Divisions of the International Association of Applied Psychology

Most of the IAAP’s work is achieved through its Divisions, Standing Committees, and Task Forces. The Divisions pursue the scientific concerns of IAAP members working in various sub-fields of applied psychology. In 2012, the IAAP recognized the following 18 Divisions:

Sections of the Canadian Psychological Association

Many of the CPA's Sections correspond to APA Divisions...

Division 1 – Work and Organizational Psychology

Focuses on understanding, explaining and shaping attitudes and behaviour in organizational settings and identifying conditions that promote motivation, creativity, competency, teamwork, leadership, health and wellbeing, as well as the central role of human resources in strategic organizational planning.

Industrial / Organizational Psychology

Mission: The Canadian Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology was founded in 1975. Members are faculty from psychology departments and business schools, organizational practitioners, consultants, and students. Our mission is to:

  1. scientifically investigate behaviour and cognition at work;
  2. help organizations effectively manage their human resources; and
  3. help individuals realize their work goals. CSIOP members receive a quarterly newsletter that takes a lively look at current I-O topics and provides advertising for I-O related products and services. CSIOP is particularly active at the annual CPA conference, offering professional workshops, prominent speakers, paper and poster sessions, and practitioner forums. CSIOP maintains an informative, updated website that includes job postings, internships, links to I-O programs in Canadian universities, and membership information.

Psychology in the Military

Mission: To support the role of ethics in military psychology. To encourage research and education in the military psychology. To foster a greater understanding of the role of psychology in military affairs.

Division 2 – Psychological Assessment and Evaluation

Deals with the development of educational and psychological tests and their administration, the expansion of state and national educational testing programs, and the use of tests in work and clinical contexts. It also involves issues of test construction, administration and scoring, as well as adaptation from one language and culture to others.

Educational and School Psychology

Mission: The Educational and School Psychology Section is the national forum for the advancement of research and practice of psychology in educational settings. The purpose of this Section is to promote the study of issues, opportunities, and challenges relevant to educational and school psychology training and practice, and as special interest areas in psychology.

Division 3 – Psychology and Societal Development

Is concerned in part with the ways psychology can contribute to human well-being at a societal level involving issues such as health, education, gender equality, ethnic tolerance, intergroup relations and even political disputes. Primary emphasis, however, is placed upon understanding how these are affected by different histories, cultures, ethnicities and epistemologies, and thus the call for applications of psychology to be cognisant of these differences.

Social and Personality

Mission: The section exists to further research in Social and Personality Psychology and to foster relationships among Canadian researchers in these areas. The section organizes a one-day preconference to the annual meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association. The line-up of speakers is always stellar and the preconference offers students and faculty a smaller venue for presentation and interaction prior to the larger meeting. The section also provides awards for the best undergraduate (Ken Dion Award) and graduate (Brendon Gail Rule Award) submission to the annual meeting, and maintains a newsletter, website, and listserv.

Division 4 – Environmental Psychology

Examines the interactions between people and their physical settings and the effects that one has on the other. Emphasis is upon enhancing this relationship by improving society’s investment in the built environment (buildings, streets, parks, the atmosphere), and reducing its negative aspects, especially in areas such a poverty, crime, terrorism and climate change, for example.

Environmental Psychology

Mission Why do some people recycle and others don’t? How can we encourage more people to use public transportation? What can we do to make inner cities more lively and safe? Our members study the relationships between behaviour and the physical environment, both built and natural. Areas of interests include: management of scare natural resources; psychological effects of lighting, noise, and extreme environments; territoriality and personal space; and perception and evaluation of buildings.

Division 5 – Educational, Instructional and School Psychology

Aims to help every student achieve the highest possible degree of maturity, including intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially, and how this is influenced by factors ranging from family, school, community, society and culture to diverse teaching methods, curriculum and a school environment that promote curiosity and encourages creativity.

Educational and School Psychology

Mission: The Educational and School Psychology Section is the national forum for the advancement of research and practice of psychology in educational settings. The purpose of this Section is to promote the study of issues, opportunities, and challenges relevant to educational and school psychology training and practice, and as special interest areas in psychology.

