Talk:Association for Psychological Science

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Adding the complete history of the student executive board committee is a bit ridiculous. If it belongs on WP, it should be its own page instead of on the society's main page. I have removed it.

Nestify (talk) 13:31, 6 September 2008 (UTC)


The most recent version[1] contained a lot of promotional language and links to the APS site. I toned it down and changed to WP links where appropriate. justinfr (talk/contribs) 13:19, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

History of APS[edit]

It might be interesting to have a section on the history of APS and it's split from APA. Robertekraut (talk) 21:39, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

This link might help. APS Observer, vol. 2, no. 1, January 1989, Letter of Robyn M. Dawes to APA Council of Representatives. --Nbauman (talk) 17:13, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Here's another one. Report finds 'no convincing evidence' that psychological debriefing reduces incidence of PTSD --Nbauman (talk) 17:16, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Now we're getting there. APS Observer, Vol. 21, No. 2, February 2008. Charter Member Memories Roberto Refinetti: "At least from my perspective, the major driving force behind the creation of this new psychological association, the American Psychological Society, was the feeling that the American Psychological Association was becoming more and more a professional union and less and less a scientific society. This feeling was probably one reason why the APS membership later voted to rename APS as the Association for Psychological Science -- thus formalizing psychologists' need to reassert the scientific nature of their discipline."

Robyn M. Dawes: Please, Kick Us Off
I would like to share a story from my very first day as a charter member of APS: It was in Atlanta, Georgia in the fall of 1988 at an APA meeting. I was a member of the APA Council. Some of my colleagues who I admired most on this council were also members of the APA Board of Directors, and after indicating some displeasure with the guild direction of APA, they were treated miserably. I remember in particular the treatment of three female members. (Perhaps I was particularly incensed as a result of some implicit male chauvinism that might still be around.)
There was a motion to kick those of us who had indicated an interest in what was then called ASAP (Association of Scientific and Applied Psychology) off the council. That motion was introduced one morning, and it appeared likely to succeed. I wanted it to succeed. I was in favor of a clear and open break with the society that can encourage such obviously unscientific procedures as recovering repressed memory, use of schlocky projective tests in important legal settings, and so on. But then at the noon break, someone distributed a letter from someone in the American Psychiatric Association indicating that "psychologists were at each other's throats." So we were not kicked off, and the break was a little less clear and public than it might otherwise have been.

Google Books has a generous sampling of this book by Dawes, including a good introduction.
House of cards: psychology and psychotherapy built on myth By Robyn M. Dawes

He complains that psychologists are justifying their conclusions with "clinical experience" rather than with good scientific studies.

What exactly was Dawes' position in the APS? He seems to be a founding member. --Nbauman (talk) 17:42, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Page Updates and Review[edit]

I am affiliated with APS and have made edits to this page in order to update the entry. I would like to request and encourage review of the page and welcome any feedback. Apsweaver (talk) 20:42, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

To be perfectly honest, it comes off as very self-promotional. It's not always overt, but there's lots of fairly trivial information added that seems to only serve the purpose of asserting the association's credibility and validity.
For example: "A version of his blogs appear on Huffington Post." Anyone can blog on the Huffington Post. Something about being officially paid by them or his relative popularity with its many other bloggers. Also: "A founding principle of the organization is a dedication to supporting the teaching of psychological science." This is a subjective, non-concrete statement.
Here are some more: "APS publishes several high-impact journals," "[the APA] could no longer adequately meet [the APS's] needs," "whose specialties span the entire spectrum of scientific, applied, and teaching specialties," "meet other distinguished researchers," "Honorees are recognized annually at the APS Convention" (four times), "which publishes concise reviews written by leading experts," amongst others.
I would read through WP:POV. -- (talk) 17:15, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

What's the problem with this section?[edit]

I see Histpsy, who joined Wikipedia and only made one edit, took out the section I wrote The edit removes the following section:

The APS was founded by members who broke with the American Psychological Association because they felt that the APA was becoming "more and more a professional union and less and less a scientific society." Immediately after the APS was founded, the APA Board of Directors made a motion (which failed) to kick members of the APS off the APA Council.[1] Founding member Robyn M. Dawes complains in his book House of Cards that psychologists are justifying their conclusions with "trained clinical intuition" rather than with "validated techniques and principles" based on good scientific studies. Even worse, psychologists are using techniques and principles that are known to be untrue and invalid, and don't admit the limitations of their knowledge, even in commitment hearings, custody cases, or suspected child abuse.[2]

I think this edit misses the point.

I'm a science writer, not a psychologist, but I went to an early meeing of the APS in New York when some of the organizers invited me, and their president (I think it was) gave a talk that I thought was very insightful.

He made the important point that the APS members believed in evidence-based psychology, and the APA did not. The APA was embracing members who practiced therapies that had no scientific basis and often had been demonstrated to be not only ineffective but harmful. That's the point I tried to make from those WP:RS.

This edit does not clearly state those issues. It doesn't clearly state the significant differences between the APS and APA. As the entry now stands, it's addressing these issues in allusive and elliptical ways. Wikipedia is written for the ordinary non-specialist reader -- even a high school student [Know your audience] If the reader weren't already familiar with the politics of psychology, he or she wouldn't know what you're talking about in many sections. I'd also refer you to WP:MISSION. What does "the improvement of human welfare" mean? Does that mean that the APA's mission doesn't include the improvement of human welfare?

The APS has the mission of promoting science-based psychology, which is increasingly important now that almost any quack can get paid for treatments by a health insurance company. This is turning into academicese which doesn't even say that. You're throwing out your important contributions and replacing them with gobbledgook that your readers don't understand. --Nbauman (talk) 18:29, 10 July 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Charter Member Memories, APS Observer, Vol. 21, No. 2, February 2008.
  2. ^ [House of cards: psychology and psychotherapy built on myth By Robyn M. Dawes]

Backwards information on split from APA[edit]

From the current Wikipedia article: APS was founded in 1988 by a group of scientifically-oriented researchers and practitioners who are interested in advancing scientific psychology and its representation at the national level. This group of psychologists felt that the American Psychological Association (APA), psychology’s parent organization, could no longer adequately meet their needs, generally deriving from the fact that the APA focused solely on the more scientific research oriented psychologist, while ignoring the practitioner/clinician half of psychology, and had effectively “become a guild”.

This is backwards. The complaint of the APS was that the APA had become too focused on the practitioner/clinician side of psychology and had neglected the scientific research oriented psychologist. (talk) 18:27, 19 December 2014 (UTC)APSmember

relationship today with APA[edit]

The lead says the APS used to be the American Psychological Association. The History section says that both organizations coexisted and were in substantive dispute. The latter implies a take-over, such as a merger. But today both organizations exist and have different chief executives and websites. Is the lead exaggerating something, did the organizations merge and then separate, did many members shift what they were members of, or is there another explanation? I'm not familiar enough with either to edit this article myself. Nick Levinson (talk) 01:08, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Wow, that was a beaut of a mistake. I struck it out. Sorry about that. No edit is needed for the article, to my knowledge. Nick Levinson (talk) 05:13, 31 March 2016 (UTC)


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