Includes President's Column, guidance on the use of social media, new Honorary Fellows and Life Member, and more

President’s column
Peter Banister
Contact Peter Banister via the Society’s Leicester office, or e-mail: [email protected] 

Given the focus in this issue on time, I would like to start this column off by congratulating counselling psychology on reaching its 30th anniversary; this Division of the Society is now the third largest (grown from 225 to over 3000 members), and is one of the core professions within psychology. For me 1982 seems very close, but when I remind myself that the majority of this year’s university entrants were born in 1994 (1995 in Scotland) it seems further away. I am also reminded that in 1982 the BPS had 8721 members, the average income was £9350, a house cost £23,644, petrol 35p litre, a cinema or a Manchester United ticket cost £1.60, the Commodore 64 and CDs arrived, the first commercial use of genetic engineering (human insulin) occurred, and I realise we all have come a long way.

This summer has been one of many international sporting endeavours, including the Euro 2012 football and Wimbledon tennis, the ongoing Olympics and the yet to start Paralympics. In August, I will be away trying to help to develop the international profile of the Society.Psychology has an international history that pre-dates the founding of the BPS. The first International Congress of Psychology was held in Paris in 1889, with 204 attendees, mainly European. This was an initiative of a Polish psychologist Julian Ochorowicz, and took place during the Exposition Universelle of 1889, the conference having its closing banquet in the then brand-new Eiffel Tower. We would recognise some of the topics, such as heredity and cognition, but others such as hypnotism and psychical research have now somewhat fallen out of favour. There were in fact many debates in the early years as to what psychology encompassed, and experimental psychology eventually won out over psychical research.

Sponsors of the first Congress included well-known people such as Charcot, Galton, James, Janet, Lombroso and Wundt. Since then there have been 30 conferences, mainly held in Europe, every four years since 1972. These were initially organised by an International Congress Committee; a proposal was put forward at the 1948 Edinburgh Congress to form an International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), and this was formalised at the Stockholm Congress in 1951. Since then IUPsyS has organised the Congresses, and in 2012 it will be held for the first time in Africa in Cape Town, with some 4000 participants.

IUPsyS is ‘dedicated to the development, representation and advancement of psychology as a basic and applied science’, and sees itself as enhancing and promoting the development of the science and profession of psychology, exchanging ideas and scientific information between psychologists internationally, providing opportunities for international exchange, fostering excellence in standards for education training research and the applications of psychology. Fostering these connections hopefully will be of benefit to all of us.

There are many other international psychological associations, but one that we now have very regular dealings with is the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA), which encompasses 35 member associations representing about 300,000 psychologists (it claims that 48 per cent of the world’s psychologists live in Europe). EFPA was founded in Germany in 1981, and holds a General Assembly every two years, with the next one scheduled to be in Stockholm next year. It is particularly interested in promoting and improving psychology as a profession and as a discipline, especially in applied settings with an emphasis on training and research.

We in fact have so many BPS members working with EFPA that we have set up a virtual community to try to coordinate our work here. As was highlighted in The Psychologist in November 2011 (p.843) the Society has been approved to award the EuroPsy Certificate, and now the National Awarding Committee for the UK has met and started to issue certificates. EFPA is intending to supplement the basic certificate with specialist certificates, and is currently working on these specifically in the areas of Psychotherapy and Work and Organisational Psychology. The Association has an ultimate aim of providing a Professional Card that is intended to facilitate European professional mobility, and this is an ongoing development that we will need to be aware of. As mentioned by Carole Allan last year EFPA is beginning to lobby the European Parliament, showcasing psychology.There are many other international links such as EuroPlat, which is an European academic network to support  the learning and teaching of psychology by sharing good practice and developing the related scholarship through research, conferences, discussion fora, websites and newsletters.

There are associations of European teachers of psychology, professional psychology networks and also student networks. Many of our university staff hold international qualifications, we provide psychology education overseas, and there are opportunities for student and staff exchange throughout the world.

All these international contacts are very important for the development of psychology and psychologists both academically and professionally. The BPS needs to work internationally to ensure we have an effective voice, and such activities are now a key part of all our Boards. We need to be involved in capacity building, joint research, reciprocal arrangements, helping the development of psychological services and education in psychology, promoting the discipline. There are many diverse aspirations and possibilities, and
I would welcome your comments on these developments.


Supplementary guidance on the use of social media
From the Society’s Ethics Committee

The Society recognises its obligation to set and uphold the highest standards of professionalism, and to promote ethical behaviour, attitudes and judgement on the part of psychologists. This is principally addressed in the Code of Ethics and Conduct, but the Ethics Committee acknowledges that more and more of our members are using social networking sites or blogs to communicate with friends, family, professional networks and clients. This specific guidance therefore addresses the use of social media by members
of the Society, sets out how the Code of Ethics and Conduct can be applied in this context and provides practical advice for using them responsibly.

