Psychology’s Torture Crisis

Psychology’s Torture Crisis

An independent review recently revealed that in 2005 a group of psychologists within the American Psychological Association colluded with government officials to change psychology’s ethics codes making it easier for psychologists to participate in torture related interrogations. APA was fooled into breaking its guiding ethics principal of “do no harm”. The worst part of this revelation is that it took APA 10 years to figure out that this happened. This week on THE PSYCH SHOW I break down the psychology behind this tragedy and what the APA must do to respond to this crisis.

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Topics Discussed:
– American Psychological Association and the Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS)
– David Hoffman (Sidley Austin law firm) Report
– Psychology of evil and inaction
– APA Council of Representatives

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THE PSYCH SHOW! Weekly adventures in psychology, the brain, and behavioral sciences with Dr. Ali Mattu!


August 3, 2015 / 5 Comments / by / in
  • Great video! Your message is thoughtful and hopeful.

  • Thank you for this.

  • Respect.

  • Thank you, Dr. Mattu.  I'm counting on the thousands of early-career psychologists, like yourself ,to carry the APA forward.  The status quo cannot be tolerated anymore.

    Lest we forget ,though, I wonder if there are dots waiting to be connected that go way back to the early 20th century.  In particular, the APA's support of the pseudo-science of eugenics —now known as scientific racism, Among the early psychologists who were proponents of eugenics was Woodworth, Cattell,Goddard and Yerkes,  Lewis Termen of Stanford, then president of the APA, was pleased to report that "psychology has become a beacon of light for the eugenics movement."  (Jonathan Peter Spiro).

    In light of recent revelations of systematic programs of torture —I guess under the guise of "science"—one wonders whether a shadow of the past is still with us today.

  • Great video Ali!!

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