The International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) is the oldest association with individual membership that encompasses all applied areas of psychology. According to IAAP’s constitution, IAAP establishes contact between those who, in different countries, devote themselves to scientific work in the various fields of applied psychology, and, on the other hand, to advance the study likely to contribute to scientific and social development in these fields. IAAP provides a worldwide network of likeminded colleagues with opportunities to develop close cooperation and exchange in research, teaching and the practice of psychology. The function of IAAP is to promote applied research all over the world and to promote the use of psychology in all important areas of application. IAAP has a mission to provide sound, scientifically based and impartial knowledge to decision makers both nationally and internationally. To produce generalizable, and transferable knowledge, it is necessary to understand and accentuate the differences of people, of cultures, and of theoretical approaches. For these functions IAAP provides and develops effective international networks and structures. Further, IAAP provides support and helps to develop research and professional skills worldwide and diffusion of knowledge. Our journal Applied Psychology: An International Review and our Newsletter as well as the Divisional Newsletters are important vehicles to such effect.
One of the functions of IAAP as the oldest general-purpose international association of applied psychology is to provide a platform for meeting and exchange amongst applied psychologists. In addition, IAAP provides a clearinghouse of psychologists focusing in specific fields. Therefore, IAAP has been a co-promoter of the World Forum of Presidents of international worldwide psychological associations, which is a meeting point for such international special purpose organizations.
IAAP’s mission is to pursue the application of psychological competence. This demands not only strong cooperation within international psychology, but also cooperation with other disciplines. IAAP is working cooperatively with all other international organizations, particularly the International Union of Psychological Science in furthering this aim. The same aim of mutual cooperation also applies to the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology. We also cooperate with the International Council of Psychologists. In order to increase networking possibilities of its members and for applied psychologists worldwide, IAAP organizes the International Congresses of Applied Psychology every fourth year (the First International Congress of Applied Psychology took place 1920 in Geneva, Switzerland) as well as regional conferences; it is also a co-founder and co-organizer of the ARTS Workshops (Advanced Research Training Seminars), which provides knowledge for participants from developing countries. Our international outlook also implies that we are working with United Nations bodies and that we provide help and support to international endeavours from our psychological perspective (for example, we work with the International Social Science Council, as an affiliate member, and we maintain and expand direct contacts with the International Labour Office, the World Health Organization, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, as well as the Department of Public Information (DPI) of the United Nations).
Our mission also implies that we want to help distribute teaching models in applied psychology, that we want to help students to develop stronger links worldwide and that we encourage people to visit each others’ institutions and to collaborate on research. The wider aim of IAAP is to promote peace and non-violent pursuit of conflicts. Further, our aim is to promote individual freedom and non-discriminatory practices in societies, in jobs, and in health care. In short, IAAP’s mission is to make life better and to use psychological knowledge to improve the well-being of individuals and communities throughout the world.