Future Science Activities are Focus of Spring Meetings

Boards and Committees Discuss Statistical Inference, Animal, and Testing Issues

Pressing issues to scientific psychology were spotlighted at APA's biannual consolidated board and committee meetings, which were held in March.


The Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) worked with other APA boards and committees to develop a broad implementation plan as a follow-up to the report crafted by the Task Force To Promote Scientific Membership. BSA and the Task Force's goal is to formulate an action agenda that calls for new initiatives designed to strengthen the science base of APA and to promote the role of science and scientists in the Association, federal and state government, and private-sector settings. BSA will complete an implementation report, which will be presented to the Council of Representatives at its August 1997 meeting.

BSA discussed the issue of data archiving, noting a symposium on this topic that will take place at the 1997 APA Annual Convention and other planned activities with divisions. The Board provided comments on a draft report from the Task Force on Test User Qualifications and met with Robert Rosenthal, PhD, Cochair, and Leona Aiken, PhD, of the Task Force on Statistical Inference. BSA also commented on the draft document of the Joint Task Force on Ethical Guidelines for Researchers.

The Board selected speakers for the 1998 Master Lectures series and for the Distinguished Scientist Lecturer Program. BSA met with Martin Seligman, PhD, APA President-Elect, to discuss APA's venture into electronic journals. Dr. Seligman requested comments from the Board on how to best publicize this new venture, determine costs, and identify which journals should become electronic.

BSA supported the proposal to change the system for determining seating on the Council of Representatives because BSA members thought that this would benefit science. The proposal would allow for the continuation of the current annual apportionment ballot system (preserving the "one person/one vote" principle). Then, based on the annual allocation, an additional 48 seats would be proportionately awarded to divisions and state associations that had not gained a Council seat. Of the 48, 30 additional seats would be awarded to divisions and 18 to state associations. This proposal would allow all divisions to have a seat on Council and would most likely push some of the science divisions up to two seats.

The Board reviewed the 5-year plan released by the Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention and Training, which listed proposals for association-wide activities directed at increasing the participation of ethnic minority psychologists.

BSA discussed activities related to outreach programs at the high school and undergraduate levels for behavioral science programs and successful mentoring programs.


The main focus of discussion at the Spring 1997 meeting of the Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE), was the plans for an initial segment of an educational video that the Committee intends to produce on the use of animals in psychological research (see sidebar on next page).

In addition, CARE reviewed its "Guidelines for the Use of Animals in School Science Behavior Projects," which will be incorporated into the document, "Ethical Guidelines for the Teaching of Psychology in Secondary Schools."

CARE discussed a series of talks it is sponsoring at the APA Annual Convention in Chicago. With a focus on "Linking Animal and Human Behavior," the series is being cosponsored by BSA and Division 25 (Experimental Analysis of Behavior).

CARE was apprised on the current status of 2 projects:

  1. The CARE Animal Research Survey, which was first mailed to 704 graduate and 1,288 undergraduate psychology departments in October of 1996, had a follow-up mailing in February 1997.

  2. A draft of "The Care and Use of Animals in Smaller Institutions" is being completed by Science Directorate staff and the editor of the manual, Christopher Cunningham, PhD. It will then be sent to APA Books for publication.


The Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment (CPTA) reviewed the progress of several legislative bills containing language related to assessment, including the pending reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. CPTA also discussed the potential impact of the Administration's call for national academic standards and voluntary tests. CPTA commented on the progress of the new APA task force established to invest-igate and develop a set of guidelines on test user qualifications.

In addition, as the primary APA com-mittee with expertise in testing, CPTA outlined its plans to coordinate the APA governance comments on the draft Stan-dards for Educational and Psychological Testing and presented this information to other APA boards and committees.