So given that, how can behavioral
scientists best advocate for the
limited federal funding available
now, especially at a time when
brain science seems to attract
My view is that behavioral science is
much better respected than behavioral
scientists tend to think. But I do have
some concrete ideas for things that
they could do better. One is stop
saying “behavioral and social sciences”
and instead talk about the individual
disciplines like psychology, sociology
or anthropology. Behavioral science is
pretty much one or two or three flavors.
Social science is far more diverse. And
behavioral science and social science
have different kinds of methodologies,
and so they should not be lumped
Secondly, in the NIH context, stop
saying “behavioral and biomedical
research.” There’s no reason to separate
them like that — behavioral research
is biomedical. It’s concerned with the
brain and the mind, and those are just as
medically relevant as hearts and kidneys.
When you cut them off or put them into
a separate category, they become a target,
because people say, “Oh, so it’s not real
research.” And that’s bad.
The third suggestion is focus
much less on the distinction between
behavioral research and brain research.
By 2014, we know that you don’t have
a separate mind and body. The mind is
a product of the workings of the brain.
And so when you’re studying the mind,
or cognitive function if you want to
call it that, sometimes you worry about
the brain piece and sometimes you
I’ll give you the concrete example:
One last question. What advice
there was the Decade of the Brain
[an interagency federal initiative that
lasted from 1990 to 1999] and there
was the Decade of the Mind [proposed
by scientists in 2007 to build on the
work of the Decade of the Brain]. Well,
that’s dumb. Now frankly neither of
them gained any real traction. But
making them discrete is not only
scientifically inaccurate, but it’s asking
to get hurt.
would you offer for psychological
scientists who are just starting
I think that as younger scientists
progress, they need to recognize their
responsibility to interact with the rest of
society, as I discussed before. Because we
want to make sure that there are ready
receptors for the products of our work.
Or why else are we doing it?
I also think that young scientists need
to understand, though their mentors
hate this, that there are many careers
open to them that go beyond just
research professor like their mentors.
There are scientists working in virtually
every profession and they can bring their
unique perspective, or way of thinking,
to problem-solving in almost any
www.apa.org/pubs/books • 800-374-2721
Consensual Qualitative Research
A Practical Resource for Investigating
Social Science Phenomena
Edited by Clara E. Hill
2012. 329 pages. Hardcover.
ISBN 978-1-4338-1007-7 • Item 4313031 • List: $69.95 • APA Member/Affiliate: $49.95
Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural Research
Edited by Donna K. Nagata, Laura Kohn-Wood, and Lisa A. Suzuki
2012. 280 pages. Hardcover.
ISBN 978-1-4338-1149-4 • Item 4316139 • List: $69.95 • APA Member/Affiliate: $49.95
Methodological Approaches to
Edited by Leonard A. Jason and David S. Glenwick
2012. 264 pages. Hardcover.
ISBN 978-1-4338-1115-9 • Item 4316136 • List: $49.95 • APA Member/Affiliate: $39.95
Quantitative Models in Psychology
Robert E. McGrath
2011. 241 pages. Hardcover.
ISBN 978-1-4338-0959-0 • Item 4313028 • List: $59.95 • APA Member/Affiliate: $49.95
Methodology in Psychology