Teaching of Psychology

Mission: The general aim of the Section on the Teaching of Psychology is to provide a forum for the exchange of information, ideas and data concerning all aspects of teaching, including methods and styles of teaching, innovative pedagogical techniques, and aspects of student behaviour and evaluation. To this end, each year at CPA the Section offers a teaching-related symposium, paper session or workshop, the ongoing general theme of which has been since 1989, "Improving the teaching of psychology."

Division 6 – Clinical and Community Psychology

Clinical Psychology focuses on understanding, preventing, diagnosing and treating psychological, cognitive, emotional, developmental, behavioural and family problems in children, adolescents and adults. Community Psychology is concerned with building competencies, behavioural changes and agency in individuals, communities and societies, thereby enhancing the quality of life at all three levels.

Clinical Psychology

Mission: The Section on Clinical Psychology is a section of the Canadian Psychological Association. Membership is voluntary from within the membership of the CPA. It is one of the largest sections of CPA, and it serves to represent the professional and scientific interests of its members to CPA and to reflect the profession at the national level within Canada. Its mission is to "promote clinical psychology in its broadest definition as a science and a profession to the public, other service providers, clinical psychologists, and the government.

Community Psychology

Mission: The Community Psychology Section brings together a diverse group of researchers, practitioners, trainees and community members. Our section works to advance understanding of community psychology through various activities. Our Section sponsors conferences and events in Community Psychology in addition to our activities within CPA. We offer the Patrick O’Neill Prize for the best student presentation in the Community Psychology Section at the annual CPA convention. Community Psychology serves to advance research that merges psychology within the community through an inclusive approach to practice and research.

Clinical Neuropsychology

Mission: The purpose of this Section is to promote the development of Clinical Neuropsychology as a special interest area in psychology. In pursuance of this purpose, the Section:

  1. provides information to members about current activities, events, research and practice developments in the area;
  2. organizes sessions at the annual CPA Convention that are of interest to members;
  3. represents the interests of the Section within CPA through initiating such activities as position papers, policy statements, and special meetings; and
  4. makes representations, on behalf of its members to external organizations or agencies with the approval of the Executive Committee of the CPA Board of Directors.

Division 7 – Applied Gerontology

Is typified by three areas of interest: age (concerned with difference between people of different ages), aging (deals with changes in functioning across the life span), and the aged (focused upon the elderly). Essentially the aim is to help people adjust to age and aging so as to add life to years rather than years to life, especially through having a positive self-perception on aging and keeping active both physically and mentally.

Adult Development and Aging

Mission: The purpose of this Section is to promote the development of Adult Development and Aging as a special interest area in psychology. In pursuance of this purpose, the Section:

  1. provides information to members about current activities, events, research and practice developments in the area;
  2. organizes sessions at the annual CPA Convention that are of interest to members;
  3. represents the interests of the Section within CPA through initiating such activities as position papers, policy statements, and special meetings; and
  4. makes representations, on behalf of its members to external organizations or agencies with the approval of the Executive Committee of the CPA Board of Directors.

Psychologists and Retirement

Mission:

The Section of Psychologists and Retirement will provide a forum for psychologists who are currently retired from their professional employment in the field of psychology and/ or those who are interested in the area of retirement as a life stage, to discuss the impact of retirement on post-work quality of life and the opportunities it affords those who are open to change. Towards that end, the Section will:

  1. Provide a social support network for retired psychologists within CPA
  2. Provide information to members about planning for retirement, and what one needs to know to prepare for the next stage of life
  3. Determine ways to maintain connections to the discipline of psychology while not actively practicing in it
  4. Research the literature and possibly publish articles in the area of seniors and retirement
  5. Explore issues impacting seniors, such as downsizing, living arrangements, health and caregiver issues, use of leisure time
  6. Discuss the value of, and ways to become involved in, volunteerism in the community
  7. Represent the interests of the Section within CPA through initiating such activities as position papers, guidelines, policy statements, and special meetings
  8. Organize sessions at the CPA Convention that are of interest to members

Division 8 – Health Psychology

Focuses upon explaining and changing health-related behaviour and on the role of psychological processes in health, illness, and healthcare delivery. Topics include symptoms and their investigation; cognitive, emotional and behavioural responses to illness; cognitive behavioural interventions; and treatment behaviour.

Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine

Mission: The Section on Health and Behavioural Medicine of the Canadian Psychological Association is committed to providing information regarding current research and practice, and connecting researchers and clinicians in the the field. Health psychology involves understanding how the mind, body, and behavior interact in health and disease. Clinical and experimental research in this area aids in the development of public health recommendations and clinical interventions. The interests of our members cover a wide variety of topics ranging from psychophysiology to pain to adherence.

Division 9 – Economic Psychology

Promotes and discusses research, as well as policy making, on the interface of psychology and economics including topics such as money management, spending, saving and credit use and debts as well as financial and psychological preparation for retirement, money and inflation, felt inflation and consumer spending, and contra-productivity such as tax non-compliance, shadow economy and fraud.

Division 10 – Psychology and Law

Although starting as a combination of the two separate disciplines of psychology and law, the field has emerged as one in its own right with its own epistemology, experimental techniques, and expertise. Within the field, however, there are two areas of specialisation. One is based upon experimental psychology, epitomised in research into eyewitness testimony. The other is clinically oriented of which an example is the assessment of recidivism.

Criminal Justice Psychology

Mission: The Criminal Justice Psychology Section (CJPS) represents members of the Canadian Psychological Association who work in a variety of criminal justice and forensic settings. These include corrections, law enforcement, the courts, hospitals, community mental health, and academic settings. We have installed Directors-at-Large who have been tasked with developing specific areas within criminal justice (police, courts, and clinical/training) in order to better meet the needs of those practicing and researching in those areas.

Division 11 – Political Psychology

Examines human behaviour in a wide spectrum of settings, mainly national and international, in which psychology and political matters converge. Topics, for example, range at one level from voting behaviour and political extremism through to nuclear threat and terrorism, and at another from their associated motives and attitudes (such as changing attitudes, especially among adolescents, to war and peace) through to conflict resolution and negotiation.

Social and Personality

Mission: The section exists to further research in Social and Personality Psychology and to foster relationships among Canadian researchers in these areas. The section organizes a one-day preconference to the annual meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association. The line-up of speakers is always stellar and the preconference offers students and faculty a smaller venue for presentation and interaction prior to the larger meeting. The section also provides awards for the best undergraduate (Ken Dion Award) and graduate (Brendon Gail Rule Award) submission to the annual meeting, and maintains a newsletter, website, and listserv.

Extremism and Terrorism

Mission: Extremism and terrorism are serious and related threats that have cognitive, emotional, and behavioural causes and consequences in contemporary life. Evidence suggests that the prevalence of extreme ideologies is expanding, leading to growing concerns regarding translation of these ideologies into terrorists' acts. The potential costs to our world's population are physical, emotional, financial, social, and aspirational to an extent that cannot be meaningfully calculated. Front-line decision-makers, policy-makers and political scholars have been seeking help from psychologists in understanding this phenomenon from a psychological point of view. This section of the Canadian Psychological Association has set out to explore the preconditions under which extremism and terrorism come to exist; to study the conditions that maintain groups and individuals who come to be known as extremists or terrorists; to propose actions that our societies might employ to make harmful tactics stop, and to examine how societies might repair the harm that has been done, returning communities to a safe, stable and peaceful condition. Through this section, we aspire to provide the conditions necessary for psychologists to meet, discuss, and study for this purpose.

Division 12 – Sport Psychology

Sport Psychology is concerned with the study and application of psychological and mental factors that influence and are influenced by participation in physical activity in general, and in sport, exercise and physical education. Sport psychology may be divided into three main areas: psychology of motor learning, exercise psychology and applied sport psychology. Each of these areas has contributed substantially to the understanding of humans in movement.

