Candidates for APA President
How would you use the position of APA president as a key spokesperson for American psychology?
I will encourage APA and its membership to focus on psychology's relevance to humanity. To the degree we serve society well, the science and practice of psychology will be respected, encouraged and well funded. To the degree that our publications focus on obscure and irrelevant research, ineffective practice and our own professional self-interest, our profession will fail. We need to worry less about public relations and more about the utility of our work. And, psychologists need to be prepared to attack society's problems from outside the consulting room. There's more for us to do in the world than good psychotherapy.
How can psychology increase its influence on public policy?
We must increase psychology's relevance. Too often we see demands for relevance and utility as sacrilegious! We ignore opportunities. Examples? There is no public issue more deserving of attention than our prison system. We do little relevant research although our nation incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any other. Psychologists, the experts in human behavior, should be providing answers to the problems of crime and punishment. Another example? Find a way to reduce the divorce rate by 50 percent, and society will beat a path to our profession's door! Psychology can increase its influence on public policy through relevance.