Health and Behavior Research Initiative Report Released

In December, APA released Doing the Right Thing: A Research Plan for Healthy Living, which outlines how psychological research can contribute to the improvement of the public health and what resources are needed to make use of these findings. This report was sponsored by APA, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the Division of Health Psychology and was produced by representatives of 23 organizations at a workshop in June 1994.

Doing the Right Thing outlines how scientific psychology can contribute to the following: the elucidation of the basic processes involved in the development and treatment of chronic illness; the base of knowledge for health promotion and disease prevention; the understanding of the different characteristics that may affect the health of gender, racial, and ethnic groups; and the restructuring of the health care system to meet our needs today.

The participating organizations plan to promote Doing the Right Thing by distributing it to policymakers. In addition, APA used the report as a base for its Science Advocacy Training Workshop in December, at which a small group of researchers learned how to advocate effectively on behalf of psychological science. After attending the workshop, each researcher visited his or her members of Congress and personally gave them a copy of the report.

The Drafting Committee, co-chaired by Andrew Baum, PhD, and Sheryle Gallant, PhD, included John T. Cacioppo, PhD, Barbara G. Melamed, PhD, and Cheryl Travis, PhD.

HCI, developed by almost 70 psychological organizations, provides scientists an opportunity to shape the national behavioral research agenda. HCI targets problems facing the nation including those associated with aging, literacy, productivity, substance abuse, health, and violence. Doing the Right Thing is the third document in the HCI series. The first focused on the changing nature of work, and the second, on productive aging.

To obtain a copy of the report, contact the Science Directorate at (202) 336-6000, or via e-mail at

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