In March of 2023, SPSSI responded to the earthquakes of February 6, 2023 by issuing a statement that called on policymakers in Turkey and Syria and in the international community to reckon with the terrible social and human consequences of past policy decisions, and to use this moment to make critically needed changes to natural disaster preparedness and response policy.
SPSSI and APA Submit Letter Regarding Upcoming Visit to US by UN International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement, 2023
In February of 2023, SPSSI and the American Psychological Association (APA) provided input to UN experts in response to a call for input regarding how the United States of America might better advance racial justice and equality in the context of law enforcement. The letter was drafted by Dr. Gabe Twose (APA) and Dr. Deborah Fish Ragin (SPSSI UN/NGO Representative), with editing and review provided by Ben Vonachen (APA), Dr. Kelley Haynes-Mendez (APA), Dr. Mia Smith-Bynum (APA), Dr. Sheri Levy (SPSSI UN/NGO Representative), and Dr. Corann Okorodudu (SPSSI UN/NGO Representative). Alison Goldberg (SPSSI UN/NGO Intern) and Natalie Rykiel (APA) provided technical and research support.
SPSSI Joins SPSP and Other Societies in Reaffirming Our Commitment to DEI Initiatives, 2023
In February of 2023, SPSSI joined 19 scientific associations in opposing actions by Florida and other states to censor the teaching of science, limit academic freedom, oppose actions designed to curb DEI initiatives, and suppress teaching about the effects of race and racism in our society.
SPSSI Urges Tangible Progress to Remedy Climate Injustice Following COP27, 2022
Issued in December of 2022 and authored by members of SPSSI's UN Committee, this statement briefly summarizes international findings related to psychology and climate injustice and highlights recommendations for making tangible progress on remedying these injustices and realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
SPSSI Responds to APS Request for Comments Regarding Editorial Practices, 2022
In December of 2022, SPSSI made recommendations and comments in response to a request for comment issued by the Association for Psychological Science. The letter focuses on how APS and other psychological/scientific societies might better address systemic racism and bias in publications and editorial practices.
SPSSI Stands in Solidarity with the Women and People of Iran, 2022
In October of 2022, SPSSI issued a statement of solidarity with the women and all people of Iran in their movement for justice, equality, and basic human rights. SPSSI member Dr. Mehrgol Tiv and SPSSI Policy Committee Co-chair Dr. Roxanne Moadel-Attie drafted the statement.
SPSSI Issues Statement Denouncing Dobbs Decision, 2022
In June of 2022, SPSSI issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, which overturned the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago.
SPSSI Issues Statement Recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day, 2021
In October of 2021, SPSSI issued a statement in recognition of Indigenous Peoples' Day, and to provide SPSSI members with Indigenous Peoples-focused scholarship and advocacy resources created by SPSSI, SPSSI members, and allied organizations.
SPSSI Signs Open Letter Urging State Department to Help Afghanistan's Scholars, 2021
In August of 2021, SPSSI joined Scholars at Risk and many other higher education institutions, scholarly associations, and other NGOs in urging the U.S. State Department to expand its efforts to save Afghanistan’s scholars, students, practitioners, and civil society leaders and activists, especially women and ethnic and religious minorities. Our PDF of the letter includes the signatories as of August 23, 2021.
SPSSI Joins Statement on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), 2021
In July of 2021, SPSSI joined 30+ other organizations in authoring a position statement on ROGD. The statement supports eliminating the use ROGD and similar concepts for clinical and diagnostic application given the lack of rigorous empirical support for its existence.
SPSSI Submits Statement to UN on Disparities in Policing, 2021
In mid-May of 2021, SPSSI's UN Committee submitted a statement to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at the United Nations, which was meeting for its 30th session. The statement provides insight into how psychological research can be used to help reduce disparities in the use of excessive force by law enforcement due to systemic racism.
SPSSI Joins Statement Urging Protection of LGBTQ+ Students at Religious Universities, 2021
In early May of 2021, SPSSI signed on to a statement issued by APA Division 44 (the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity) that calls for the U.S. Department of Education to Protect LGBTQ+ students at Religious Colleges and Universities. The statement was featured in a piece by The Washington Post.
DSJ Statement on Atlanta Mass Shootings, 2021
In late March of 2021, the Divisions for Social Justice (DSJ) of the American Psychological Association—of which SPSSI is a member—issued a statement in response to the murder of eight people, including six Asian American women, in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the statement, "now more than ever it is time to stand in solidarity and support with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community during this time of anger, fear, and sadness."
SPSSI Statement on Violence at the U.S. Capitol, 2021
In January of 2021, SPSSI President Dr. Keon West issued a statement on behalf of SPSSI that speaks to the violent insurrection that took place on January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol. Reflecting on this moment, He writes: "As we mark the events of the past two weeks, and the pandemic that has wreaked havoc in the United States and around the world over the past year, we want to thank SPSSI members for continuing to do the difficult work that falls at the nexus of scholarship, education, and advocacy. Today, 65 years after Otto Klineberg’s call to engaged scholarship on the challenging social issues of our time, this work is evermore needed."
SPSSI Submits Public Comment to U.S. Department of Labor on Combatting Racism and Sexism, 2020
In November of 2020, SPSSI submitted a public comment in response to a Department of Labor request for information related to the September 22, 2020 "Executive Order on Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping." SPSSI vehemently disagrees with the executive order and is also bringing this issue to the attention of the Biden-Harris Transition Team.
SPSSI Submits Statement to UN Secretary-General Calling for a More Robust Focus on the Elimination of Systemic Racism, Racial and Ethnic Discrimination, 2020
In October of 2020, SPSSI submitted a statement to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that calls for the the UN to integrate the elimination of systemic racism and racial and ethnic discrimination into the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. The statement has been endorsed by more than 80 non-governmental organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the International Association for Applied Psychology, the Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and the International Council of Psychologists.
SPSSI Endorses Statement in Support of Anti-Racist Education, 2020
In September of 2020, SPSSI signed on to a statement issued by the American Educational Research Association and the National Academy of Education. The statement calls attention to recent Executive Branch actions that will harm needed progress on race and racism in the United States.
SPSSI Joins Community of Scientific Societies in Emphasizing Role of NSF Amid COVID-19, 2020
Several dozen scientific societies came together in September of 2020 to issue a letter to National Science Foundation leadership that speaks to NSF's role in addressing challenges COVID-19 poses to the research enterprise, and to share what activities scientific societies are pursuing to address the shorter- and longer-term needs of their members and the broader public in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SPSSI Contributes to Report on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Psychology Education and Training, 2020
Published in September of 2020, this report synthesizes concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on psychology education and training, with a particular focus on how COVID-19 might widen inequalities within higher education. Various APA divisions and affiliates contributed to this report, including SPSSI.
SPSSI Thanks Chairwoman Johnson for Leadership on Addressing Racism in STEM, 2020
On September 1 of 2020, 80 scientific organizations, including SPSSI, issued a letter to the Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, to thank her for her leadership in calling for the United States to confront inequities in the scientific enterprise that have prevented full participation of racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in STEM.
SPSSI Endorses Statement Submitted to United Nations on COVID-19 Recovery, 2020
In May of 2020, SPSSI signed on to a statement submitted by the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) entitled "COVID-19: Building Back Better." In the 2-page statement, 130+ NGOs "call on the 193 UN Member States to renew their commitment to the UN and to turn this international crisis into an opportunity, using it as a starting point to rebuild economies that are inclusive, and based on sustainable production and consumption."
SPSSI and Partner Organizations Voice Support for Transgender Rights, 2018
In October of 2018, a leaked memo suggested that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sought to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance. According to the memo, key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” In response to the memo, SPSSI partnered with GLMA (Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality) and a number of other organizations to issue an open letter. The letter condemns the suggested policy change and explains why such a definition of sex/gender would a) be inaccurate and b) threaten the rights of many people.
SPSSI Joins Other Societies in Responding to NIH Clinical Trial Policy, 2018
In October of 2018, SPSSI joined with many other scientific organizations in writing to the Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to express concern about basic human research being divided into "clinical trial" and "non-clinical trial" categories. The letter calls for NIH to create a registration and reporting system that is appropriately tailored to basic science.
SPSSI Reaffirms its Longstanding Opposition to Torture, 2018
In advance of the August 2018 meeting of the APA Council of Representatives, SPSSI issued a statement reaffirming its longstanding opposition to torture and longstanding commitment to human rights. SPSSI articulated that it does not believe that either the science or ethics supports re-engaging psychologists in settings where persons are held outside of, or in violation of, either International Law or the U.S. Constitution, regardless of whether they are working for detainees or military personnel.
SPSSI Adds its Name to a Joint Public Statement by Psychology Groups on U.S. Immigration Policies and Practices, 2018
In July of 2018, SPSSI joined with APA Division 45 (the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race) and other APA Divisions in strongly standing against any policy that criminalizes parents fleeing poverty, violence, and political persecution in search of a safe and better life for their children and that is more frequently resulting in immoral “zero-tolerance” practices.
SPSSI Voices Strong Support for Policies and Practices that Keep Families Together, 2018
In June of 2018, SPSSI issued a public statement condemning the forcible separation of thousands of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border by the U.S. Federal Government. Drawing from research findings on the harmful and long-lasting effects of forcible family separation, SPSSI articulated that it is our responsibility as a society to ensure that the practice of separating immigrant families at the border never returns. This statement was based on a longer piece written by SPSSI's Virtual Special Issue Editor Masi Noor, Ph.D.
SPSSI Issues Public Comment on Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, 2018
In February of 2018, SPSSI submitted a public comment on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act to Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the U.S. Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee. The comment focuses on the importance of preserving U.S. federal student aid programs, including grants, loans, Work-Study, income-driven repayment plans, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
SPSSI Joins Statement Condemning Ongoing Persecution of Turkish Colleagues, 2018
In February of 2018, SPSSI joined with the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), and other social science associations, in expressing deep concern about current threats to academic freedom in Turkey for signatories of the 2016 "Peace Petition." The statement calls on Turkish authorities to immediately stop legal proceedings against signatories and to reinstate academics to their university positions.
SPSSI Commends Senators for Introducing and Advocating for Joint Resolution Condemning White Supremacists and Hate-Based Violence, 2017
In September of 2017, SPSSI commended a bipartisan group of six U.S. Senators who introduced and advocated for the passage of a Joint Resolution which condemns the violence perpetuated in Charlottesville, VA by white supremacists and other hate groups; rejects white supremacy and other hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define Americans; and urges the Executive Branch to use all available resources to investigate and prosecute acts of hate-based violence and domestic terrorism, improve the collection and reporting of hate crimes, and speak out against hate groups and the messages they seek to advance.
SPSSI Joins Coalition in Calling for APA Board of Educational Affairs to Develop Guidelines for Addressing Psychology Programs at Non-affirming Faith-based Colleges and Universities, 2017
In August of 2017, SPSSI joined other psychology stakeholder groups in calling for the Board of Educational Affairs at the American Psychological Association to develop guidelines addressing concerns about psychology programs at non-affirming faith-based colleges and universities that, due to religious convictions, explicitly or tacitly discriminate against students, faculty, and staff on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or religion.
SPSSI Responds to the U.S. President's Executive Order on Refugees, Visitors from Select Countries, 2017
SPSSI issued a statement of its own and added its name to several sign-on letters in response to this executive order. The statement by SPSSI was drafted by SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Member David Livert, Ph.D., and SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Interns Michelle Herrera, Ph.D. student, and Gina Roussos, Ph.D. student, in collaboration with SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Member Corann Okorodudu, Ph.D., SPSSI Policy Committee Chair Linda Silka, Ph.D., and SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll, M.S.
SPSSI Joins Other Scientific Associations in Calling for Academic Freedom in Turkey, 2016
In July of 2016, SPSSI joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and other societies in calling for Turkey to uphold the human rights of the scientific community, including the freedom to think independently and innovatively, and the freedom to engage with scientists around the world.
SPSSI Urges Lawmakers to Support Federally Funded Research on Gun Violence in Light of Pulse Nightclub Shootings, 2016
In light of the Pulse nightclub shootings of June 2016, SPSSI leadership urged national lawmakers to reinvest in federally funded gun violence research, including within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This letter was authored by SPSSI member Dr. Arie Kruglanski, a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland-College Park, in collaboration with SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll.
SPSSI Calls on the UN to Elect a Woman as the Next UN Secretary-General, 2016
In an open letter addressed to Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), SPSSI's leaders stated that "Now is the time to choose a woman as Secretary-General."
SPSSI Urges Tennessee Leaders to Support State University Office for Diversity and Inclusion, 2016
In May of 2016, the Tennessee General Assembly voted to reallocate all funds in the budget of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for fiscal year 2016-17, and banned the university from spending state funds to carry out a number of programs organized by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The Governor allowed the bill to become law. In an open letter, SPSSI leaders urged Tennessee policymakers to reconsider their decision. This letter was authored in collaboration with SPSSI member Dr. Kim A. Case, a UTK alumna.
SPSSI Issues Public Comment on Proposed Revisions to the Common Rule, 2016
The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects or the “Common Rule” was published in 1991 and codified in separate regulations by 15 Federal departments and agencies. In 2015, the Federal government announced proposed revisions to the Common Rule. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register, seeking comment. In January of 2016, SPSSI leadership issued a comment on behalf of the organization, articulating that, “As scientists, we share the desire to reduce delay or burdens associated with research administration to facilitate promising research that offers considerable benefits for society at large. As professionals who conduct research on issues of human rights and social justice, we share concerns to provide better protection of human subjects.” The public comment identifies proposed revisions that improve on the 1991 regulations and also identifies areas where the proposed revisions might be improved.
Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, 2014 signator
Statement on Climate Change, 2010
Statement on Unemployment, 2010
Statement on Interrogation and Torture, 2006
Statement on the Death Penalty, 2001
Seville Statement on Violence: Psychologists' Manifesto, 1987 endorsement
Graduate Record Exam-Educational Testing Service, 1970
American Indifference to Atrocities on Our Side, 1966
A Statement of Psychological Aspects of Foreign Policy, 1964
Re-Training & Education Programs, 1963
Treaty Banning Tests of Nuclear Weapons, 1963
Validity of Instrument Used to Predict Delinquency in Early Life, 1960
Academic privacy (Unofficial), 1956
On the Relation of Investigating Committees to Academic and Scientific Freedom, 1954
Psychology and Atomic Energy, 1946
Human Nature and Peace: Statement by Psychologists, 1945
Race as a Determinant of Psychological Characteristics, 1938
Radio Programming and Mind Reading, 1938