Candidates for APA President
Given that there is only so much that an incoming APA president can do during his or her 12-month presidency, state and then discuss the one issue about which you feel passionate and that, therefore, you will pursue with vigor if you are elected.
Psychology's scope is not only our greatest strength but also our biggest challenge. Few scholarly areas span such an enormous range of subspecialties. For example, one of my colleagues studies brain mechanisms that mediate the pleasure of eating; interestingly enough, these pathways appear to be hijacked by drugs of abuse. At the same time, another colleague treats patients whose lives have been ripped apart by those very drugs. Thus, although we tackle problems at a variety of levels, we can unite through our focus on behavior. Let's celebrate psychology's breadth and use it to solve real-world problems.
In your opinion, what are the most important contributions of psychology to the education process?
Last October, APA reached out to experts from all parts of the educational process and hosted the first Education Leadership Conference. I particularly applaud the conference's recommendation to introduce psychology as early as elementary school; this increases the chances of attracting young scholars to psychology and enhances resiliency and understanding of the links between behavior and health. Psychology has much to learn from educators and much to offer in both content and teaching skills. Perhaps the most important contribution of psychology to education is the understanding of human behavior that lets us forge alliances across disparate groups that benefit all.