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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice


Vol. 21, No. 4, 264-270

Copyright 1990 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.


The Scientist-Practitioner Connection:

A Bridge in Need of Constant Attention

Frederick H. Kanfer University of Illinois

Recent criticisms of the methods and mission of science and the sufficiency of an empirically based epistemology extend to the scientist-practitioner model of practice because of its foundation in the traditional view of science. Applied psychology should draw on basic research, but it must blend this knowledge with technology and heuristics that relate it to the practical problem at hand. The development of guidelines translating robust implications of scientific knowledge into heuris- tics for professional use has been much neglected. Bonding of science and practice, from both directions, requires support of an organized group of specialists whose primary tasks are (a) to explore the utility of basic theories and research for practice and to develop rules of when to use which theory or data set for specified situations and (b)to formulate research questions arising from practice-based observations and speculations.

The practice of professional psychology in the United States has been heavily influenced by various training models. The dominant training model for clinical and counseling psychol- ogy was first proposed at a conference on training in Boulder, Colorado, in 1949. It was a sketch of a world in which profes- sionals trained in scientific methodology and in assessment and intervention methods would simply apply the concepts and data of psychological science to solve the problems encountered in their daily practice. At a time when logical positivism was the dominant philosophy and "the standard view" of science (Schemer, 1967), there was little question that only scientific knowledge could be trusted. This view focused attention on data derived from observations of person-environment interac- tions, rather than intrapersonal events. During the days of the growing dominance of behavioral approaches in clinical psy- chology, this view made the practice of psychotherapy appear scientific and respectable. Recently, psychologists have increased the debate about the mission of psychology as a science in its own right or an enter- prise in the service of society (Bevan, 1980). Manicas and Se-

FREDERICK. H. KANFER received his PhD from Indiana University in

1953. He is currently Professor and Director of the Clinical/Commu-

nity Training Program at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Ur- bana. His research interests include self-regulatory and motivational processes and their role in clinical and social interventions. He re- cently co-authored Guiding the process of therapeutic change (1988) with B. Schefft and co-edited Helping people change (4th edition, in press) with A. P. Goldstein. BECAUSE OF the author's area of specialization, examples are taken from clinical and counseling psychology. The same principles, how- ever, should be equally useful in most other specialties of applied psy- chology. THE AUTHOR THANKS Howard Berenbaum and Ruth Kanfer for their critical reading of an earlier version of this article. CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING THISARTICLEshould be addressed to Frederick H. Kanfer, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, 603 E. Daniel Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820.


cord (1983) proposed a distinction between the task of the scien- tist and the professional: "The former practices science by creating at least partially closed systems; the latter uses the

discoveries of science, but

knowledge that extends beyond science" (p. 412). Psychologists have also criticized the scientific method as an infallible ap- proach to the accumulation of knowledge. The standard view of science has come under attack from different quarters. In particular, the utility of natural science methodology for coun- seling and psychotherapy has been challenged on various grounds (Frank, 1987; Koch, 1981). Frank (1987) suggested that the main power of any scientific approach to psychotherapy has been derived less from its contents and methods than from its strong position that any enterprise labeled science has in the American culture. The development of alternative views con- cerning the rules for obtaining empirical knowledge, the in- creased emphasis on the impact of values and ethics in the applied enterprise, and the role of observer bias in distortion of presumably objective data have further weakened the image of counselors and therapists as applied scientists. The scientist- practitioner model thus has been questioned by attack on both its scientific foundation and the suitability of its roots in science for everyday application. Numerous surveys have suggested that the Boulder training model has not been successful in creating persons who practice their profession on a scientific basis (Swan & MacDonald, 1978). For example, clinicians are not avid readers of research publications. Barlow, Hayes, and Nelson (1984) concluded that most practitioners are not influenced by research. Rather, they typically use strategies that are based on individual choice of an approach, on personal experience, and on persuasiveness of colleagues and teachers. Strupp (1981) attributed the educa- tional shortcomings partly to the lack of appropriate role mod- els. He asked, "How many supervisors are intimately familiar with the frontiers of current research?" (p. 218). He deplored the fact that students are not trained "to become thinking clini- cians who c^> effectively apply quality control in their daily practice" (p. 218). The most common distortion of the Boulder

