Saturday, August 2, 2008
It never ceases to amaze me how long it takes psychology as a profession to get something into print. For example, it can take up to two years to get an obituary into the American Psychologist! Mail announcements from my state organization are frequently delivered days, if not weeks, after an event. Last year's Annual Report only just arrived from the national organization, in the July/August 2008 edition of the American Psychologist. Wall Street would have a cow if any publicly-held corporation took that long to get its profit statements out.
The Report rarely makes for interesting reading. There's lots of drek in there, like pages and pages of teeny-weeny type reporting who joined last year: Who cares? and pages of committee reports. This year, however, I am happy to be able to say that the issue contains a restatement of our opposition to torture. (Did you really think that we could come out in favor of it?)
We're also for health care reform and we adopted the Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women as official policy. We also adopted as policy the Record Keeping Guidelines. Most amusing, we have officially rejected Intelligent Design: As a scientific organization, we should never have had to discuss any other option, but there it is.
I do always like to read the Report of the Ethics Committee, however, because this always includes the number and kinds of complaints that were filed in the previous year. I confess to a certain amount of morbid fascination with this data. In addition, this year I plan to use it to focus my efforts in my ethics class. For example, among the winning student papers on ethics last year was one entitled "MySpace or Yours? The Ethical Dilemma of Graduate Students' Personal Lives on the Internet," to be published in Ethics & Behavior this year. This strikes me as a perfect topic for an in-class discussion.
Apropos of the above, I Googled myself to see what personal, embarrassing, unprofessional stuff might be 'out there' about me... and discovered the Virginia wood cockroach (Parcoblatta virginica), a portrait of whom I have included above for your enjoyment. This particular one was once a denizen of Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I've never met her.