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Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY

The impetus for creating APS came from widespread recognition that (I)t he needs and interests of scientific, applied, and academic psychologists are distinct from those of psychologists whose sole or primary interest is clinical therapy, and (2) psychological science needs a clear, strong, steady voice at the national level, a role that neither specialized organizations nor coalitions can easily play. Within the first year, APS hosted its first Summit meeting, held its first convention, and established the journal Psychological Science.

APS recognizes exceptional contributions to scientific psychology with the William James Fellow and James McKeen Cattell Fellow awards. The James award recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of psychological science, and the Cattell award recognizes outstanding applications of psychological science. As of 1999. 94 psychologists had been honored as William James Fellows, and 27 had been honored as James McKeen Cattell Fellows.

Advocacy Activities

One of the primary reasons APS was founded was to provide a strong and distinct “presence” for scientific psychology in Washington, D.C. Although still relatively new, APS has established itself as an influential force in Washington, D.C., as it represents the interests of its members and strengthens the ties of research-oriented psychologists with such institutions as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Mental Health, and the U.S. Congress

A year later in Houston, they reviewed that committee’s work and authorized publication and distribution of The Human Capital Initiative, a research agenda which brings attention to six major national problems (productivity, education, health, substance abuse, violence, and aging), each examined from the perspectives of four broad research themes (brain, mind, and behavior: human development and families; human relations and organization: and education, training, and performance).

AMNESIA

The clinical study of patients with amnesia has a long history. As early as 1889. Sergei Korsakoff, a Russian psychiatrist, in a landmark report provided an accurate description of amnesia resulting from long-term alcoholism, now referred to as Korsakoff’s syndrome. Following a brief period of psychosis, patients with this disorder had a severe, enduring difficulty in learning new information and were frequently unable to recall memories of events from the years preceding their illness. In contrast, their memories of early life, general intelligence, and language ability appeared normal.

His deficit serves as the prototype of the modern definition of amnesic syndrome: a severe and stable impairment in acquiring new long-term memories resulting from brain injury, frequently accompanied by a variable degree of amnesia for recent life periods, in the presence of preserved short-term memory and preserved higher mental functions including intelligence, language, and perception.

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