Examine various roles psychologists might portray as change agents. gents. Study Notes The following articles examine the role and responsibility of psychologists with regard to social change. Marsella (1998) addresses the importance of developing a global community psychology. The importance of developing a global community psychology and how this can be done is discussed. The O’Neill (2004) article especially important as it addresses the importance of moving beyond an individual focus and moving towards considering peoples’ behavior in the context of social systems.
The issue of professional psychologys tendency to consider complex phenomena on only an individual level apart form context is discussed. O’Neill goes on to address how psychological research and practice can contribute to the maintenance of the “status quo,” or it can help facilitate social change. Prilleltensky (1989; 1997) discusses the relationship between social forces and professional psychology. He questions if psychology can and / or should be neutral. ” Prilleltensky (1997) also provides a framework for considering the ethical, social, and political implications of psychological theories and practices.
Several organizations have been created to address the role of psychologists as social change agents, and to promote action. The following are websites for several of these organizations: Psychologists for Social Responsibility:http://www. psysr. org/ The Division of Peace Psychology http://www. webster. edu/peacepsychology/ The Society for Community Research and Action -SCRA, Division 27 http://www. scra27. org/ The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues http://www. spssi. org/ Critical Psychology http://www. dennisfox. net/critpsy/