Stories continued from Spring 2004 issue


Committee Reports

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The Chair of the Finance Committee has worked closely with Treasurer Gloria Gottsegen and past-President Elizabeth Carll on reviewing our Division income and expenses for 2003, and preparing the budget for 2004, which was unanimously approved by the Board at its February 19 meeting in Washington. By holding this meeting at the APA Headquarters Building, we facilitated our working with APA Chief Financial Officer, Jack McKay, on investing our reserve funds in safe but higher yielding securities that will contribute to our income and Division operations. We also discovered that we are the only Division that sends its newsletter to members via first class mail. We have modified this to save on postage, which will require advancing the deadlines for the Amplifier so that information about Division activities can continue to be communicated to our members in a timely manner.

The Nominations and Elections Committee
Peter Sheras, Chair

The Nominations and Elections Committee is composed of the President-Elect of the Division as Chair, the President, and the Secretary or Treasurer, whichever is most recently elected. Their charge is to make sure that a call for nominations goes out to members in The Amplifier and further solicit nominations prior to the deadline for candidate submission. The committee requests candidate statements for distribution to the membership as well. The quality and continuity of leadership in the Division depends upon the committee’s ability to communicate with the membership and identify those interested in leadership activities. Candidates are often selected from those who have participated on Division taskforce and interest groups as well as members of other standing committees.

Membership Committee
Rochelle Balter, Chair

Division 46’s time has finally come. Our 2003 expanded mission statement (reprinted below) makes us a cutting edge division, and we want to sell that and use it to help bring in new members. As part of our recruitment campaign, I would like us to focus on the newer communication technologies such as Internet, telehealth, distance learning, and virtual reality as well as the mind–machine interface, and use our personal communications skills to invite friends who are interested in these technologies to become Division 46 members. Look for APA members who are gung ho Internet people, or virtual reality people. If they appear interested, email their names to me at RBalt@aol.com, and I will guarantee that they receive information and a membership application. For those of you who have not seen the new mission statement, it follows below. One to one is usually effective so let’s go for it.

Division 46 Mission Statement: The Division of Media Psychology’s mission is to enhance psychologists’ roles in the research, application, training, teaching, and practice of both traditional media and newer information and communication technologies. Traditional media technologies include radio, television, film, video, and print media. Newer information and communication technologies include areas such as Internet, telehealth, distance learning, virtual reality, and new developments utilizing the interface between the human mind and machine such as robotics and various forms of brain signal communication. The Division also seeks to facilitate interaction between psychology and media representatives, to prepare psychologists to interpret psychological research to the lay public and to other professionals.

Editorial Policies and Guidelines Committee
Helen Friedman, PhD, Chair

The Editorial Policies and Guidelines Committee is designed to consider any editorial issues that arise and, when appropriate, to present the information and make recommendations to the Board. Division 46 has a number of venues in which such issues may arise, including the Division’s website, listserv, and newsletter. Standing members of the committee include the newsletter editor, the administrator of the website and listserv, and one or two additional Division members. We look forward to serving you.

News Media, Public Education, and Public Policy Committee
Elizabeth K. Carll, PhD, Chair The mission of the News Media, Public Education, and Public Policy Committee (NMPEPP) is to promote the dissemination of psychological information relating to various social issues, such as violence and children, community mental health issues, portrayal of minorities, portrayal of women, social conflict, and terrorism via the news media. Disseminating accurate information through the news media is important to the formation of public opinion and possibly influencing public policy. In previous years the committee has sponsored APA Convention symposiums on children, violence, and the media, and also on news portrayal of social issues in media and its influence on social policy.

In addition, the Committee developed the News Media Recognition Award for excellence in the reporting of psychological information and research. The third annual Award will be presented at the 2004 APA Convention in Hawaii. If you have recommendations or would like to nominate an outstanding print or broadcast journalist who has reported on important psychological stories, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Carll at ecarll@optonline.net.

Fellows Committee
Elizabeth K. Carll, PhD, Chair

Achieving initial Fellow status in APA has been associated with the recognition that the individual has achieved great distinction in his or her field. The criteria for eligibility for nomination to fellow status in Division 46 includes:

If you are currently a Fellow in another Division, the process is more rapid. If you are interested in attaining Fellow status, or are a fellow in the Division and are interested in serving on the Fellows Committee, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Carll, Fellows Committee Chair at ecarll@optonline.net or 631-754-2424.