Sport and Exercise Psychology

Mission: The Sport and Exercise Psychology Section has been in existence for many years! It originated in the 1980s and dissolved nine years later in 1991. It was reformed in 2005 as an interest group and officially a full section in 2006 with almost 400 members at that time. Since then, this Section has re-introduced conference presentations at the CPA annual Convention specifically in the area of sport and exercise psychology, and developed practice and training guidelines for the psychologists wanting to practice sport psychology. The section is still in its (re)development stages but with the strong presence of student membership along with the varied expertise of senior psychologists, the interest to develop the psychology portion of sport psychology is widespread.It aims to provide a forum for communication and information dissemination to psychologists, psychology students, and affiliates working with athletes, exercisers, coaches, parents, sport and exercise organizations, and other / or other sport and exercise science professionals in clinical / counselling, rehabilitation, research, and / or teaching / education roles. Specific goals of the section are to promote applied and theoretical research, encourage multi-disciplinary perspectives in research and practice, advance knowledge transmission and evidence-based practice, to facilitate working with other professional organizations to develop specific educational training guidelines for sport and exercise psychology, and to facilitate linkages with other sport and exercise organizations across Canada and the world. Lastly, in addition to strengthening the training of sport and exercise psychologists in Canada, it aims to expand the teaching and research contributions of sports psychologists, and increasing the presence of sports psychology within the CPA's annual convention program.

Division 13 – Traffic and Transportation Psychology

Traffic and Transportation Psychology is substantially concerned with the what, the how, and the why of road safety. As well it is heavily involved in the field of evaluation of countermeasures, including work in simulators where research is often multi-disciplinary in nature involving engineers and statisticians. Specific areas in which Traffic Psychology is particularly visible include seat belts, behavioural measures relating to enforcement, the development of road signage, speed limits, driver distraction, and the older driver licensing question (when should people quit?).

Division 14 – Applied Cognitive Psychology

Concerns applications of cognitive studies arising out of interactions with allied fields such as cognitive ergonomics, psychophysics, cognitive neuropsychology, engineering psychology, human factors engineering, cognitive engineering, new information technologies, computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), cyberspaces and virtual life research, neuro-ergonomics, psychology of learning and instruction, natural language processing (speech competence, reading, writing), the legal process (eye-witnesses, face and voice identification), decision making, conflict resolution as well as creativity research and training.

Brain & Cognitive Science

Mission: The purpose of this Section is to promote the development of Brain and Cognitive Science as a special interest area in psychology. In pursuance of this purpose, the Section:

  1. provides information to members about current activities, events, research and practice developments in the area;
  2. organizes sessions at the annual CPA Convention that are of interest to members;
  3. represents the interests of the Section within CPA through initiating such activities as position papers, policy statements, and special meetings; and
  4. makes representations, on behalf of its members to external organizations or agencies with the approval of the Executive Committee of the CPA Board of Directors.

Division 15 – Psychology Students

Aims to promote and support a network of students who share a common interest in international development, teaching, trends, applications, and research in applied psychology. Activities include exchanging scientific knowledge; sharing useful information for students such as mobility programmes, scholarships, research grants, study and work abroad; and promoting international and cross-cultural research.

Students

Mission: Students play an active role in CPA’s infrastructure. The Section for Students in Psychology crosses all section boundaries and provides a forum in which students may learn from each other and begin to prepare for their careers in psychology.

Division 16 – Counseling Psychology

Aims to help individuals, families, groups and organizations with their educational, developmental and adjustment concerns and in so doing employs a wide range of assessment and intervention strategies. Generally speaking clients experience moderate adjustment and psychological problems as opposed to severe psychopathology, interventions are short-term, service is out-patient rather than in-patient, the context is frequently educational or work, and emphasis is upon preventative interventions.

Counseling

Division 17 – Professional Psychology

Places a strong emphasis upon evidence-based practice and covers a wide range of matters of central interest to practicing psychologists. These include accreditation, registration, quality and standards, supervision and mentoring, ethics, service delivery, workplace conditions, advertising standards, technological orientation, and political orientation and advocacy.

Psychologists in Hospitals and Health Centers

Mission: The Psychologists in Hospitals and Health Centers Section will provide a forum for psychologists who are employed, practice, teach, or conduct research in hospitals and health care settings.

