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American Psychological Association

American Psychological Association

Logo of the APA

Headquarters750 First Street, NE
Washington, D.C., United States
Membership150,000 members
PresidentSharon Stephens Brehm, PhD

The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US, with around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m.




The APA mission statement is to advance psychology:

  • as a science and profession and
  • as a means of promoting health, education, and human welfare by the encouragement of psychology in all its branches in the broadest and most liberal manner;
  • by the promotion of research in psychology and the improvement of research methods and conditions;
  • by the improvement of the qualifications and usefulness of psychologists through high standards of ethics, conduct, education, and achievement;
  • by the establishment and maintenance of the highest standards of professional ethics and conduct of the members of the Association;
  • by the increase and diffusion of psychological knowledge through meetings, professional contacts, reports, papers, discussions, and publications;
  • thereby to advance scientific interests and inquiry, and the application of research findings to the promotion of health, education, and the public welfare.[1]


Each year, the APA recognizes top psychologists with the "Distinguished Contributions" Awards; these awards are the highest honors given by the APA, and among the highest honors that a psychologist or psychology researcher can receive.

  • Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology (Early Career / Senior)
  • Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest (Early Career / Senior)
  • Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology
  • Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology
  • Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research
  • Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Practice in the Public Sector
  • Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology
  • The Theodore H. Blau Early Career Award for Outstanding Contribution to Professional Clinical Psychology[1]

The use of "psychologist" as title

APA policy on the use of the title psychologist is contained in the General Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services: "Psychologists have a doctoral degree in psychology from an organized, sequential program in a regionally accredited university or professional school" and suggests "refer[ence] to master's-level positions as counselors, specialists, clinicians, and so forth (rather than as 'psychologists')." A definition of psychology is offered: "the study of the mind and behavior."[2].

The Psychologically Healthy Workplace program

The Psychologically Healthy Workplace is a program sponsored by the American Psychological Association designed to promote better employment practices. The program and award recognizes employers that provide outstanding work environments and programs in five key areas: Employee Involvement, Work-Life Balance, Employee Growth and Development, and Employee Recognition. Awards are given at the state and national level.

2007 national award winners included: El Nuevo Dia, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Healthwise, Koinonia Homes, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities Network.

APA style

APA is perhaps best known for APA style, a writing style and formatting standard widely used in the social sciences (especially psychology), and is occasionally confused with the American Psychiatric Association (who also use the acronym APA).


Psychologists advising interrogators

When it emerged that psychologists are advising interrogators in Guantánamo and other US facilities on improving the effectiveness of interrogation techniques, the Association called on the U.S. government to prohibit the use of unethical interrogation techniques and labeled specific techniques as torture.[3] Critics pointed out that the APA declined to advise its members not to participate in such interrogations.[4] This was in contrast to the American Psychiatric Association ban in May 2006 of all direct participation in interrogations by psychiatrists,[5] and the American Medical Association ban in June 2006 of the direct participation in interrogations of physicians.[6]



The APA was founded in July 1892 at Clark University by a group of 26 men. Its first president was G. Stanley Hall. There are currently 54 professional divisions in the APA. It is affiliated with 60 state, territorial, and Canadian provincial associations.

Dominance of clinical psychology

Due to the dominance of clinical psychology in APA, several research-focused groups have broken away from APA. These include the Psychonomic Society in 1959 (with a primarily cognitive orientation), and the Association for Psychological Science (which changed its name from the American Psychological Society in early 2006) in 1988 (with a broad focus on the science and research of psychology). Within APA, the Science Directorate provides support and voice for psychological scientists. Theodore H. Blau was the first clinician in independent practice to be elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1977.[7]

