Inside Council — Post-Hoffman Staff Reviews

Jean Maria Arrigo and Roy Eidelson 

Div 48 Representative to Council

Attorney David Hoffman and his colleagues provided this summary in their comprehensive July 2015 report:

Our investigation determined that key APA officials, principally the APA Ethics Director joined and supported at times by other APA officials, colluded with important DoD officials to have APA issue loose, high-level ethical guidelines that did not constrain DoD in any greater fashion than existing DoD interrogation guidelines.

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Psychology and Nukes: PsySR Takes a Stand, Again

Guy Larry Osborne, PhD

Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) was founded in 1982 during the Cold War the same year the American Psychological Association issued its statement calling for a halt to the nuclear arms race. Disarmament was PsySR’s first and primary reason for being. During this era, a number of papers were published in professional journals on the role of psychology in understanding the effects of living with nuclear weapons and the challenges of responding to the aftermath of a nuclear war. However, as explained to me by Yosef Brody, current president of PsySR, priorities of the organization shifted after the fall of the Berlin Wall. PsySR’s focus broadened outward to include other progressive issues and, since 9/11, torture/human rights became a priority for many activist/peace psychologists. Nuclear disarmament remained on the PsySR agenda (see http://www.psysr.org), but was one of many other issues vying for the attention of socially responsible practitioners in the field.

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Anti-Semitism and the Quest for Peace and Religious Equity

Carolyn Cowl-Witherspoon

Hate starts small. The seeds of hatred are often unwittingly planted in childhood (Altemeyer, 2003; Baucal & Zittoun, 2013) and develop deep roots and strong branches over a lifetime of apathy, ignorance, or acquiescence. Hatred toward people who hold a different religious, spiritual, or nonreligious belief is not new. Religion’s history is imbued with the power to unite or divide (Allport & Ross, 1967), and offers sociocultural opportunities for developing bonds among people and creating bridges between people (Okulicz-Kozaryn, 2011). However, the complexities of religion (Hill et al., 2000) and the diversity which exists among believers of all expressions of faith amplifies the potential for religious prejudice to endure, and the link between religious belief and religious prejudice appears to be growing (Pargament, Trevino, Mahoney, & Silberman, 2007).

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Empathy as Community Ethos

Ipek S. Burnett, PhD

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It seems that these days the term empathy is everywhere from self-help books to relationship advice columns, to career development blogs. And though seeing the world through someone else’s eyes or walking in their shoes for a while may sound straightforward at first, it is a demanding task. It tests one’s deep-seated personal beliefs, as well as the collective ideologies one is embedded within. This means that empathy takes both imagination and courage. More than a communication skill, it requires a critical consciousness.

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Dear Division Colleagues and Friends:

It is my honor to introduce a newly expanded project to promote global peace. In 1997 Division 48, Peace Psychology welcomed a new working group into its fold that was founded on the effort of promoting values and principles which promote peace on all levels of society. One of the main projects of the working group was building interfaith harmony through dialogues; counsels and the creation of principled paradigms that would be engaged in events and projects locally and internationally. Through the years many symposia and panels and events have been orchestrated through this focus. NOW, we have been privileged to have access to an opportunity to create and promote an intercontinental web site “UNITINGFAITHS.ORG” which will actively create Skype video interviews and dialogues related to building interfaith understanding and unity. If any member and/or officer has any interest in this area please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your interest in promoting peace among the faiths!!

In Peace,

Steve

Dr. Steven Handwerker

The Spirituality and Humanitarian Practices Working Group

This working group was founded in 1996 for the specific purpose of promoting those values that promote peace. The projects engaged by this group involve: humanitarian and sustainable interventions/objectives in devastated populations ( such as Haiti; ) and cooperative and collaborative interdependence between individuals and groups working to build “Interfaith Harmony”; “Resiliency and Support for peace workers”; evolving a “Voice of Conscience” Movement.

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