Lack of diversity in psychology 

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

Image taken from: ttps://online.csp.edu/blog/psychology/basic-psychology-disciplines/

Do you ever wonder how the mind works and why humans do things that they do? Well, that’s what psychology is for.

According to the American Psychological Association, psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Thousands of studies have been done over the years in order to learn more about the human mind, but to what extent are all of these studies able to be considered worldwide? 

According to ‘The Conversation’, many of the studies, data, and knowledge, that we know of human psychology is focused on college members, those of the middle class, those who live near universities, and citizens of affluent, developed and democratic nations who are highly educated. Many scholars now use the acronym WEIRD in order to more easily describe the focuses; it stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. 

It was discovered that there are rare influential psychological publications that emphasize race, and when race is discussed, it is often written, and just about exclusively edited by, white scholars. 

Steven O. Roberts, an assistant professor of psychology a the School of Humanities and Sciences decided to do an experiment that would look at the race of academic journal editors, which get to manage the journal’s editorial board, recruit other scholars to look over submissions, and oversee the publication of the academic journals. 

There were 60 editors-in-chief who Roberts, and his research team (Carmelle Bareket-Shavit, Forrest A. Dollins, Peter D. Goldie and Elizabeth Mortenson), looked at in between the years 1974 and 2018. Of those 60, 83% of the editors-in-chief were white, 5% were people of color, and 12% were unidentifiable for one reason or another. 

These results show a lack of diversity in the field of psychology. In both the researchers and those being studied. This makes it seem as though the data brought from psychological studies aren’t as worldwide as many people think. 

However, racism is indeed a worldwide problem. Steven O. Roberts says, “Psychologists are supposed to know about racial bias and how to prevent it from stratifying the world, but if we, the so-called experts, have a problem, then society really has a problem.” 

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