also employs a great deal of




Model has been the focus on science in graduate school and on practice in later professional activity. In other words, a succes-

sive rather than a simultaneous adherence to the scientist-prac- titioner concept is frequently adopted. Nevertheless, the achievements in psychotherapy and other areas of applied psy- chology during the past 40 years, in which the Boulder Model was dominant, suggests that it would be a pity if the recent increase in criticism of the scientist-practitioner model led to a return to reliance on appealing but untested theories and plau- sible but unfounded explanatory constructs as a basis for profes- sional operations. In this article, the problem is re-evaluated through the question "What are some inherent limitations in the use of psychological science for practice?" I then suggest the need for training some psychologists as "translators" who (a) devote systematic attention to research and dissemination of practical implications and methods derived from various do-

mains of the social sciences

problems in "basic science" language and collaborate with (or

and/or (2) formulate professional

act as) scientists whose expertise encompasses the domain in which these researchable questions are phrased.

Science-Based Resources for Clinical Action

We consider applied psychology a problem-solving activity. In counseling and clinical work (D'Zurilla & Goldfried, 1971;

E H. Kanfer & Schefft, 1988; Urban & Ford, 1971), the profes-

sional assists the client to assess a problematic situation, to define intervention goals, and to find ways that would remedy

the client's distress by altering ineffective behaviors, thoughts, emotional reactions, or environmental factors. To formulatea problem and select treatment strategies, individual case param- eters (eg., resources or settings) must be taken into consider- ation. But, in addition, the practitioner must skillfully blend three major cognitive components:

1. A framework for organizing knowledgeabout the relation-

ships between psychological events, their settings, their corre- lates, and their antecedents. There are two central questions

associated with this component: (a) Which of the many belief

systems about human nature do we choose? This involves a choice of a general philosophy, a perspective that gives priority to some dimensions and phenomena over others in explaining the major forces that shape and maintain human actions, emo- tions and attitudes, (b) How do we know for sure? More ele- gantly put, which data can we accept as a basis of our knowl- edge, and what rules do we follow in developing reliable and valid operations for obtaining such data and for translating them into general guidelines?

2. A technology—that is, a series of guidelines for action to

achieve specific outcomes within the limits of the existing con- ditions and implements. The main concerns relate to the justi- fication for the use of various techniques for effective diagnosis

and treatment. In contrast to the theoretical domain, utility rather than validity is the essential criterion in this area. Issues

in this and the first components are closely related. Choice of a

theoretical framework sets limitations and provides guidelines

for selection and organization of observations and tools.

3. A set of guidelines on how to relate the theoretical models

and substantive knowledgeabout human behavior to decisions and actions in work with individual clients. This third compo-

