The American Psychological Association, or APA, was founded within the academic confines of Clark University in 1892. This professional organization was the brainchild of one of the premier catalysts of American psychology, Granville Stanley Hall, who contributed impacting theories in the realm of child development. The paramount goal of Hall’s newly instituted association was, and continues to be, the betterment of society through the positive application of psychological knowledge. Presently based in Washington, D.C., the American Psychological Association strives to facilitate the education of psychologically oriented scientists, practitioners, consultants, and students through the dissemination and application of psychological knowledge.
According to the APA, the term “psychologist” may refer solely to those who have received a doctorate from an accredited university within the field of psychology. Individuals deigned as such are then encouraged to formulate theories that, once confirmed by scientific means, can then be applied to the varied facets of global communities, such as healthcare, education, or government.
The American Psychological Association, which boasts a membership of more than 154,000 individuals, features 54 divisions based either upon sub-disciplines of psychology, such as behavioral neuroscience, or current world issues, such as ethnic-minorities. These branches have independently run websites, publications, activities, and administration. A number of other organizations are also affiliated with the APA, including groups such as the American Psychological Foundation and The International Honor Society in Psychology.
Due to the APA’s many subdivisions, the organization established guidelines on uniform methods of research and the publication in order to properly foster the growth of psychology as a cohesive discipline. While in the field, practicing psychologists can navigate certain social dilemmas by referring to the APA’s ethical standards. These codes propose a manner in which research can be successfully accomplished whilst maintaining the principles of responsibility, integrity, goodwill, and justice towards both those being studied and the discipline itself.
The accumulated findings of such research are then published in a consistent format, known as APA style. Utilized within most social science disciplines, this editorial style allows information to be presented clearly and consistently between various writing communities while promoting the organization’s ethical principles. Works are compiled honestly, with all intentions aimed at eliminating corrupt practices as plagiarism.
Methods such as these characterize Hall’s American Psychological Association as an exceptional institution for the advancement of psychological knowledge and practice. For over a century, members of this organization have sought to better understand the undeniable connection between mind and body in the hopes of improving the overall quality of life while upholding the given rights of each and every human being.