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Roy Eidelson is a psychologist who studies, writes about, and consults on the role of psychological issues in political, organizational, and group conflict settings. He is president of Eidelson Consulting, a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, and a member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 A Psychologist's Deceptions about Prison Abuse in California
The head of California's prison system, where a hunger strike is now entering its ninth week, is a psychologist with over thirty years of training and experience. But despite belonging to a profession that prioritizes the promotion of human welfare, Dr. Jeffrey Beard has chosen to repeatedly misrepresent the seriousness and legitimacy of the striking prisoners' concerns.
Monday, August 5, 2013 Hawaiian Mind Games: APA Fiddles While Psychology Burns (1 comments)
Psychologists designed, implemented, supervised, and provided ethical cover for CIA and U.S. military "war on terror" abuses. As a result, the APA has faced repeated calls to take action to prevent future abuses by members of the profession. But APA leaders have responded with empty talk and feeble resolutions. Last week's vacuous exercise was the latest example.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 A Psychologist's Guantanamo Nightmare
This glimpse into an imagined dark future reflects the failure of psychology's leaders to adequately defend the profession's ethical commitment to doing no harm. What has already happened cannot be changed, but there are alternative paths forward. The most promising one for my profession requires dedicated and unflinching efforts directed toward accountability and reform.
Thursday, April 18, 2013 Psychologists and Torture: Accountability Still Awaits (1 comments)
The Constitution Project's Task Force Report on Detainee Treatment documents that psychologists were involved in the design and implementation of interrogation techniques that constituted torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. A serious and thorough accounting is long overdue and indispensable in order to restore the ethical foundations of the profession.
Thursday, April 11, 2013 Guantanamo and the APA: Where Accountability Goes to Die (2 comments)
Dozens of prisoners at Guantánamo -- the vast majority innocent of any terrorist involvement -- are now starving themselves to death. Many have suffered not only from indefinite detention, they have also been the victims of horrific physical and psychological abuse often rising to the level of torture -- at the hands of individuals who have never been held accountable.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 Neuroscience, Special Forces, and Ethics at Yale (1 comments)
Controversy recently erupted over a proposed DoD-funded center for operational neuroscience that would have brought U.S. Special Forces to Yale for interview training. Many questions remain unanswered, and the episode brings much needed attention to the morally fraught and murky terrain where partnerships between university researchers and national security agencies lie.
Thursday, February 14, 2013 Torturing the Truth and Whitewashing Hell (3 comments)
The controversy continues regarding retired military psychologist Larry James, who is seeking an executive director position at the University of Missouri. At last week's open forum on the campus, he responded to questions about his role in the detention conditions and interrogation practices at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. His answers deserve closer examination.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 The Torture Debate Echoes: An Army Psychologist's Job Search
A controversial finalist in the search for a new division executive director at the University of Missouri's College of Education is a retired Army colonel and military psychologist who held positions of authority during stints at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba.
Thursday, November 8, 2012 Ethics First: A Response to Our Critics (3 comments)
Greater awareness, engagement, and guidance are urgently needed in order to prevent ethically fraught aspects of national security psychology from undermining our profession's most noble aspirations.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 Dr. Frankenstein and the APA's Decade of Monstrosities (3 comments)
There is no shortage of arenas where the tale of Frankenstein -- of science unmoored from values, of ambition unrestrained by conscience -- resonates today. One that stands out for many psychologists is the APA's ongoing embrace of "war on terror" opportunities that have placed U.S. psychologists at the center of coercive interrogations and other human rights abuses.
Monday, June 11, 2012 The Army's Flawed Resilience-Training Study: A Call for Retraction (3 comments)
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, a mandatory resiliency program for all U.S. soldiers, has been heavily promoted by the Army as an urgently-needed response to increasing rates of PTSD and suicide among troops exposed to combat. Unfortunately, we have found that the research evaluating the program is deeply flawed and that the empirical evidence does not support the over-hyped claims that have been made about CSF's effectiveness.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 Protecting Psychologists Who Harm: The APA's Latest Wrong Turn (7 comments)
A repackaging and renaming strategy of illusion and deception characterizes the APA's latest gambit to both protect and disguise the role of psychologists as purveyors of harm. Meanwhile, a key question remains unanswered: When, if ever, should psychologists engage in coercion, deception, and manipulation?
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Psychologists' Collusion in Ongoing Illegal Detentions (4 comments)
As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners at Guantanamo Detention Center, several thousand miles away sits another United States detention facility, less well-known but with a history perhaps even more gruesome.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 Dismantling the Master's House: Psychologists and Torture (1 comments)
Professional psychology has made valuable contributions to national security through collaborative efforts with government agencies -- and it will undoubtedly continue to do so. But does anyone truly believe that crucial determinations about psychological ethics should ever be guided by the views and agenda of the Secretary of Defense or the Director of the CIA? Today, a grassroots campaign is underway to address this problem.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 A Thought Experiment About Psychological Ethics (1 comments)
Despite psychologists' involvement in abusive national security interrogations, the APA's PENS Task Force concluded that psychologists help to keep interrogations "safe, legal, ethical and effective." The Coalition for an Ethical Psychology is leading a petition campaign calling for annulment of the highly influential PENS Report. As part of this effort, a "thought experiment" letter was recently sent to APA's governing body.
Thursday, November 17, 2011 Psychologists and Torture: Video and Petition
Psychologists have acted as planners, consultants, researchers, and overseers to abusive interrogations of national security detainees. Concerned psychologists and human rights advocates have initiated a petition drive calling upon the American Psychological Association to annul its "PENS Report," a key document promoting the view that psychologists are needed to keep such interrogations "safe, legal, ethical, and effective."
Monday, October 24, 2011 "Safe, Legal, Ethical, And Effective"?: It's Time To Annul The Pens Report (2 comments)
In recognition of the underlying illegitimacy and ongoing destructive effects of the American Psychological Association's PENS Report, the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology has organized a new online petition campaign calling for the Report's official annulment by the APA.
Friday, June 19, 2009 No Place to Hide: Torture, Psychologists, and the APA (4 comments)
The role that psychologists and the American Psychological Association (APA) have played in the context of detainee abuse and torture is a pressing concern for everyone committed to human rights. In this 10-minute video, I provide a brief, timely overview of what has unfolded over the past several years and where things stand today.
Monday, May 11, 2009 How Americans Think About Torture--and Why (14 comments)
In recent weeks, new revelations about the harsh interrogation and torture of detainees during the Bush administration years have made headlines and stirred controversy. The positions of prominent advocates and opponents on each side are clear. But what do we know about how the American people in general have come to view the use of torture by the U.S. government?
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 On the Road to Change: The Psychology of Progress (3 comments)
Any difficult journey towards an important goal needs to be measured from dueling psychological perspectives-one focused on the past and the other focused on the future. Progressives will be challenged by these divergent perceptions as we work for a more just society.
Monday, October 13, 2008 How To Sell An Indefensible Status Quo (1 comments)
How is it that our country's powerful and self-interested defenders of the status quo so consistently succeed at suppressing popular outrage and combating calls for broad-based, progressive social change?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 Martians and Election Day (1 comments)
Martians did not really invade the U.S. on October 30, 1938 (Orson Welles' radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds), and McCain-Palin are not really reformist agents of positive change--but will we be fooled?
Thursday, April 3, 2008 Anchors for Progressives (2 comments)
The "anchoring effect" in psychology has important implications for how progressives should approach policy debates in this election season.