Past Presidents

  • 2006 Gerald P. Koocher, PhD
  • 2005 Ronald F. Levant, EdD, ABPP
  • 2004 Diane F. Halpern, PhD
  • 2003 Robert J. Sternberg, PhD
  • 2002 Philip G. Zimbardo, PhD
  • 2001 Norine G. Johnson, PhD
  • 2000 Patrick H. Deleon, PhD, MPH, JD
  • 1999 Richard M. Suinn, PhD
  • 1998 Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD
  • 1997 Norman Abeles, PhD
  • 1996 Dorothy W. Cantor, PsyD
  • 1995 Robert J. Resnick, PhD, ABPP
  • 1994 Ronald E. Fox, PhD
  • 1993 Frank Farley, PhD
  • 1992 Jack Wiggins, Jr., PhD
  • 1991 Charles Spielberger, PhD
  • 1990 Stanley Graham, PhD
  • 1989 Joseph D. Matarazzo, PhD
  • 1988 Raymond D. Fowler, PhD
  • 1987 Bonnie R. Strickland, PhD
  • 1986 Logan Wright, PhD
  • 1985 Robert Perloff, PhD
  • 1984 Janet T. Spence, PhD
  • 1983 Max Siegal, PhD
  • 1982 William Bevan, PhD
  • 1981 John J. Conger, PhD
  • 1980 Florence L. Denmark, PhD
  • 1979 Nicholas A. Cummings, PhD
  • 1978 M. Brewster Smith, PhD
  • 1977 Theodore Blau, PhD
  • 1976 Wilbert J. Mckeachie, PhD
  • 1975 Donald T. Campbell, PhD
  • 1974 Albert Bandura, PhD
  • 1973 Leona E. Tyler, PhD
  • 1972 Anne Anastasi, PhD
  • 1971 Kenneth B. Clark, PhD
  • 1970 George W. Albee, PhD
  • 1969 George A. Miller, PhD
  • 1968 A. H. Maslow, PhD
  • 1967 Gardner Lindzey, PhD
  • 1966 Nicholas Hobbs, PhD
  • 1965 Jerome Bruner, PhD
  • 1964 Quinn McNemar, PhD
  • 1963 Charles E. Osgood, PhD
  • 1962 Paul E. Meehl, PhD
  • 1961 Neal E. Miller, PhD
  • 1960 Donald O. Hebb, PhD
  • 1959 W. Kohler, PhD
  • 1958 H. F. Harlow, PhD
  • 1957 Lee J. Cronbach, PhD
  • 1956 Theodore M. Newcombe, PhD
  • 1955 E. Lowell Kelly, PhD
  • 1954 O. H. Mowrer, PhD
  • 1953 Laurence Frederic Shaffer, PhD
  • 1952 Joseph McVicker Hunt, PhD
  • 1951 Robert R. Sears, PhD
  • 1950 Joy Paul Guilford, PhD
  • 1949 Ernest R. Hilgard, PhD
  • 1948 Donald G. Marquis, PhD
  • 1947 Carl R. Rogers, PhD
  • 1946 Henry E. Garrett, PhD
  • 1945 Edwin R. Guthrie, PhD
  • 1944 Garder Murphy, PhD
  • 1943 John Edward Anderson, PhD
  • 1942 Calvin Perry Stone, PhD
  • 1941 Herbert Woodrow, PhD
  • 1940 Leonard Carmichael, PhD
  • 1939 Gordon Willard Allport, PhD
  • 1938 John Frederick Dashiell, PhD
  • 1937 Edward Chace Tolman, PhD
  • 1936 Clark Leonard Hull, PhD
  • 1935 Albert Theodor Poffenberger, PhD
  • 1934 Joseph Peterson, PhD
  • 1933 Luis Leon Thurstone, PhD
  • 1932 Walter Richard Miles, PhD
  • 1931 Walther Samuel Hunter, PhD
  • 1930 Herbert Sidney Langfeld, PhD
  • 1929 Karl Lashley, PhD
  • 1928 Edwin Garrigues Boring, PhD
  • 1927 Harry Levi Hollingsworth, PhD
  • 1926 Harvey A. Carter, PhD
  • 1925 Madison Bentley, PhD
  • 1924 Granville Stanley Hall, PhD
  • 1923 Lewis Madison Terman, PhD
  • 1922 Knight Dunlap, PhD
  • 1921 Margaret Floy Washburn, PhD
  • 1920 Shepard Ivory Franz, PhD
  • 1919 Walter Dill Scott, PhD
  • 1918 John Wallace Baird, PhD
  • 1917 Robert Mearns Yerkes, PhD
  • 1916 Raymond Dodge, PhD
  • 1915 John Broadus Watson, PhD
  • 1914 Robert Sessions Woodworth, PhD
  • 1913 Howard Crosby Warren, PhD
  • 1912 Edward Lee Thorndike, PhD
  • 1911 Carl Emil Seashore, PhD
  • 1910 Walter Bowers Pillsbury, PhD
  • 1909 Charles Hubbard Judd, PhD
  • 1908 George Malcolm Stratton, PhD
  • 1907 Henry Rutgers Marshall, AM
  • 1906 James Rowland Angell, MA
  • 1905 Mary Whiton Calkins, AM
  • 1904 William James, MD
  • 1903 William Lowe Bryan, PhD
  • 1902 Edmund Clark Sanford, PhD
  • 1901 Josiah Royce, PhD
  • 1900 Joseph Jastrow, PhD
  • 1899 John Dewey, PhD
  • 1898 Hugo Munensterberg, PhD
  • 1897 James Mark Baldwin, PhD
  • 1896 George Stuart Fullerton, MA
  • 1895 James McKeen Cattell, PhD
  • 1894 William James, MD
  • 1893 George Trumbull Ladd, PhD
  • 1892 Granville Stanley Hall, PhD

See also

  • APA style
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Psychoanalytic Association
  • Psychonomic Society
  • Rind et al.


  1. ^ American Psychological Association, Division 12, The Society of Clinical Psychology. Retrieved on 2007-10-14.
  2. ^ APA: About Us
  3. ^ APA Press Release, August 20, 2007
  4. ^ Stephen Soldz: Psychologists, Guantánamo, and Torture: A Profession Struggles to Save Its Soul (ZNet, 3 August 2006); Protecting the Torturers Bad Faith and Distortions From the American Psychological Association (Counterpunch, 6 September 2006); Letter to the CEO of the American Psychological Association (, 28 November 2006)
  5. ^ Statement on Interrogation (PDF file)
  6. ^ New AMA ethical policy opposes direct physician participation in interrogation
  7. ^ Noted psychologist Theodore Blau. St. Petersburg Times (February 1 2003). Retrieved on 2007-09-14.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "American_Psychological_Association". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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