Program Committee
James H. Bray, PhD, Chair, Jean Carillo, Co-Chair

Hawaii is around the corner—make your travel plans NOW. The program for the APA Annual Convention in Honolulu will be fantastic!!! We will have 3 invited addresses, one invited symposium, 2 workshops, one film discussion, a poster session and 10 symposia that cover a broad range of media psychology. Our invited programs will prove to be real crowd pleasers. Dr. Elizabeth Carll organized an invited talk by Dr. Paul Ekman on “Enhancing the Communication of Emotions.” We will also have two invited programs with other divisions: “Challenges of Being The Psychologist Advisor to Heads of State in Europe” and “Media/ICT, Psychology and World Events.” The invited symposium is on “Scientists Talking to the Media: Getting it Right.” The complete program will be published in the Summer edition of The Amplifer.

Be sure to attend our social hour on Thursday evening. It is be GREAT fun!!! Aloha.

Long Range Planning Committee
Lili Friedland, PhD, Chair

Members Participating in Conference Call: Lilli Friedland, chair; Elizabeth Carll, Alan Entin, Gloria Gottesegen, Florence Kaslow, Peter Sheras, and Charles Spielberger.

VISION: The Long-Range Planning Committee recommended and the Board approved the redefinition of the vision statement of Division 46 to include new media, technology, research and content, in addition to the traditional “on-air” areas.

GOALS: Proposed the following goals to actualizing the vision: 1) recruiting new members in technology area and 2) establishing additional credibility and salience of including new technologies in Division 46 throughout APA and outside.

3–5 year goals focused on expansion of awareness, activities, and members from traditional Media Psychology domain to include expanded new media technologies areas such as robotics, nanotechnology, and telehealth.

Issues Facing Division: Achieving acceptance of full arena of media psychology (including telehealth and new technologies) and adding value to the membership was discussed. There was discussion of marketing the resources of the Division and publicizing the expertise.

Ethics Committee
Kate M. Wachs, PhD, Chair

APA and Division 46 have both changed in the past 20 years. Besides the 2002 revisions to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, APA’s attitude toward individual divisions promulgating guidelines has also changed. So the Ethics Committee has three main projects this year:

  1. We will be working closely with Dr. Stephen Behnke, Director of APA’s Ethics Office, to redefine the charge of our Ethics Committee. We will also draft an updated Ethics Committee description for use by our D46 Ad Hoc By-Laws Revision Committee when they update our division bylaws.
  2. President-Elect Peter Sheras and I will be working enthusiastically on the Media Psychology Casebook, with assistance from Dr. Behnke and others.
  3. We’ll also explore an update/repackaging of “Suggestions For Psychologists Working With The Media” (a document I edited/co-wrote as PIC Chair several years ago that still stands as the most recent/most official media psychology guidelines/suggestions document). PIC charged D46 with the promulgation of this document several years ago, but it was delayed pending the revision of the Principles. Once we fully understand APA’s position, we’ll know if we can fulfill our charge to distribute some form of the document.

Peter, Stephen, and I will be presenting a Conversation Hour at the convention this year (tentatively scheduled for Saturday, 7/31/04, from 9 to10 AM) to update D46 members and answer media guidelines/suggestions/casebook questions. We’ll also have more to say about all these topics, as well as the future of the Ethics Committee, in future Amplifiers.

Division 46 Website and ListServ
Rich Bedrosian, PhD, Web and ListServ Master

We are reviewing the current website design with an eye towards making it more informative and user friendly. Comments from members would greatly assist our efforts. If you have any ideas, please send them to Rich Bedrosian (rbedrosian@myselfhelp.com).

 

Telehealth

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In addition to an annual convention, ATA’s Industry Council sponsors a 2-day Business Opportunity Meeting in DC. Last December, I met the Saudi royals’ rep, who was ready to spend tens of millions! The home telehealth industry hosts a separate Florida getaway. That’s where the ATA home telehealth clinical guidelines originated. Nurses wrote it. What we call behavior change and self-management, they call patient education—which they own. Similarly, the mental telehealth group, the most utilized specialty, is run primarily for and by psychiatrists.

Bottom line, psychologists are NOT schmoozing on the Hill or at the associations where the heavy hitters hang out and powerful industry partnerships are fast forming in telehealth.

Our Problem
If psychologists are experts in evidence-based self-management, and 85% of healthcare is self-care, then why are we not the “household word” that APA President-Elect Ron Levant would have us be? Worse, will we be the dinosaurs of the Telehealth Age?

Can we say the “M” word (marketing) yet, without choking? Are we not ready to heed Richard Winett’s argument in the 1995 American Psychologist (A framework for health promotion and disease prevention programs) to pay attention to the 5 Ps: product, price, promotion, place, and positioning? Or shall we remain mired in “contemplation” and run the very real risk of being even more professionally marginalized?

Alternatively, if we were ready, perhaps we’d leverage telehealth, during this transformational period in healthcare, to take Norman Anderson’s challenge, to move to the center of the healthcare delivery system. Maybe we’d learn from Bandura—to copy the success of others and entertain people while educating them.

A Potential Solution
Consider the Chronic Care model of William Dietz, MD, PhD, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director of Nutrition and Physical Activity. He sees self-management as the central link between the entire community and the entire medical system.

With proliferating technology, already baffled consumers will next be asking, “Do I pick Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus eGame for Suzy? And, which online cancer support network is best for mom?” Health systems, employers, and home telehealth vendors will ask, “Do I invest in a nurse teleconsulting group or license a ProChange IHC for my cardiac patients at home?”

As pressures mount for healthier lifestyles at lower cost, science matters more. In my view, we need to position ourselves to be the independent voice, the experts for science-based self-management and technology—that can appeal to ALL consumers. This is our niche anyway—we just haven’t promoted it. We could promote an expert panel of Media Psychologists and partner with popular media, such as Consumer Reports, JD Powers, or U.S. News and World Report to publish the annual ratings.

We need an industry-sponsored place where we build relationships. We could create a place to annually invite the private sector (Information Technology [IT], Telehealth) and public sector (Department of Defense [DoD], Small-Business Innovative Research [SBIR] granters of IHC) to display their wares, while our expert panel rates the next generation of self-management technology.

We need to make it an entertaining competition—a Technology Challenge. The government did it, quite successfully. The “Technology Games 2000” was fun. This was a state-of-the-art health technology showcase, at a Healthy People conference, located in a sponsored section of the exhibit area. Both private and public developers set up their rows of laptops—allowing judges (sponsored by the Annenberg School of Communication), as well as conference attendees, to “test drive” their applications. Both peer-reviewed and “popular vote” awards were conferred (http://www.health.gov/partnerships/Exhibits/gameslist.htm).

In my view, we don’t need to chase that train that’s already left the station. Why not build a bigger train? Ours would carry ALL consumers, not just the medical system side of the Dietz model. This is my proposal.

TNT Goals
At the 2005 APA Convention in Washington, DC, Media Psychology would co-sponsor the kick off of its annual TNT Challenge—a showcase of the state-of-the-art technology (market-ready products) for delivering self-management. Our Media Psychology expert panel would give peer-reviewed ratings and awards. Exhibit attendees would be encouraged to “test drive” applications and vote for the ‘popular’ award. Additionally, we’d:

As an Authentic Happiness graduate, I learned from Marty Seligman that if we optimistically engage and share our strengths in this effort, both the process and the product promise to be meaningful. I hope you’ll join in and deploy your strengths—wherever they fit into the above areas. Let’s begin discussion on the Media Psychology listserv.

Because it’s my passion, I’m in this to finish it. I’ll develop this idea wherever it’s most enthusiastically facilitated. Hopefully, that’ll be APA. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have chosen to chair this committee. So, let’s get this train on track!

Member News

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Curricula
Bernard Luskin, Director of the Media Psychology Program reports that Fielding Graduate Institute has admitted its second group of students into the PhD Media Psychology program. There are now fourteen PhD students enrolled, in addition to a number of clinical students taking courses in media psychology. The cluster includes several IT directors, faculty members in universities, a K-12 faculty member, a telemedicine specialist and a manager of an e-learning program in a major university. The spread validates the findings of the Division Task for Study on Psychology and New Technologies completed by the division in 1998. This is the first Media Psychology PhD program in a school of psychology and was launched in September 2003.

Barry Gordon has developed a series of LIVE online CE courses, using state-of-the-art video webcast technology. The instructor is seen and heard in high definition streaming video, and participants may send questions directly from their computers. All colleagues with a Broadband connection (cable, DSL ) to the Internet may take these exciting, interactive courses—at less cost than most brick and mortar workshops. The live video quality is exceptional, and it may be viewed in full-screen mode for extra clarity. The first 6-hour course on CA Laws, Ethics and Regulations will be presented live online over three consecutive Saturdays in March, 2004. Each module offers 2 hours APA CE credits, and may be taken separately or together. Modules are digitally recorded during each webcast, and will be available 24/7 by Broadband streaming video. Colleagues with dial-up connections to the Internet may purchase CD, DVD, or VHS versions. All recorded modules will satisfy home study and distance learning requirements for APA CE credits.
Additional course information, demonstration videos, and online registration may be seen at http://www.iahb.org/html/ethics_online.html.

Jina Carvalho, Director of Communication for the Glendon Association, announces that The Gelndon Association is offering Challenging Critical Inner Voices: Applications of Voice Therapy in Your Clinical Practice, for the third time as a Continuing Education COURSE (12 CE credits for Psychologists, MFTs, LCSW, Nurses, & Certified Counselors will be provided by Fielding Graduate Insititute. The training will be held in Santa Barbara, California on 21-23 May 2004 with instructors Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., and Joyce Catlett, MD. Learning to deal effectively with the "critical inner voice" is central to all areas of life. This seminar will give you new tools to help your clients enhance their personal development, create healthy relationships, and overcome problems of addiction and depression. This training is designed to provide clinicians and counselors with in-depth knowledge of an innovative cognitive/affective/behavioral technique called Voice Therapy ( developed by Robert Firestone) that can enhance a therapist's ability to achieve positive treatment outcomes for their clients. Further details can be found at the Amplifier website, at www.Glendon.org, by calling toll free: 800-663-5281 Ext 29, or emailing organizer Jina Carvalho at Jina@glendon.org.

Advocacy
Elizabeth Carll, PhD, 2003 president of Division 46, participated in the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva, Switzerland. As a result of her participation in the drafting of the WSIS Civil Society Declaration, the importance of the right of access for all people to mental health information via information and communication technologies was included, which highlighted the importance of two-way flows of communication to address prevention, treatment, and the promotion of mental health.

Successful Promotion of the Children and Advertising Task Force Report

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By using the strong science of the report as the lead of the press release, APA could comfortably announce its official position of recommending a restriction on television advertising for children. Most news outlets don’t like to miss out on covering a large organization’s official statement. The report’s timing also fit nicely with a new Kaiser Foundation’s report, which showed that children who spent more time with media (TV, Internet) were more likely to be overweight. APA’s report had similar findings backed by research: Television commercials can lead to children’s overindulging in sugary foods, which could be partially responsible for the unhealthy eating habits as evidenced by today’s youth obesity epidemic.

A few weeks before the release of the report, the two co-chairs of the task force, the Manager of Public Affairs and the Executive Director of Public and Member Communications discussed what the media would be looking for, potential problems with the report, and what kinds of questions the media would ask.

When APA’s council of representatives received the report and adopted its recommendations on a Friday afternoon, it was decided that the press release be embargoed [embargo means a time and date set for release so all journalists wanting to cover the story will have the same start time] for the following Monday night at 6 PM. This decision was made for two reasons. First, such timing would give reporters a day (Monday) besides the weekend to prepare their stories. The second reason was that waiting might give APA an opportunity to try and capitalize on Tuesday’s newspaper’s special science and health sections (specifically the Washington Post and New York Times).

The media strategy worked. The Task Force on Advertising and Children received strong coverage from February 24 through February 27, 2004. The coverage focused on the research findings, and all the stories were accurate. National television airings included CNN and NBC. ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox Television affiliates around the country covered the report. According to the Nielsen Media Research, Inc., the report generated 68 television stories with an estimated audience of 3,538,058. Radio coverage included Associated Press, CNN, CBS, and National Public Radio, with a total estimated audience of more than 9 million listeners.

Print coverage reached most of the national daily papers, thanks to the Associated Press and Reuters coverage and quite a few international papers. The report also got coverage on a front-page story of the Washington Post Business section, two stories in the New York Times (one by the advertising columnist), a story in USA Today, and a story in the Wall Street Journal.