the Council convened. As we previously reported following our February meeting, the proposal to create in the APA a Division of Human/Animal Studies failed to obtain the necessary 2/3 majority. Subsequent to the February convention the Board of Directors was moved to appoint a Study Group and charged it with examining the degree to which the process was unfair to the proponents of the new division. The Study Group pondered and then proposed that the Council consider a motion to rescind the negative February vote. The Board of Directors approved this proposal and a formal agenda item was sent to the Council. It turns out, however, that a careful reading of the Rules under which the APA deliberates clearly reveals that such a motion is out of order for the simple reason that one can only rescind a motion that has passed. A motion that has failed is a corpse that can not be resurrected. The President accepted the validity of the argument and this particular agenda item was withdrawn the day before Council convened.

The Council's main actions were mostly shaped by several task force reports addressing a number of issues of social sensitivity. One very important action was the adoption of the report of a task force that considered "Ethical guidelines for psychologists participating in national security-related investigations and interrogations." The central conclusion is worthy of quotation...

"..Following the recommendations of the Task Force, the APA Council of Representatives reaffirmed an Association resolution against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The Task Force Report prohibits psychologists from any participation whatsoever in such abusive behaviors and places an ethical obligation on psychologists to be alert to and report abusive behaviors to the authorities. The Council of Representatives stated that there are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether induced by a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, that may be invoked as a justification for torture, including the invocation of laws, regulations, or orders...".

The COR also endorsed and adopted as policy a resolution that condemns anti-semitism and, in a separate action, called for the immediate elimination of all "mascots" derived from the lore of Native Americans.
Thus the APA calls on athletic teams to cease calling themselves by names of Native American tribes, and to avoid use of individuals masquerading as Native American officials, or religious figures, or performing Indian dances during interruptions in the athletic activity known as "half-time". All of these decisions were accepted unanimously by the Council.

A task force appointed by President Ron Levant considered the topic of "evidence based practice." While this appears to be an issue primarily of concern to Clinical practitioners, it is of much concern to the Science community. A call for evidence-based practice recognizes the centrality of Psychological Science as the basis of all practice. We are pleased to report that the report was adopted with enthusiasm and thus the APA is now formally behind the concept that assertions about human behavior and the mind must be rooted in scientific research. The report did include some wishy-washy language about the value of clinical intuition as a source of evidence. These formulations remained in the report as its totality represented the outcome of a carefully crafted consensus within the task force. On the whole, though, this action is positive from our perspective as scientists.

Science, in general, we are pleased to report, is well supported these days in APA. The Science Directorate is presently supported with a budget that exceeds that of any other association dedicated to the support of Psychological Science. The Executive Director for Science, Steve Breckler, is brimming with ideas and has the capacity to translate his ideas to actions that benefit our community, and all of Psychology.

Note for example the way APA describes itself in a recent press release.

The place of "researchers" and of "psychological science" is gratifying:

"...APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare..."