Candidates for APA President

Q5: What are your plans to increase significantly the number of new members and retain current members?

Declining membership partly reflects demands for increased productivity and growing debt load among early career psychologists. Reversing this trend requires enhancing the perceived value of membership. For researchers, this means lobbying for the social importance of psychological research. For academics, it involves collaborating with other organizations to support educational funding. For clinicians, it means creating a role for psychologists to thrive in the emerging health-care system. It’s sometimes suggested the answer lies in social networking, but that is a medium, not a message. We must focus our efforts on goals that will make psychologists proud and help psychologists flourish.

Q6: What steps must APA take to ensure it has a legitimate, compelling and persuasive voice before the various state and federal legislatures and courts?

Working with state associations, we can spread the message that advocacy is more than asking for what we want; it involves regular contact with legislators at the local level. An important part of this effort involves disseminating materials that provide objective and empirically based recommendations for enhancing social systems. Doing so will require input from scientists and professionals to create comprehensive guidelines for ameliorating social problems. The recent effort to develop clinical guidelines is just one example of how we can aggregate psychological data to provide a united perspective from which to contribute to society.