MPTUO1a: Unit 1 Videos / Disciplinary Organization
Week 1 / Unit 1
Video: Disciplinary Organization
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Video Transcript – Disciplinary Organization
See also: List of psychology organizations
In 1920, Édouard Claparède and Pierre Bovet created a new applied psychology organization called the International Congress of Psychotechnics Applied to Vocational Guidance, later called the International Congress of Psychotechnics and then the International Association of Applied Psychology. The IAAP is considered the oldest international psychology association. Today, at least 65 international groups deal with specialized aspects of psychology. In response to male predominance in the field, female psychologists in the U.S. formed National Council of Women Psychologists in 1941. This organization became the International Council of Women Psychologists after World War II, and the International Council of Psychologists in 1959. Several associations including the Association of Black Psychologists and the Asian American Psychological Association have arisen to promote non-European racial groups in the profession.
The world federation of national psychological societies is the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), founded in 1951 under the auspices of UNESCO, the United Nations cultural and scientific authority. Psychology departments have since proliferated around the world, based primarily on the Euro-American model. Since 1966, the Union has published the International Journal of Psychology. IAAP and IUPsyS agreed in 1976 each to hold a congress every four years, on a staggered basis.
The International Union recognizes 66 national psychology associations and at least 15 others exist. The American Psychological Association is the oldest and largest. Its membership has increased from 5,000 in 1945 to 100,000 in the present day. The APA includes 54 divisions, which since 1960 have steadily proliferated to include more specialties. Some of these divisions, such as the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the American Psychology–Law Society, began as autonomous groups.
The Interamerican Society of Psychology, founded in 1951, aspires to promote psychology and coordinate psychologists across the Western Hemisphere. It holds the Interamerican Congress of Psychology and had 1,000 members in year 2000. The European Federation of Professional Psychology Associations, founded in 1981, represents 30 national associations with a total of 100,000 individual members. At least 30 other international groups organize psychologists in different regions.
In some places, governments legally regulate who can provide psychological services or represent themselves as a “psychologist”. The APA defines a psychologist as someone with a doctoral degree in psychology.
Early practitioners of experimental psychology distinguished themselves from parapsychology, which in the late nineteenth century enjoyed great popularity (including the interest of scholars such as William James), and indeed constituted the bulk of what people called “psychology”. Parapsychology, hypnotism, and psychism were major topics of the early International Congresses. But students of these fields were eventually ostractized, and more or less banished from the Congress in 1900–1905. Parapsychology persisted for a time at Imperial University, with publications such as Clairvoyance and Thoughtography by Tomokichi Fukurai, but here too it was mostly shunned by 1913.
As a discipline, psychology has long sought to fend off accusations that it is a “soft” science. Philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 critique implied psychology overall was in a pre-paradigm state, lacking the agreement on overarching theory found in mature sciences such as chemistry and physics. Because some areas of psychology rely on research methods such as surveys and questionnaires, critics asserted that psychology is not an objective science. Skeptics have suggested that personality, thinking, and emotion, cannot be directly measured and are often inferred from subjective self-reports, which may be problematic. Experimental psychologists have devised a variety of ways to indirectly measure these elusive phenomenological entities.
Divisions still exist within the field, with some psychologists more oriented towards the unique experiences of individual humans, which cannot be understood only as data points within a larger population. Critics inside and outside the field have argued that mainstream psychology has become increasingly dominated by a “cult of empiricism” which limits the scope of its study by using only methods derived from the physical sciences. Feminist critiques along these lines have argued that claims to scientific objectivity obscure the values and agenda of (historically mostly male) researchers. Jean Grimshaw, for example, argues that mainstream psychological research has advanced a patriarchal agenda through its efforts to control behavior.
The above video and transcript use material from the Wikipedia articles “Introduction to Psychology” and “Psychology“, which are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
- Introduction to Psychology. (n.d.). In Wikibooks. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Psychology
- Psychology. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology
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