Candidates for APA President
To what extent do you believe that there is a gap between clinical research and real-world practice? If there is such a gap, what do you believe accounts for it, and what do you think should be done to address it?
Rigorous research design necessarily limits the generalizability of any particular data set. Behavioral science forms the foundation of clinical work, but a clinician skilled in data interpretation; human psychopathology; evaluating individual differences; and integrating variation related to culture, ethnicity and other factors adds essential elements to effective translation from laboratory to the real world. We value high-quality clinical research, and promoting lifelong learning can overcome gaps between laboratory innovation and the clinical office. Therapeutic approaches en vogue when I began training 30 years ago have become obsolete. We must all keep up with the science of psychology.
Given the recent adoption of the Multicultural Guidelines by APA and the role of psychologists as change agents, how do you envision using the guidelines to promote psychology's interests in public policy at the local, state and national level?
The "melting pot" view of America has inherently racist features, implying that acculturation and assimilation ought to yield a homogeneous society. In so doing, many elements of American society demean, exclude, criticize or otherwise reject people, behavior and preferences that are misunderstood or different. Psychology holds unique promise for promoting understanding using behavioral science to advance public knowledge, while fighting the adverse effects of prejudice and ignorance. Our guidelines offer models for approaching inclusion in both our profession and our delivery of service to others. We can and should promote social activism where we can add value with our knowledge.