A New DVD and Power Point Presentation on International Psychology

Specific events covered include scenes from the first Psychology Day at the United Nations chaired by past APA President Florence Denmark with comments from APA CEO Norman Anderson.

by Judy Kuriansky, PhD and Uwe Gielen, PhD

 “I’ve always been interested in International Psychology, but what exactly is it?” asks a student. In response, APA Division 52 President Uwe Gielen explains that International Psychology focuses on communication, collaboration and networking between psychologists around the world, creating a field that meets the needs of an increasingly global world.   

And what is it like to be an international psychologist? asks another student. “It’s a marvelous opportunity to make bridges across many people and many cultures,” says Michael Knowles, current President of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP). These are some of the questions by students and responses by noted international psychologists featured in a new 45-minute documentary from APA Division 52 which is now available.  The DVD, titled, “International Psychology: What It Is and What Students Want to Know,” aims to acquaint students with international psychology and raise their interest in the field.

The sections of the DVD include: (1) a definition of International Psychology; (2) profiles of a number of international psychologists (where they work and with whom they work); (3) psychologists’ activities and student opportunities at the United Nations; (4) advice to students from international psychologists; (5) student’s descriptions of their international projects; (6) how students have received funding for their projects; (7) starting a career in international psychology; and  (8) guidelines about whether international psychology is a field that fits the student.

Specific events covered include scenes from the first Psychology Day at the United Nations chaired by past APA President Florence Denmark with comments from APA CEO Norman Anderson; students describing their internship at the United Nations; a discussion group of women from different countries planning a collaborative research project; a peace training workshop co-sponsored by IAAP and the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS); and professionals and students being interviewed at international conferences, including at the 2nd Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference in Amman, Jordan, the American Psychological Association 2007 convention in San Francisco and the 2008 International Congress of Psychology in Berlin, Germany.

International psychologists featured in the video represent many countries around the world including Argentina, Canada, China, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Poland, Turkey, the US, and many others. Some international psychologists featured include James Georgas from Greece, Michael Knowles from Australia, Raymond Hamden from Dubai and Elizabeth Nair from Singapore. Division 52 Past President Richard Velayo and his students describe internet technologies that facilitate international collaboration; a Clark University student describes her study of bystanders in the Rwanda genocide; and a University of Tennessee student tells of her research comparing 1,000 American, English and Chinese general managers about issues and personality traits related to job performance and satisfaction. Young professionals from Nigeria and Pakistan meet for the first time at an international conference and decide to do joint research on faith healing and another young professional makes a plea for more research about gay men of color overcoming heterosexism and racism.

APA is featured in the DVD through comments from members of Division 52 (e.g., Florence Denmark, Michael Stevens, and Danny Wedding); APA’s current CEO Norman Anderson and former CEO Ray Fowler; students learning about how to join Division 52; and a listing of APA resources. The DVD was produced by Division 52’s 2008 President Uwe Gielen and member Judy Kuriansky, with Jeremy Wedding as editor.

The DVD is accompanied by a 40-slide PowerPoint presentation on “International Psychology: History, Fundamentals, and Resources.” Created by Division 52’s Mercedes McCormick with former Pace University (now Antioch University) student Matthew Constable, it presents the scope of International Psychology, including theories and perspectives; history and trends in the field; professional regulations and ethical standards; career opportunities; and a listing of readings, journals, newsletters and websites. The presentation should prove helpful to students who wish to acquaint themselves in a more systematic manner with the field.

The PowerPoint presentation and the documentary complement each other: the PowerPoint introduces students and faculty in a formal way to the evolving field of International Psychology and the documentary represents the field through vivid interviews with psychologists and students from around the world. Together, the documentary and the PowerPoint shine a unique light on the progress of psychology toward an ever more global presence. Ψ