President’s Column

Div. 3 Needs You

I can think of no greater service to the field now than to reach out to three people as a way to extend your legacy in the field you have been devoted to throughout your career.

By Jonathon Crystal, PhD

Div. 3 (Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science) is a central part of representing science within APA. APA covers many issues, including some that are challenging to scientists. However, APA is large, resourceful and effective, and it maintains a large network of connections to impact decisions in Washington, D.C. The Science Directorate is one of the pillars of APA. It advocates for funding of research, and it is our loudest voice that can impact public policy that affects science. It is critical that scientists not abandon APA and APA not lose its scientists. 

Div. 3 needs you. The demographics of Div. 3 are old. In many ways, this is something to celebrate. We have a distinguished cadre of fellows and members. But our demographics mean that we need new members. How can we reinvigorate?

Recently Div. 3 updated its name to reflect its brand as a society of scholars devoted to experimental psychology and cognitive science. An advantage of the branding includes two ways to become involved with the Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science (SEPCS): (1) as an APA member who joins Div. 3, which is the old way to become involved; and (2) as a member of SPECS, without being a member of APA, which is the new way. Some individuals may choose to be a member of SPECS without being a member of APA, but to impact APA, it helps to be a member of APA and join Div. 3.

I am writing to ask you to do three things. Each of us has taken up service roles over the years, and I am asking you to undertake some outreach on behalf of Div. 3. Many of us know people who should be members or fellows of Div. 3. Some of these people were members in the past but may have let their membership lapse. Others are newer to the field and might not have considered Div. 3. Here are my three asks:

  1. A colleague in your department. Many of us have a colleague down the hall who should be a member of Div. 3 but who is not a member. Please take a walk down the hall and chat about Div. 3.
  2. A colleague in your field. Someone who you collaborate with, chat with at conferences or enjoy a group dinner with while at a conference. You know who this is. This is someone who is close to you. Please take a moment to suggest that your colleague join Div. 3. 
  3. A graduate student in your department. This might be a graduate student who collaborates with you or a grad student from the lab down the hall. This is someone who is starting out in new roles, and representing science at APA is an important role. Membership in Div. 3 is free to grad students, and student membership in APA is inexpensive and grows only gradually at later career stages.

If each of us reaches out to three people, the impact on membership is extraordinary. Each of you has served your field for many years. I can think of no greater service to the field now than to reach out to three people as a way to extend your legacy in the field you have been devoted to throughout your career.

Places to connect with Div. 3: