APA Scandal

1398 Words6 Pages
Some But Not All In the Toronto Star Newspaper editorial “Send in the psychologists to study the psychologists” (2015), Rick Salutin asserts that the American Psychological Association (APA) conspired with the Department of Defense (DOD) to allow and participate in the torturing of detainees for their own selfish motivations and had they been objective scientists, they would have recognized the phenomenology of torture (2015). Salutin addresses the recent scandal involving the APA and some members, physically participating as well as sanctioning the legality of torture. He cites his reasoning with the recent reports released by government, news outlets, and an independent investigation. The author also offers that several high level officers…show more content…
This information was established from the independent investigation conducted by Sidley Austin Law Firm’s David Hoffman, and commissioned by the APA (2015). This report also named several high ranking members of the APA organization that played a role in the subterfuge including; President Ron Levant, President-Elect Gerald Koocher, Practice Directorate Chief Russ Newman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Norman Anderson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Michael Honaker, General Counsel Natalie Gilfoyle, and Communications Director Rhea Farberman (2015). However, Behnke was the main contributor who intentionally collaborated and guided the APA’s ethics policy toward the favor of the DOD in order to contract more psychologists to the armed forces, and make psychology more relevant. Behnke was also working for the DOD as a contracted employee instructing psychologists in interrogation techniques (Hoffman, 2015). Thus confirming Salutin’s assertion that key players within the APA were culpable in their actions to justify and commit the injustices that took…show more content…
The reasoning stated refers to the impossibility of such a humanistic or actual natural science being unpredictable with both modality and application of empirical practice on non-empirical beings (Martin & Sugarman, 2009). The assertion of comparing biology, physics, and chemistry to the science of the mind is correct in technicality; however, the impossibility of studying ever-evolving beings is staggering. The conformation comes with the appreciation that the science of human behavior is complicated and often filled with irrational rationale. In deed, humans possess the ability to rationalize their behavior to fit the framework they choose and to which they succumb. In other words, if an executive in the APA chose an agenda best suited to their need, they could rationalize the behavior as appropriate (Polonioli, 2015). This is a humanistic behavior that could be applied to even the most logical of humans, including psychologists. The motivation for their need takes precedence over sanctioning the torture of prisoners. Conversely, the resounding objections of many within the APA organization did stand and voice objection to the thought processes of the few psychologists following their twisted rationale. One member of the Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) report; the report pushed by the coercive Behnke and DOD team (Committee, 2014)
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