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The Psychology in the Communities Task Force

Page history last edited by Bill Altman 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This wiki was originally developed by a presidential task force,

appointed by STP President Janie Wilson in 2016.


The members of the original task force were:


  • William S. Altman, Chair (SUNY Broome Community College) altmanws@sunybroome.edu
  • Dawn Albertson (University of Minnesota, Mankato)
  • Bryan Auday (Gordon College)
  • Betty Biernat (St. Catherine University)
  • Stephen Chew (Samford University)
  • Dennis Galvan (Gallaudet University)
  • Rajiv Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University)
  • Riki Koenigsberg (Yeshiva University High School for Girls)
  • Jerry Rudmann (Irvine Valley College)
  • Judy Shulze (Baker College of Cadillac)
  • Joan Warmbold (Oakton Community College)


The Original Charge


Dear Colleagues,


First, thank you for expressing an interest in sharing psychology with the community. Second, thank you for agreeing to serve on a task force! Participation likely will occur through email and other electronic means, but I hope to see some of you at upcoming conferences as well.


The goal of the task force will, in part, emerge through your discussions. (At this point, I’d like to avoid including how to talk with journalists or politicians because I’m interested in how to approach people in the general public.) I envision some roads that STP might take based on your input:


1. What information we might share. The first example that comes to mind is telling the public about health-related behaviors. Others might include sharing theories from social psychology such as the self-fulfilling prophecy or the fundamental attribution error. Another example might involve talking about ways to effectively discipline children.

2. How teachers of psychology can share their discipline with others. I’ve been talking with a colleague in the Communication Arts Department about how to persuade people, such as what words to use and what approach to take. I realize psychologists already know a great deal about persuasion, but I’m not sure speaking simply is always our greatest strength. I don’t think we can speak with the general public in our professor voice J

3. Where? What outlets are available or might we create? For example, colleagues have mentioned Science in Pubs, where psychologists might share a beer and some scientific knowledge about human behavior in a local restaurant or bar. Other colleagues mentioned discussing psychology at a local public library or a community club such as Kiwanis.


Ultimately I’d like to see STP sponsor some models of how to share psychology with the community. Perhaps our members might even provide presentations for concepts that are sure to be popular with the general public (e.g., the dark side of physical punishment). Materials could be shared on the STP website.

Based on your report, I would probably ask the Executive Committee to fund a grant to help STP members (a) prepare model presentations with content, (b) share psychology with the community in a unique way, and/or (c) something we haven’t come up with yet!


I ask that a report of ideas and suggestions be prepared by March 23rd, if possible. To facilitate work of the task force, I suggest a Chair be chosen to organize the group’s virtual meetings and ideas. Perhaps a second leader could compile suggestions into a sharable report. The format and output of the task force are up to you! I will be available at your convenience to help in any way.


To help you get to know each other, I’ve organized names, affiliations, and emails in the attached document and CCed everyone here. If I’m missing information in the file, please send it to the group to update.


Have a great term,


Janie H. Wilson, PhD
Professor of Psychology
President, Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA Div 2) jhwilson@georgiasouthern.edu Psychology Department Room 1036, Brannen 2670 Southern Drive Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA 30460


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