nent has been given much too little attention. Which minithe- ory, what body of scientific knowledge, and which treatment method are relevant to the problem at hand? What data domain and which level of analysis should be selected for the client's presenting problem? Barber (1988) phrased this as the lack of guidelines on how to use models and how to map problems. Boehm (1980) stressed the "real world" problem as the starting point for research and knowledge utilization in a conceptual model for organizational practice. Maher (1983), in a cogent formulation of the relationship between a parent theory of hu- man beings and a theory of practice, emphasized the reliance of the latter on principles of the former in developing operational guidelines for dealing with data that are gathered in therapy sessions. The movements of integrative and eclectic psychotherapy have advocated and advanced the combination of methods (and even theoretical constructs) from different schools of therapy (e.g, Norcross, 1986). However,only sporadic efforts have been devoted to relate limited science subdomains and clinical prac- tice (e.g, Brewin, 1988; Fbrsterling, 1988, among others). Procedures and knowledge from any research domain may be transformedinto professional interventions if they have rele- vance for the problem to be solved. But they must also be trans- posable to operations with variables that realistically can be modified and that have a sufficiently large effect to make a difference in the person's day-to-day activities and experiences. Monitoring the effects of the operations is informative with regard to the utilityof the transformation. Furthermore, practi- cal experiences can feed back to generate research toward re- finement of the underlying theory and improvement of tech- niques, which would yield greater ecological validity of the theory and increased or differentiated effectiveness of meth- ods. The continuing interplay between attribution theory and cognitive-behavioral treatments of depression (Alloy, Abram- son, Metalsky, & Hartlage, 1988; Beck, 1967,1983; Heider, 1958; Weiner, 1980,1986) nicely illustrated this reciprocal and iterative cross-fertilization between theory and practice. The current cognitive-behavioral approach to depression is among the best examples of the productive interplay between researchers and practitioners. The exaggerated self-blame, lack of positive goals, low belief in one's ability to control events, and low expectation of positive outcomes have long been observed in depressed patients (Beck, 1967). The development of labora- tory-based paradigms of helplessness (Peterson & Seligman, 1984; Seligman, 1975), insufficiency of positive reinforcement (Lewinsohn, 1975; Lewinsohn, Sullivan, & Grosscup, 1980), and self-regulation (E H. Kanfer, 1970) was enriched by the clinically based approaches such as those of Beck and his co- workers (eg. Beck, Rush, Shaw, & Emery, 1979; Beck & Young, 1985) and Rehm (1977) and his co-workers (eg, Rehm, Kaslow, & Rabin, 1987). In turn, the clinical observations resulted in refinement of the paradigms, such as inclusion of attributional factors (E H. Kanfer & Hagerman, 1981). Studies by these and other researchers yielded a more differentiated explanation of the psychopathological mechanisms of depression that more readily fit clinical observations and enlarged the practitioner's store of therapeutic operations. These integrations necessitate both the practitioner's familiarity with research-based models and the researcher^ sensitivity about which factors in clinical



populations must be considered to guarantee appropriateness and sufficiency of the theoretical model. The recent literature on empirically based counseling and psychotherapy has many examples of this translation from labo- ratory procedures and theoretical generalizations to profes- sional practices. What is lacking is a generic road map on how to mine the treasures of basic research for the compact wis- doms: the principles that have wide utility for professional practices. Specific guidelines and examples on how to select well-established experimental paradigms and robust general- izations for particular clinical events would substantially aid the practitioner and encourage utilization of research. It is by such a process, though not deliberatelyorganized, that various paradigms (e.g., conditioning, attribution, self-regulation, self- efficacy, information-processing, and problem solving) are in- creasingly being incorporated into applied psychology. These ubiquitous principles of human activities and experiences are not limited to the few characteristics that are often referred to as the common elements in all therapies (Frank, 1985; Gold- fried & Newman, 1986). They occur in most human interac- tions and can be systematically employed in pursuit of different practical goals. Examples of specific robust findings that have been incorpo- rated in clinical and counseling tactics are the consequences of mood states on memory (Bower,1981), actions (Isen, 1984), or evaluative judgments (Schwarz & Clore, 1988); the conditions most favorable for developing intentions to act (Azjen & Fish- bein, 1980; Fazio, 1986; E H. Kanfer & Karoly, 1972; Petty & Cacioppo, 1986); the motivational effects of emotional arousal (Greenberg &Safran, 1987); the effects of automatic versuscon- trolled processing on action (E H. Kanfer & Schefft, 1988; E H. Kanfer & Stevenson, 1985; Schneider & Shiffrin, 1977); or the relationship of current concerns to goal-directed action (Klinger, 1977,1987). Some findings suggest that the profes- sional's activities may be influenced by common biasing effects in makingjudgments about clients or reacting to a client's be- havior (e.g, Kahneman, Slovic,&Tversky, 1982; Turk &Salovey, 1988). They must be noted as well. To date, practitioners have tended to select and directly apply procedures that have been described for broadly equivalent complaints or diagnostic categories, without much consider- ation of other parameters. In current practice, for example, counselors often use the initial complaint to select a theory (e.g, about the etiology or mechanisms in alcoholism) and then search for data in an individual case to match the theory. Some even proceed without such a search. Prescriptive treatments for obsessive-compulsive clients, for withdrawn clients, for agora- phobic clients, and for clients with other syndromes have been reported in the literature. Although such standard procedures certainly are among the possible interventions for a client, it makes little sense to apply a priori one method to all. In bridge building, as an example of another applied science, an engineer does not design a bridge by appealing solely to general principles of physics. Whether the bridge is to be built in an arctic climate or in the tropics, is to be built over a wide and slowly moving river or a swift and narrow stream, is ex- posed to heavy truck traffic or occasional pedestrian traffic, and has to withstand strong winds or not will determine the body of knowledge and the special technology applicable in the

