Psychology in Canada: The Future Is Not the Past

By Dobson, Keith S. | Canadian Psychology, February 1995 | Go to article overview

Psychology in Canada: The Future Is Not the Past


Dobson, Keith S., Canadian Psychology


Abstract

The past and future of psychology in Canada are addressed from the perspective of different challenges to the unity of the discipline and profession. A number of current forces that affect the current status of psychology, as well as an emerging set of forces, are discussed. It is argued that psychology is not a single phenomenon, but that there are several psychologies. These psychologies, with their attendant push towards multiple perspective and organizations, are seen as a sign of the strong diversity of psychology. The author argues that diversity in psychology should be accepted and used for mutual gain, rather than taken as a sign of the failure of psychology.

The CPA Presidential address represents a special forum to address Canadian psychologists, and it is my intention to use this platform to share with CPA members some of my developed and developing ideas related to the discipline and profession of psychology. In my article I briefly highlight some of the forces that have helped to shape the evolution of the discipline and profession of psychology in Canada. Having discussed the evolution of psychology, I address the current status of psychology, with a particular focus on the issue of the unity of the discipline and profession. The issue of unity is discussed both in terms of its organizational structure as well as the contemporary issues we face. I suggest that some of the forces that have enabled psychology to forge its current status will shift in the future, and that we must collectively recognize the differences that exist within the discipline and professional aspects of psychology. I specifically argue that the leadership of Canadian psychology not only needs to recognize and accept those differences, but to also develop new models of cooperation within psychology for its optimal development.

Throughout this paper I refer to the discipline and profession of psychology. By discipline I am referring to the research/science/post-secondary education, largely university-based aspect of psychology, where-as by profession I am referring to the applied/practice/service-setting aspect of psychology. While I recognize that these distinctions are not between clearly discrete functions, but rather represent fuzzy sets of psychology with some overlap, I think that the distinction has some merit, and I suspect that most readers will appreciate the distinction I am drawing.

Early forces in Canadian Psychology(f.1)

The early history of Canadian psychology is found within the university system (Wright & Meyers, 1982). The emergence of most Canadian departments of psychology took place in the period between 1920 and 1970, although there was certainly a sufficient mass of psychology faculty for the founding of the Canadian Psychological Association in 1939, and for the contribution of those faculty to the Second World War (Wright, 1969; 1974). By all descriptions, the majority of university departments, and certainly those in English-speaking Canada, had a strong bias towards experimental psychology from their beginning (Webster, 1967; Wright & Meyers, 1982), and many enjoyed the contributions of world-class researchers.

The post-war era saw the further establishment of university departments of psychology, some within the new universities that emerged in the 1960s such as the University of Waterloo, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Calgary. Departments of Educational Psychology, with a more applied focus than that found in many Psychology departments, also began to emerge in this era.

THE EMERGENCE OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY

The post-war era also was witness to the more distinct emergence of what was referred to as applied psychology (Bernhardt, 1961; Webster, 1967). The development of applied psychology had a number of bases, including:

1) emerging agreement about training models in clinical psychology, as reflected in such phenomena as the beginning of the accreditation of professional psychology training programs by the American Psychological Association in 1949 (Raimy, 1950; Shakow, 1948);

2) the 1953 development of a Code of Ethics by APA and its 1957 adoption by CPA (Sinclair, 1993);

3) the increasing number of recognized applications of psychological knowledge (Craig, 1993; Dobson & Dobson, 1993a), and;

4) the legislated requirements for the registration of psychologists at the provincial level, the first piece of legislation being enacted in 1960, the most recent in 1991. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Psychology in Canada: The Future Is Not the Past
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.