Position Statement on Racism, Bias, and Intolerance: The Association for Psychological Science (APS) stands steadfastly with individuals and communities around the world who are or have been victims of discrimination and injustice. Psychological research has chronicled the harmful effects of racism, as well as implicit or unconscious bias, on individuals and society. Importantly, psychological science also offers insights to help individuals and organizations combat racism and build more equitable and inclusive organizations and communities.
APS Policy on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
The Association for Psychological Science is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of our leadership, membership, activities, staff, and field. Including members of underrepresented groups in meaningful ways is a vital part of this commitment. Acknowledging the harmful roles that racism and other forms of discrimination and exclusion have played in all aspects of society, including our field, is critical in order to turn this commitment into action. This includes investigating potential consequences within our own organization.
We fully embrace the guiding organizational principle that psychological science has the ability to transform society for the better and can and must play a central role in advancing human welfare and the public interest. To that end, we support the pursuit of a wide variety of scientific work that furthers our understanding of the causes and harmful effects of racism, stereotypes, and inequities; the psychological and societal benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the most effective ways to foster these outcomes and advance a more just and equitable world.
APS Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
APS provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment. No person shall be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, physical handicaps, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, citizenship, political affiliation, or any other category that is protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.
APS Resources Related to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
APS engages the public with psychological research through its scientific journals, its member magazine the Observer, outreach to media outlets, and presentations at conferences and other events. These collections of articles provide a snapshot of psychological research on diversity, equity, and inclusion and the causes and harmful effects of racism, stereotypes, and inequities.
Awards and Recognitions
APS’s Awards Program recognizes psychological scientists for outstanding contributions at all career stages. Nominators and awards committees are asked to consider the diverse and international nature of our field. APS seeks nominations of members of underrepresented groups in psychological science
The new APS James S. Jackson Lifetime Achievement Award for Transformative Scholarship honors APS Members for their lifetime of outstanding psychological research that advances understanding of historically disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups and/or understanding of the psychological and societal benefits of racial/ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion. The type of scholarship honored by the award is broad in scope and research methodology, and encompasses research on historically disadvantaged racial/ethnic groups residing anywhere in the world. Recipients must be APS members, and their contributions may be in any field or area of psychological science. The inaugural winners will be announced in the fall of 2021.
APS Fellow nominations no longer require that a current APS Fellow contribute one of the nomination letters, and criteria for Fellow status have been amended to include consideration of “an outstanding record of mentoring students from diverse backgrounds, working with research participants from diverse backgrounds, and making outstanding contributions to diversity and inclusion within the field of psychological science.”
The APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science supports the teaching and public understanding of psychological science in the U.S. and around the world. A special category within the grants program supports projects that aim to eliminate racial bias in psychological science curricula and incorporate principles of racial justice into psychological science curricula.
The RISE (Researching Injustice and Social Equality) Award, open to APS Student Affiliates, seeks to cultivate psychological science research in fields related to socially and economically underrepresented populations, and recognizes outstanding student researchers from diverse racial, ethnic, geographic and cultural backgrounds, as well as other underrepresented groups in psychological science.
The William K. and Katherine W. Estes Fund supports advanced training opportunities in mathematical and computational modeling for psychological science in summer schools and focused workshops. Funding criteria include an express commitment to “the inclusion of scientists of all genders, races, sexual orientations, disability statuses, countries of origin, geographical locations, and disciplinary expertise.”
In ongoing outreach to legislators and federal agencies about the contributions behavioral science can play in addressing societal ills, APS promotes the use of empirically validated findings in the treatment and prevention of mental illness and in improving public health, education, economic productivity, social justice, and more. Recent and upcoming APS activities include:
- In addressing the COVID-19 crisis, referencing the crisis of racism and the role psychological science can play in better understanding and combatting those issues.
- Providing feedback to science agencies and other government entities about the role that psychological science can play in combatting structural racism, such as APS’s April 2021 comments in response to NIH’s UNITE initiative.
- Hosting the National Research Mentoring Network, which seeks to help historically underrepresented mentees successfully progress in their behavioral and biomedical research careers, for a January 2021 webinar for APS members.
- Reporting on government news and updates in the area of diversity science, for example, a November 2020 mental health disparities workshop held by the National Institutes of Health.
- Collaborating with scientific coalitions in joint action, such as a September 2020 message asking the National Academy of Sciences to undertake a study to acknowledge and assess the full participation of racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in science, tech, education, and math.
APS’s six journals publish cutting-edge research across all areas of the field and promote the integration of scientific perspectives within psychological science and with related disciplines. Committed to broadening the diversity of their reviewer, author, and editorial pools, the editors seek original research that aids in public understanding of the causes and harmful effects of racism, stereotypes, and inequities; the psychological and societal benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the most effective ways to foster these outcomes and advance a more just and equitable world. Recent APS journal activities include:
- Undertaking the collection of anonymous demographic data from authors of submitted and accepted manuscripts. Having an accurate understanding of the pool of APS authors will allow us to track our progress as we aim to expand that pool and ensure that the authors represented in our journals reflect the diversity of our field.
- Hosting a webinar with APS journal editors and staff aimed at students and early career researchers explaining the peer review process and what makes for a quality review with an eye toward creating a larger and more diverse pool of reviewers evaluating manuscripts submitted to APS journals.
- Curating collections of APS journal articles related to issues such as racism, and making the articles contained in these collections freely accessible to the public.
- Preparing a special issue of Clinical Psychological Science, “Understanding Ethnoracial Disparities and Advancing Mental Health Equity through Clinical Psychological Science,” which will showcase innovative clinical psychological research that characterizes psychopathology among people of color, elucidates determinants of ethnoracial mental health disparities, and informs culturally responsive prevention and treatment.
APS conventions, including the Annual Meeting, present a wide array of diverse voices from across the psychological science community. Explore the program for 2021 APS Virtual Convention, Special programs, and Student Diversity Registration Award.
Each year, the APS Board asks the Annual Convention Program Committee to plan a special invited event to highlight research related to diversity. This program can be an address by a prominent speaker or a panel of speakers on psychological science research related to ethnicity, culture, race, sexual orientation, disability or other dimensions of diversity.
In addition to the live events, APS shares this content broadly on social media to engage a broader audience. Notable examples include:
- Why Should Psychological Science Care About Diversity?
- Diverse Perspectives in Psychological Science
- Real-World Implications of Implicit Bias
- STEMing the Tide: How Female Experts and Peers Act as “Social Vaccines” to Protect Young Women’s Self-Concept in STEM
- Understanding and Capturing the Value of Diversity: A Special Look at Gender
- Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Jennifer Richeson, Yale University
- Bring the Family Address: “The Paradox of Diversity: Promise, Pitfalls, and Implications for Racial Progress”
- Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Margaret Beale Spencer, The University of Chicago
Public & Media Engagement
- A Psychologist’s View of Racism and Inequality
- The Story Behind “The Future of Women in Psychological Science”
- Marginalized Graduate Student Survival Kit
- National Research Mentoring Network Resources for APS Members
- Funded 11 APS Student Members to participate in training as Wiki Scholars with the specific goal of adding information about Black psychologists to Wikipedia. As of May 1, 2021, they had added entries, edited 17 Wikipedia articles related to psychology, especially Black psychologists, and added 16,700 words to Wikipedia and 129 references/citations. The articles they improved reached 45,900 readers in the first month since the project ended.
APS Diversity & Inclusion Committee
|Vonnie McLoyd, 2021 Chair |
University of Michigan
|Shauna Cooper |
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|Ann Kring |
University of California, Berkeley
University of Delaware
Texas Tech University
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Madison