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About APA Who We Are

Based in Washington, D.C., the American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With more than 154,000 members, APA is the largest association of psychologists worldwide. Mission Statement

The mission of the APA is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve peoples lives. Vision Statement

The American Psychological Association aspires to excel as a valuable, effective and influential organization advancing psychology as a science, serving as:

A uniting force for the discipline

The major catalyst for the stimulation, growth and dissemination of psychological science and practice

The primary resource for all psychologists

The premier innovator in the education, development, and training of psychological scientists, practitioners and educators

The leading advocate for psychological knowledge and practice informing policy makers and the public to improve public policy and daily living

A principal leader and global partner promoting psychological knowledge and methods to facilitate the resolution of personal, societal and global challenges in diverse, multicultural and international contexts

An effective champion of the application of psychology to promote human rights, health, well being and dignity

Strategic Plan

Approved by APAs Council of Representatives August 2009.

Goal 1: Maximize organizational effectiveness

Objectives: The APAs structures and systems support the organizations strategic direction, growth and success.

Enhance APA programs, services and communications to increase member engagement and value;

Ensure the ongoing financial health of the organization;

Optimize APAs governance structures and function.

Goal 2: Expand psychologys role in advancing health

Objectives: Key stakeholders realize the unique benefits psychology provides to health and wellness and the discipline becomes more fully incorporated into health research and delivery systems.

Advocate for the inclusion of access to psychological services in health care reform policies

Create innovative tools to allow psychologists to enhance their knowledge of health promotion, disease prevention, and management of chronic disease;

Educate other health professionals and the public about psychology's role in health

Advocate for funding and policies that support psychology's role in health

Promote the application of psychological knowledge in diverse health care settings;

Promote psychology's role in decreasing health disparities;

Promote the application of psychological knowledge for improving overall health and wellness at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

Goal 3: Increase recognition of psychology as a science

Objectives: The APAs central role in positioning psychology as the science of behavior leads to increased public awareness of the benefits psychology brings to daily living.

Enhance psychologys prominence as a core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) discipline;

Improve public understanding of the scientific basis for psychology;

Expand the translation of psychological science to evidence-based practice;

Promote the applications of psychological science to daily living;

Expand educational resources and opportunities in psychological science.

APA Core Values

The American Psychological Association commits to its vision through a mission based upon the following values:

Continual pursuit of excellence Knowledge and its application based upon methods of science Outstanding service to its members and to society Social justice, diversity, and inclusion Ethical action in all that we do

Organizational Purposes

APA seeks to advance psychology as a science, a profession, and as a means of promoting health, education, and human welfare. We do this by:

Encouraging the development and application of psychology in the broadest manner

Promoting research in psychology, the improvement of research methods and conditions, and the application of research findings

Improving the qualifications and usefulness of psychologists by establishing high standards of ethics, conduct, education, and achievement

Increasing and disseminating psychological knowledge through meetings, professional contacts, reports, papers, discussions, and publications

Adapted from APA Bylaws I.1 Definition of "Psychology"

Psychology is a diverse discipline, grounded in science, but with nearly boundless applications in everyday life. Some psychologists do basic research, developing theories and testing them through carefully honed research methods involving observation, experimentation and analysis. Other psychologists apply the disciplines scientific knowledge to help people, organizations and communities function better.

As psychological research yields new information, whether its improved interventions to treat depression or how humans interact with machines, these findings become part of the disciplines body of knowledge and are applied in work with patients and clients, in schools, in corporate settings, within the judicial system, even in professional sports.

Psychology is a doctoral-level profession. Psychologists study both normal and abnormal functioning and treat patients with mental and emotional problems. They also study and encourage behaviors that build wellness and emotional resilience. Today, as the link between mind and body is well-recognized, more and more psychologists are teaming with other healthcare providers to provide whole-person healthcare for patients.