The American Psychological Society (APS) is the leading national organization devoted solely to scientific psychology. Its mission is to promote, protect, and advance the interests of scientifically oriented psychology in research, application, and improvement of human welfare.
Established in 1988, the APS was instantly embraced by psychology’s scientific community, and its membership grew rapidly. By the end of its first year, APS opened an office in Washington, DC, and now has about 15,000 members from around the world. Members are engaged in scientific research or the application of scientifically grounded research spanning all areas of psychology. There are also student affiliates and institutional members. Distinguished contributions are recognized by fellow status.
The APS was created out of recognition that (a) the needs and interests of scientific and academic psychologists were distinct from those of members of the professional community primarily engaged in clinical practice and (b) there was a strong need for a society that would advance the interests of the discipline in ways that more specialized organizations were not intended to do. An interim group, the Assembly for Scientific and Applied Psychology (ASAP), had sought to reform the American Psychological Association from within, but their efforts were rejected by an APA membership-wide vote. The APS then became the official embodiment of the ASAP reform effort, and the new organization was launched on August 12,1988.
The APS publishes three journals: (a) Psychological Science publishes authoritative articles of interest across all of scientific psychology’s subdisciplines; (b) Current Directions in Psychological Science offers concise, invited reviews spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications; and (c) Psychological Science in the Public Interest provides definitive assessments by panels of distinguished researchers on topics on which psychological science has the potential to inform and improve the well-being of society. The APS also publishes the monthly Observer, featuring news and opinion pieces; a Current Directions Readers series in conjunction with Prentice Hall; a Festschrift series in conjunction with LEA Press; and self-published books on the teaching of psychology.
The APS holds a meeting in late spring each year to showcase the best of scientific psychology. The program features presentations by the field’s most distinguished researchers and educators in a variety of formats, including invited addresses and symposia, submitted symposia, “hot topic” talks, and posters. The convention also includes workshops on specialized topics.
APS Fund For The Teaching And Public Understanding Of Psychological Science
In 2004, the David and Carol Myers Foundation pledged $1 million to the APS for the creation of an endowed fund that aims “to enhance the teaching and public understanding of psychological science for students and the lay public, in the United States, Canada, and worldwide.”
The APS recognizes exceptional contributions to scientific psychology with two annual awards: (a) the APS William James Fellow Award for significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology and (b) the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for outstanding contributions to the area of applied psychological research.
APS Student Caucus
Students are an important and active component of APS. The APS Student Caucus (APSSC) is the representative body of the society’s student affiliates. The APSSC organizes research competitions, convention programs, and a variety of membership activities aimed at professional development and enhanced education in psychological science.
The APS is widely recognized as an active and effective leader in advancing the interests of basic and applied psychological, behavioral, and social science research in the legislative arena and in the federal agencies that support these areas of research.
- American Psychological Society, http://www.psychologicalorg