Division 18 – History of Applied Psychology

Fosters an historical approach to understanding, developing and reinforcing the institutional identity of our discipline. It encourage the preservation of technical reports in congresses and journals, qualitative and quantitative data collection procedures, and archival technique to keep safe documents that may well serve to maintain the identity of a tradition, a school or a national development.

For more information about the International Association of Applied Psychology, please visit the IAAP website (http://www.iaapsy.org/).

History and Philosophy Section

Mission: The purpose of this Section is to promote the development of History and Philosophy of Psychology as a special interest area in psychology.

Quantitative Electrophysiology

Mission: The primary aim of this Section is to bring together psychologists with interest in research and therapy pertaining to neuroplasticity. Psychophysiological processes related to neuroplasticity include, but are not limited to quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG), peripheral biofeedback, EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback), hemoencephalography, and evoked potentials. Neurofeedback includes both surface or scalp training, and training using Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA). In addition, Heart Rate Variability training is gaining significant interest and is included as a topic within this section, as is pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation. Related topics, such as the comparative studies between EEG neurofeedback and real-time fMRI neurofeedback are also included.

Quantitative Methods

Mission: Advance teaching and research on the quantitative analysis of psychological data.

Section on Women and Psychology (SWAP)

Mission: The Section on Women and Psychology (SWAP) creates a community of researchers, teachers, and practitioners interested in the psychology of women and feminist psychology, to advance the status of women in psychology, to promote equity for women in general, and to educate psychologists and the public on topics relevant to women and girls.

Family Psychology

Mission: The realm of family psychology deals with the multiple ways in which family relationships, societal institutions, biological factors, and cultural factors mutually influence one another throughout the life span. Family psychologists have interests in a number of domains, including marital, parental, and sibling relationships, the impact of normative and non-normative stressors on family functioning, and the treatment of psychological and medical problems within a family context.

Traumatic Stress

Mission: The purpose of the Traumatic stress section is to promote evidenced-based mental health assessment and treatment, educate the public about the importance of appropriate traumatic stress treatment and research, and actively encourage the involvement of appropriate public and private sector agencies in the development of effective policies and procedures to address the psychological effects of traumatic stress within the Canadian population.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Mission: This Section will advance knowledge and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans, heterosexual and queer issues in psychology and allied disciplines. Topics that fall within the remit of this Section include: sexual identities and practices, trans/gender identities and practices, relationships, families, LGBTQ studies, queer theory, counseling/psychotherapy that promotes healthy sexualities and genders, attitudes, prejudice and discrimination, health, body image, media, violence, intergroup relations, the intersection of sexualities, genders and other important demographic characteristics/lines of power (e.g. class, disability, race/ethnicity, age, religion). Please note that a strongly non-pathologizing stance will be taken whilst remaining inclusive of the variety of positions in the field and encouraging vigorous debate.

Rural and Northern Psychology

Mission: The purpose of the Rural and Northern Psychology Section is to support and enhance the practice of rural and northern psychology.

International and Cross-Cultural Psychology

Mission: Our mandate began with an initial agenda for the 1981 conference considering the following activities:

  1. Presentation of Current Cross-Cultural Research , in symposia or seminars by Canadian Psychologists currently engaged in these activities
  2. Conversation hour led by some prominent people in the field
  3. Business-Membership meeting
  4. Social Hour in conjunction with the International Council of Psychologists, the International Association of Cross-Cultural & the Inter-American Psychology Association
  5. It was also suggested that this interest group (Section) might be able to host colleagues from abroad who visit our country.

Aboriginal

Mission: The purpose of the Aboriginal Section is to:

  1. establish a community of psychologists and students interested in research, clinical practice, and teaching issues relevant to Aboriginal people;
  2. to acknowledge the historical and political issues that impact Aboriginal mental health;
  3. to share the strengths and practices of Aboriginals to promote holistic health and healing; and
  4. to advocate for culturally appropriate research and clinical practice for Aboriginal people across Canada.

Developmental

Mission: The Development Psychology Section (DPS) is organized to advance our knowledge in Developmental Psychology (DP), to influence public policy, and to provide opportunities for professional, educational, and societal development in our area.