Dear IAAP members:
These days in many regions of the world, people celebrate seasonal festivities and the beginning of the New Year. It is a tradition widely extended that people greet each other during these days. I am pleased to follow this tradition and warmly express to you and your families my greetings in these festivities and my wishes of a happy New Year.
Psychology, in fact, makes important contributions to the understanding and promotion of happiness and well-being of individuals, groups, communities and societies through research, education and professional interventions. These contributions impinge on many different areas of the human life including but not limited to the environment’s sustainability, the promotion of learning and education, the improvement of people’s health, effective and satisfactory work, and positive, equitable and just interpersonal, social and intergroup relationships.
However, scientific and professional activities do not take place in a vacuum and the context plays an important role on the effectiveness of Psychology. Nowadays, contextual factors are experiencing deep transformations with important impacts on individuals’ life and societies. Globalization, political changes and tensions, financial crisis, technological change, the growing connectivity across the world and social media, migratory movements and demographic changes are relevant aspects of this deep transformation. Of course, these changes take specific forms and have different impacts on people in different parts of the world. Their complexity and diversity represent real challenges for Psychology. From one side, they imply “applying” psychology as a science and professional practice in each specific context. From the other, the globalization and international phenomena require our consideration.
The International Association of Applied Psychology during almost a century has worked towards the promotion of these two important aspects. In fact, IAAP contributes to an effective and rigorous application of psychology through research, education and professional practice in the different regions of the world, paying attention to the specific cultural, economic, social and political contexts. Moreover, IAAP enhances international cooperation and awareness of the new realities and challenges in the global context.
To do this, IAAP counts on an important human and social capital. Its membership, coming from more than eighty countries around the world, is its biggest asset. It is composed of many leading researchers, practitioners and academics that contribute to most of Psychology’s disciplines and fields of practice thought the eighteen divisions of our Association. Also thanks to the work of members engaged in task forces and teams, important functions are achieved such as being represented in international bodies and organizations like the United Nations. Moreover, IAAP counts on a number of means and tools to promote its mission. Let me just mention the International Congresses of Applied Psychology (the coming one is in Paris in 2014), the scientific journals and the capacity building activities such as ARTS, and the Regional Conferences. More specifically, I would like to draw your attention to one important event that will be held in Kampala next November 2013. I am referring here to the Eastern Africa Regional Conference of Psychology that, under the title “The Role of Psychology in addressing societal challenges” (rcp2013ug.org), aims to chart ways of bringing psychological knowledge and solutions to the national and regional discussions of all problems related to development in the region. IAAP, in cooperation with IUPsyS and IACCP, sponsor this Conference.
Before I finish this letter, let me thank and congratulate all those members of IAAP who have contributed during 2012 to make possible the achievements of the Association. I also want to invite you to participate in IAAP activities and contribute to the fulfillment of its mission for the sake of human beings and society.
José M. Peiró
President of IAAP