individual case. In the social sciences, self-constructing and developmental aspects (Ford, 1987) and self-regulatory func- tions of human beings (E H. Kanfer, 1984) enlarge the bridge model to include the constant shifts in the "terrain" that are due to cultural differences (Draguns, 1985; Triandis & Draguns, 1980), such new trends as the use of pharmacological agents to alter treatment procedures and even life-styles, and advances in telecommunication to alter employment patterns and job re- quirements. With these changes, old theories and even robust principles require reassessment to test their sufficiency and appropriate- ness for the application to a current problem situation. Thus the path from theory and research to practice has serious limita- tions in manysituations. Therefore, the heuristic that I suggest for the application of scientific principles to practice proceeds in exactly the opposite direction. The first step begins with the client. A critical assessment is made of societal, psychological, and biological processes that are operating in the present situa- tion. The specification of critical variables in the individual case should then direct the professional to search for theories and data that are relevant to the specific psychological, social, or biological processes and parameters that constitute the prob- lem components rather than to the contents of the complaint alone. The translation from theory to application must be enriched by consideration of the realities of the context in which therapy occurs because reliance on a unidimensional, person-focused model, be it a conditioning paradigm or a psychodynamic per- sonality theory, is simply inadequate and unrealistic. Contrary to common graduate training, this perspective suggests that students not only be taught in didactic courses but also be tu- tored to analyze actual cases in terms of psychological pro- cesses and contextual parameters first and then to select theor- ies and methods from the relevant subdomains of psychology.

Steps in Relating Practice to Basic Science

A sequence of steps can be outlined to assist the psychologist

in utilizing available scientific knowledge for intervention in a particular case. The professional must begin with a formula- tion of the problem. Having ascertained what factors may be relevant, what hypotheses can be derived from extant theories, and what variables can be manipulated, the professional can select appropriate strategies and techniques. The approach can be summarized by the following heuristic:

1. Obtain a statement of the current complaint and the fac- tors that seem to contribute to it.

2. Translate this information into the language of psychologi-

cal, biological, or social processes and structures.

3. Scan the field for principles, literature, and research rele-

vant to the problem as it has been reformulated in the language of science. Examine the relevance of variables in adjacent data domains, such as those related to the social, cultural, or ethnic

context and the biological or sociopolitical factors, as noted in the individual case.

4. Describe, at the conceptual level, the desired outcomes

and the psychological processes that need to be influenced. Formulate an intervention strategy that is based on these con- siderations, defining the level (size of unit) of intervention.



5. Search for a technology and define specific parame-

ters that may limit or enhance the feasibility and utility of the


6. Apply the method. Monitor the effects and compare them

against outcome criteria.

7. If desired effects are not obtained, recourse to Steps 1,4, or

5, as needed. This heuristic is iterative in that it needs to be followed not only for the overall intervention strategy but also for smaller segments of the intervention process, ranging from brief inter- actions to the span of several sessions.

Bridge Building Requires Knowledge of How the Shores Differ in Terrain

There are a number of differences between the worlds of science and practice that need to be understood in any attempt to build bridges across these worlds(E H. Kanfer, 1985,1989). Only when we consider the scientific domain as a resource in selecting problem-solving strategies and techniques and not as the stage on which the intervention is played can laboratory research and generic principles contribute to solving real-life problems. To facilitate the translation, it helps to note some important differences in orientation and demand characteris- tics of experimental and applied settings.

