2011 APA Annual Convention Video
This video report summarizes the highlights and accomplishments of the previous year, demonstrating how APA meets its mission to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.
Voiceover Narration; It has been another busy and productive year for the American Psychological Association. Membership in the organization remains strong, and public awareness of psychology as a discipline and a science continues to grow. APA remains at the forefront of the field -- advancing psychological research, education and practice, while addressing the needs of an ever-changing psychology work force.
APA is proud to have begun implementing its first strategic plan, giving the organization even more clarity on what lies ahead.
Dr. Norman B. Anderson: It’s been a really exciting year at APA as we’ve started to implement our first-ever strategic plan and move the association toward accomplishing its goals.
One of the proposed initiatives has to do with understanding psychology’s work force, to really collect data to better understand what the public needs from psychology and how psychology can better meet those needs.
Another thing we’re doing this year is something called the Good Governance Project, where we’ve convened a group of our members to make recommendations about our governance structure. The question really is, do we have the right governance structure for APA for the 21st century?
Another proposed initiative has to do with expanding our capability to produce treatment guidelines -- that is, to be able to better disseminate evidence-based approaches in psychology.
Voiceover Narration: APA is also leading the way in the shift to a team-based, interdisciplinary approach to science and health care.
Dr. Anderson: Both the science and health care worlds are moving to team-based work -- that is, team-based, interdisciplinary, science- and team-based interdisciplinary care. We want our members to be able to work in those environments. So we’re convening task forces to help us examine and actually be leaders in fostering team-based, interdisciplinary research involving psychologists, but also team-based health care involving psychologists as part of health care teams.
Voiceover Narration: A big part of APA’s strategic plan revolves around communicating APA’s message to members and the public. The organization has expanded its use of electronic communication to inform and engage its members. And social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn that have become a part of our everyday lives have become an important way for APA to get its message out.
Dr. Anderson: These days, social media is very important in society and APA is using its resources to enhance our presence in social media to benefit members to help them become more engaged with each other, but also to create a social media platform for the general public, to educate them more about psychology.
Voiceover Narration: APA continues to have a strong presence on Capitol Hill, making sure the voice of the psychologist is heard in Washington. Hundreds of APA members came to Washington throughout the year to advocate for psychology before Congress and federal agencies. Last year, APA was focused on helping to get health care reform passed, and this year the organization has been working on its implementation.
Working to eliminate healthcare disparities has also been an important goal of the organization.
Dr. Anderson: One of the big public health challenges facing our country is health disparities -- that is, differences in health outcomes between various racial and ethnic groups in the United States. To address this issue, we’re convening a group of experts to examine and make recommendations about evidence-based approaches to actually help eliminate health disparities.
Voiceover Narration: Disparities in educational outcomes is another area that needs psychology’s expertise. Understanding these growing disparities and working to reduce them is one of the three presidential initiatives of APA President Dr. Melba Vasquez.
Dr. Vasquez: Society benefits when we have a well-educated populace. And I’ve always been interested in education. I was a schoolteacher before I became a psychologist, and I learned recently that the educational gap among racial ethnic minorities, among poor people, is getting larger. And so that is a big concern, and I wanted this task force to look and see what psychology had to say about the problems with educational achievement for some groups of people.
Voiceover Narration: Another presidential initiative delves into the immigrant experience in America. Psychology recognizes the important role immigrants play in American society and is trying to better understand the psychological effects of immigration.
Dr. Vasquez: Immigration is such a major part of the American experience, and psychology has a lot to say about what today’s immigrant experience is like. So my task force members are looking at the evidence base in regard to the experience of immigrants, especially as it relates to the experience of acculturation, the experience of discrimination, how both federal and state policies in regard to immigration are affecting their lives, the lives of people across the lifespan: children, families – and what impact these policies are having on society.
Voiceover Narration: Discrimination, prejudice and bias are the focus of another presidential initiative—examining both cause and effect.
Dr. Vasquez: Yes, all my life I have been interested in the experience of discrimination and prejudice and bias, and so I appointed a task force of people who’ve been doing psychological research for decades about the experience of prejudice, discrimination and bias. We wanted to pool together the cutting-edge research about understanding what causes those attitudes and behaviors and the impact that they have on targets of prejudice – racism, discrimination, homophobia and so on.
Voiceover Narration: The APA Directorates – Education, Science, Practice and Public Interest – are hard at work for you, the APA members. They continue to be important conduits through which member needs are addressed, governance-created projects are completed and psychology and psychological expertise are brought to the public, policymakers and the news media.
The work of APA’s governance groups and directorates:
- sets standards for psychology education, research and practice
- advocates for funding for psychological research
- advocates for consumer access to quality mental and behavioral health care
- applies psychology to human welfare
- and educates the public about the breadth and value of the discipline
Be sure to visit their information booths outside of the exhibit hall in the convention center for more information about the work of the directorates.
As the world’s leading publisher of psychological scholarship APA continues to create new and better electronic platforms as a means for psychologists, students and others to access the discipline’s scholarship.
In 2011, for the first time, APA journal articles were published online first, creating access to new research within as few as 30 days after an article is accepted for publication through APA’s PsycARTICLES® database. APA journal articles are also now available through a mobile app. And in September, APA will release two new databases to serve the field. PsycTESTS®, a research database that provides access to complete psychological tests, measures, scales and other assessments, and PsycTHERAPY®, a database of streaming therapy demonstrations featuring clinicians working with participants.
APA will continue to provide critical resources for members to fulfill the organization’s vision to excel as a valuable effective and influential organization, advancing psychology as a scientific discipline. The world needs psychology—and psychology has more work to do. Thanks for helping us serve you--and welcome to Washington and the 119th annual APA convention.