Is the APA Altering Its Past?

According to a blog post by psychologist and anti-torture activist Jeff Kaye, the APA may have been altering and deleting articles from on-line versions of its own publications that documented its participation in torture workshops co-mounted with the CIA and the Rand Corporation.

Kaye cites articles from the APA’s Science Policy Insider News website and from APA’s Spin that have been previously cited in major publications such as Vanity Fair, but whose URL’s now only bring up a “page is not available” message. He says that the originals can now be found only through “a web archive search engine.”

Kaye concedes that  “the scrubbing of the page describing truth drugs and sensory overload could be attributed to some normal archiving decision, or the victim of a web do-over” but insists that “the excision of the text and link to the site on the referring page cannot be an accident.” (Indeed, the APA launched a major overhaul of its web site in the past year.) Kaye continues:

APA has a history of bad faith on such issues. Recently, they rewrote a problematic section of their ethical code, dubbed the Nuremberg loophole by some, which allowed psychologists to violate their ethical rules if done to comply with “law, regulations, or other governing legal authority.”

Kaye’s blog item item has been picked up by the website of Harper’s magazine.

(Thanks to Ron Sheese for alerting me to this.)

Share on Facebook

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.

2 thoughts on “Is the APA Altering Its Past?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>