Source of Data Inputs

In contrast to the scientist, the practitioner can neither choose in advance what events to observe nor limit the rangeof responses that a client can make. Without the filtering of infor- mation that occurs in the laboratory, the relevance of various components of the total input must be determined on the spot by the professional. Although a professional psychologist may make some a priori decisions about what he or shewill attend to or disregard, unexpected information mayseduce him or her to shift attention. Furthermore, in contrast to laboratory re- searchers, practitioners attend and respond not only toexternal sources of information but also to their own reactions. Aware- ness of these biases can aid a practitioner, not to eliminate those reactions but to recognize their effects, neutralize disturbing biases, and accept those biases that can expedite an effective intervention process (Arkes, 1981; Kahneman et al, 1982; Turk


Purpose and Focus

The scientist starts with a testable hypothesis. The constructs are anchored to data by operationalization and by a clear state- ment of measures to be taken. The scientist can freely select a problem and predict the implications of a particular outcome for support or refutation of a hypothesis. Data collection fol- lows hypothesis generation. Post hoc hypotheses are occasional by-products of research, but personal experiences and experi- mental data are clearly separated. In practical situations, the contexts tend to blend. Observations precede hypothesis for- mation, and tests are then set up to verify the reliability and validity of these observations. Furthermore, the purpose of the intervention is dictated by the nature of the client^ problem, the context, and practical constraints on both client and practi-

tioner. Indeed, the development of a goal and purpose of the enterprise is in itself part of the problem-solving process. In addition, in clinical interventions the very change that occurs early in therapy will frequently result in successive re-evalua- tions and alterations of the purpose of therapy and its goals. In industrial settings, early assessment of common practices and functions of the organizational components often leads to mod- ification of the project's original mission.

Success Criteria

Well-established criteria are used for evaluatingthe outcome on an experiment. Use of statistical methods guards against biases and chance occurrences that may distort the conclu- sions. The concurrence with predicted outcomes and the fit of results with an underlying theory are the criteria for the success of an experiment. In practical situations, different criteria have been applied. But in all cases, the utility of the intervention, in accordance with its goals and theories, is the main criterion. An intervention that has a statistically significant effect may un- questionably demonstrate a relationship in the laboratory. But it may be trivial in actual practice if it does not result in attain- ment of the desired goal. Kazdin (1977) suggested social valida- tion as a means of evaluating utility. When outcome is the only criterion, there is little opportunity for improvement of the methods because the entire complex of the underlying theoreti- cal framework, case formulation, and implementation of pro- cedures remains unanalyzed. These ingredients must be stud- ied separately to yield improvement. Furthermore, utility is of- ten determined not only by the practitioner's activities and the client's behavior but also by the client's social environment and its reaction to any change. Asa result, utility may change during the course of an intervention and therefore needs to be contin- ually defined with respect to methods, goals, and subgoals. Al- though utility is the ultimate criterion, it must be applied dy- namically to processes and components, rather than to the whole intervention package.


A characteristic of scientific communication is the unequivo- cal definition of terms so that an object or an event can be clearly identified or replicated, regardless of the person's theo- retical persuasion or personal characteristics. Authors of scien- tific theories coin terms unique to the theories' domain. The meaning of terms and their objective referent are shared by all workers in the area. Furthermore, technical terms are used to avoid misinterpretation or surplus meaningoften found in pop- ular terminology. Professionals tend to describe events at a data level in which they use everyday popular language because client inputs are given in everyday language. They are often equated with de- scriptions of psychological processes and psychological con- structs, even though it is usually only the words but not the meaning that is common to the two languages. Careful trans- formation of the client's report or actions into technical lan- guage or theoretical terms is frequently needed to handle the statements in a form that is usable and compatible with a scien- tific framework. But these translations involve personal judg-



ments and biases of the professional because no general rules have been developed for such transformations. Similarly,trans- lations of psychological concepts and of the practitioner's frame- work into the client's language are needed. These efforts at es- tablishing a common conceptual base in early meetings are regarded by some as a prerequisite for an effective collaboration (Beck et al, 1979; E H. Kanfer & Grimm, 1980; Meichenbaum,


Size of Data Units

In the laboratory, specific events and their determinants are deliberately isolated and divided into small components so that a microanalysis of psychological processes can be undertaken. In fact, a specific response is observed during a short time inter- val in order to reduce contamination by noise and extraneous fluctuations in the person's activity. In contrast, the practitioner deals mostly with macro-units of behavior. Analysis of interper- sonal relationships, family systems, or symptoms include behav- ioral patterns that extend over a wide domain, over different situations, and over an extended period of time. Except for tech- niques in which strict laboratory analogs are used, such as clas- sical or operant conditioning, chunking of responses is a rule rather than an exception in clinical and counseling practice. Research is guided by a conceptual framework in which one examines phenomena that are bounded in their extent and time. The subject matter of an experiment may be an emotional process, a memory process, a social interactional process, and so forth. In each case, the domain is limited by the minitheory that covers some small portion of human behavior.By contrast, psychotherapy deals with not only the richness, diversity, and complexity of the individual but also with subject matters such as conflicts with sociocultural environments, intrapersonal conflicts, and emotional reactions to biological changes, among myriads of other areas. What may be a central event in an experiment may be only a tiny component in the total pat- tern presented to the professional. Some psychotherapy theo- ries present a single, central mechanism to account for the changes during the intervention process. Even in such theories —for example, those based on the conditioning paradigm—the interplay between conflicting intra- and interpersonal vari- ables, the irrationality of a client's thinking, and the relation- ship context (with a therapist or others) by necessity transcend the domain in which the simple model has been developed and substantiated by research.


In experimentation, the paramount ethical concern is the scientist's faithful report of his or her operations. Ethical princi- ples include the societal rules for dealing with live subjects and the concern that no harm be done by the experiment. In the application of science to everyday life, a different set of ethical problems arises (Hutchinson, 1983). The practitioner's primary obligation to assist clients often conflicts with personal inter- ests and with institutional or societal rules of conduct (Keith- Spiegel & Koocher, 1985). Long-term benefits or harm must be weighted against the expenditure of effort and other resources in the enterprise. As Perrez (1989) pointed out, a therapeutic enterprise requires justification for use of a method in terms of expected outcome, acceptability of the method itself, possible side effects, and cost. Legitimatization of an intervention pro- cedure is often based not on its immediate effect but on a com-

parison to what is given up, either in the use of other ap- proaches or in treatment of other persons, when a commitment is made to the specific procedure. Although basic research may ultimately have some utility in everyday life, justification for the practitioner's methods is demanded even as their applica- tion is contemplated.

Static Versus Dynamic Nature

Basic psychology has often been faulted for its disregard of one of the most critical variables in human behavior: time (McGrath, 1988). Whereas most psychological models are rela- tively static, frameworks for psychotherapy and for educational, industrial, or sociopolitical interventions extend along a histori- cal time dimension. The dynamic aspect further involves the continuous change in interrelationships among components of the person-environment system. In contrast to the laboratory setting, the everyday world is not fixed. Historical accidents, predispositions, cultural changes, and just the mere passage of time affect the client and the intervention process. Change be- gets further change. As a result, static models, linear predic- tions, and cross-sectional analyses of processes and relation- ships are limited tools for research and practice in psychother- apy (F H. Kanfer & Busemeyer, 1982) and most other applied


