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Scientists Divorce Practitioners: Split In The American Psychological Association

Prescriptions. Third-party payments. Health maintenance organizations. What do these have to do with science? That’s exactly what research scientists in the American Psychological Association have been asking for the past two decades as they watched psychologists in professional practice increasingly dominate the APA. Why should they put up with debates over health insurance and hospital admitting privileges? Why should they slog through conventions devoting more time to counseling techn

Liz Marshall

Prescriptions. Third-party payments. Health maintenance organizations. What do these have to do with science?

That’s exactly what research scientists in the American Psychological Association have been asking for the past two decades as they watched psychologists in professional practice increasingly dominate the APA. Why should they put up with debates over health insurance and hospital admitting privileges? Why should they slog through conventions devoting more time to counseling techniques than cutting-edge science?

Now one group has finally had enough: Two days before the opening of the annual APA convention in Atlanta last August, a band of scientists announced the creation of a new society, one devoted to psychology as a discipline of science. It was a bold declaration of independence that has shaken the 96-year-old 90,000 member APA and forced it into the unfamiliar role of competing with another scientific organization, the fledgling American Psychological Society, for the affections of...

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