Candidates for APA President
How would you justify "basic behavioral research" to a policy-maker who is not convinced that it is good use of public funds?
I would remind the policy maker that, in this case, it takes three to tango: basic science to discover and test fundamental principles; applied science to develop specific applications; and practice to implement the applications and help raise new questions for scientific investigation. Basic science generates breakthroughs that produce a whole new range of practical applications that can be used to benefit individuals and society. To diminish the science of basic behavior research is to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs of increasingly effective psychological interventions. To promote science is to invest in the future of practice.
What concrete steps would you take to promote unity between psychologists who think of themselves as scientists and those who think of themselves as practitioners?
Cooperative learning paradigms (small groups, common goals, recognized ability of each member to contribute to the group's success) have demonstrated effectiveness in enhancing collaboration. We should start a pilot project at the 2006 convention. The common goal would be stronger advocacy at the state and federal levels. Participants would include educators, practitioners and scientists. Advocacy strategies would be developed, and APA would assist with implementation. Working together, with each constituency benefiting from the actions of the other constituencies, we can develop a united front of advocacy that will benefit all of psychology. Positive interdependence creates a unit relationship (Heider, 1958).
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