Thoughts on Continued BridgeMaintenance

In a recent development in the physical sciences, attention has been called to the possibility that orderly processes may lead to discontinuity or chaos and that these processes can be studied for better understanding and prediction of apparently spontaneous phenomena (Glass & MacKey, 1988; Gleick, 1987). When nonlinearity at a microlevel of a system continues over time, it can eventually affect observations at the macro- level and make them appear inexplicable, unpredictable, and chaotic. Tiny differences in input can quickly become over- whelming differences in output. Chaos theory highlights the relativistic position of a behavioral analysis: namely, that the observer's description of a phenomenon will depend not only on his or her perspective but also on the distance from the phenomenon and the scope or unit size selected for analysis. Chaos theory seems to be particularly appropriate to the task of the professional psychologist in predicting what seem to be unique events.For example, a sudden outburst of violence by an apparently quiet, stable person might be understood better by analysis of small but consistent behavioral, emotional, and cog- nitive reorganizations and inputs, noticeable only when their

total effect emerges at a higher level of analysis. The research on hassles has suggested that an analysis of major life events is less predictive of some stress reactions than the analysis of small but consistent daily hassles (DeLongis, Coyne, Dakof, Folkman,& Lazarus, 1982). To complete our Utopian scenario of the scientist-practi- tioner, I point out that the other side of the coin is the need to encourage researchers to focus attention on phenomena and problems encountered by practitioners. To illustrate: Cacioppo, Petty, and Stoltenberg (1985) examined the implications of their elaboration likelihood model for clinical operations, hypothe- sizing that high motivation and ability to think about an issue results in relativelymore enduring attitudes (thecentral route to

to think

attitude change) than do low motivation and low ability



about a professional's recommendation (processed by the pe-

ripheral route). Moreover, a poorly motivated client would ini- tially respond more to environmental and ostensible cues, such

as the superficial features of the therapist. Attitudesinduced by

the peripheral route, however,are less enduring. Cacioppo et al. made several suggestions for effective communication in ther- apy, which were based on their model and laboratory research of other variables such as the communicator's credibility and the client's prior information. Schneider (1985) offered sugges- tions for training high performance skills (e.g., aviation control) on the basis of his research on automatic and controlled process- ing. R. Kanfer and Ackerman (1989) and R. Kanfer (in press)

discussed the implications of their research on ability-motiva- tion interactions for training skills on complex jobs. Basic re- search in decision theory has helped psychologists to under- stand and improve practical decision processes and problem- solving strategies in applied psychology, medicine, and industry (e.g, Elstein, Shulman, & Spraf ka, 1978; Kahneman et al, 1982; Turk & Salovey, 1988). Such continued attempts by scientists to sketch the implications of their work for practical situations would encourage better and more research on ap- plied problems, testing, and improving the ecological validity of laboratory-based theories. They would also offer guidelines for continuous improvement of practice. Perhaps such an im- plication statement (ideally developed by the author after ob- servations of current practices and discussions with practi- tioners) should accompany any major theoretical paper, much like research proposals, if we believe in the obligations of science to contribute to society's welfare. The spirit of the Boulder Model would be best maintained if

a group of psychologists would set as their primary tasks (a) posing research questions on the basis of their observations made during their professional activities and (b) exploring and continuously testing the utility of various "basic" minitheories

and research data for potential practical operations. These activ- ities are already carried out by some individuals. However, in contrast to the organizational structures that facilitate commu- nication and collaboration of large groups of researchers in various subfields of applied psychology,there is currently only minimal support for groups that devote themselves systemati- cally and primarily to strengthening the bonds between prac- tice and scientific knowledge. Formal graduate programs and internships or apprenticeships for research that specialize in an applied area wouldstrengthen the cadre of "bridge builders" by giving them both (a) the skills, the perceptivity,and the pragma- tism of the professional and (b) training in the methods and exposure to the skeptic-empiric attitude of the researcher. By

individual contributions, researchers and

lieve that effective practice must firmly rest on the data and

theories of psychological science have already changed the practice and the thinking of psychologists in all applied areas.

A failure to resolve the "scientist-practitioner crisis" not only

would lessen the potential impact of advances in psychological science on practice but would also endanger the credibility of a psychological profession by dismantling its most substantial foundation.

practitioners who be-


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Received October 9,1989 Revision received March 5,1990 Accepted March 9,1990 •