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. 

Acts of violence and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, immigration status, nationality, or any other factor are on the rise world-wide and present a risk to humanity. In one way or another, such acts harm everyone. As stated in the APS Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (https://www.psychologicalscience.org/diversity-equity-inclusion), 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 advocate for 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 is cognizant of the quick action that is necessary to combat a global problem of this scale and scope. We will focus our efforts where we think we will have the greatest influence. We are working to share high-quality behavioral science with individuals, policymakers, and civic leaders to elevate important science-informed conversations that empower individuals, communities, organizations, and governments around the world. For example, in April 2021, APS convened an expert roundtable for journalists on the psychology of racism; with a particular focus on racism against Asian-American and Pacific Islander populations. The 2021 APS Virtual Convention features a plenary program on Race, Social Class, and Culture; a special session on Reducing Race and Other Disparities in and through Psychological Research; and other related presentations and sessions. We are convening other expert roundtables, such as on the psychology of policing, and will organize additional expert forums on issues related to racism, discrimination, and bias, as well as on ways that psychological science informs effective interventions. Other information of interest to the scientific community may be found in our journals, and we continue to provide content for the public through our Under the Cortex podcast.

Although we may not routinely issue statements in response to news reports about specific events in a country or against a specific individual or community, we are working actively to build an equitable organization for our members and to promote the development and application of high-quality science that informs solutions to the complex and persistent problems of racism, intolerance, discrimination, and bias. 


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