As set out in the Code of Ethics and Conduct, psychologists are likely to need to make decisions in difficult, changing and unclear situations. The Society expects that the Code will be used to form
a basis for consideration of ethical questions, with the principles of the Code being taken into account in the process of making decisions. However, no Code can replace the need for psychologists to use their professional and ethical judgement.

Thinking about ethics should pervade all professional activity.
As clearly stated in Section 3.1(ii) of the Code of Ethics and Conduct and the Society’s Member Conduct Rules: ‘Members must not act in a way that damages, or is likely to damage, the reputation of the British Psychological Society’ (Rule 1). To this end, the principles set out in the Code of Ethics and Conduct apply at all times including when the member is online; it will be judged in the same way and should be at a similar high standard.

You should:

I    Remember that social networking sites are public and permanent. Once you have posted something online, it remains traceable even if you later delete it.
I    Keep your professional and personal life as separate as possible. This may be best achieved by having separate accounts, for example Facebook could be used for personal use and LinkedIn or Twitter (for example) used for professional purposes).
I    If ‘friends’ requests are received from clients and service users, decline the request via more formal means of communication.
I    Be minded that whether you identify yourself as a psychologist
or not on your profile, you should act responsibly at all times and uphold the reputation of the profession.
I    Protect your privacy. Consider the kinds of information that you want to be available about yourself and to whom. Ensure that you regularly check your privacy settings. Be aware that social networking sites may update their services and privacy settings can be reset to a default that deletes your personalised settings.
I    Remember that images posted online by family (for example your children) or friends, may be accessible as they may not set privacy settings as tightly as you do.
I    Be minded that social networking sites can make it easier to engage (intentionally or unintentionally) in professional misconduct.
I    Report the misconduct of other members on such social networking sites to any relevant parties (such as the employer, the Health Professions Council and the Society).

You should not:
I    Establish inappropriate relationships with clients and service users online.
I    Discuss work-related issues online in any non-secure medium.
I    Publish pictures of clients or service users online, where they are classified as clinical records.
I    Use social networking sites for whistle-blowing or raising concerns.
I    Post defamatory comments about individuals or institutions. Defamation law can apply to any comments posted on the web, irrespective of whether they are made in a personal or professional capacity

Advice to educators, researchers and employers:

I    If in place, abide by, or if not, develop clear guidance and policies on social media usage and what constitutes misuse. Additional guidance on conducting research on the internet is also available from the Society.
I    Ensure that those responsible for enforcing such guidance and policy are consistent in their application and fully understand the requirements set out.
I    Ensure that any complaints regarding the use of social media are dealt with in the same manner as any other form of complaint. In some cases, online misconduct can be damaging and have longer-term consequences, due to the permanency and traceability of material published online. 

Honorary status in the Society

The Society welcomed five new Honorary Fellows and one Honorary Life Member at its June Annual General Meeting. Here we present edited extracts from the eulogies read on the day.

Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Honorary Fellow

Annette Karmiloff-Smith is known internationally for her seminal contributions to our understanding of normal human cognitive development and of atypical cognitive development in infants and children with genetic disorders. What makes Professor Karmiloff-Smith stand apart from other scientists in all these fields, and which represents the hallmark of her career, is that she has contributed to major theoretical and experimental paradigm shifts in many different cognitive domains, different age groups and different neurodevelopmental disorders, using a wide array of different behavioural, brain-imaging, eye-tracking and computational methodologies.

Her first focus was children’s problem solving. Annette’s first highly influential article, published in Cognition, ‘If you want to get ahead, get a theory’, continues to be cited. Both the theoretical framework and the experimental designs influence research in developmental science and science education today.

The second paradigm shift to which Professor Karmiloff-Smith contributed was in language acquisition. Shifting the emphasis from nativist theories and descriptive lists of children’s linguistic outputs, to the cognitive level, Karmiloff-Smith revealed that phonology, semantics, syntax and pragmatics are not separate modules at the outset but interact dynamically during the period of acquisition in children, prior to becoming relatively modularised in the adult brain.

Thirdly, she was one of the first researchers in the world to move away from behavioural scores to focus on representational change over time. Her 1992 MIT Press book Beyond Modularity: A Developmental Perspective on Cognitive Science, which won the British Psychological Society’s Book Award in 1995, laid out the tenets of her Representational Redescription Hypothesis (RRH) which had enormous impact, demonstrating that linguistic representations play a critical role in establishing internal cross-domain relations.

The fourth paradigm shift to which Karmiloff-Smith contributed concerned the study of genetic disorders in children. Her work strongly challenged the accepted view that neurodevelopmental disorders could be explained in terms of patterns of intact and impaired modules, based on approaches from adult neuropsychology. Karmiloff-Smith’s work has consistently aimed to demonstrate that if domain-specific modules exist in the adult brain, these are the result of a gradual process of modularisation over developmental time. This has influenced researchers to delve far more deeply into areas of relative proficiency in developmental disorders, rather than concentrating only on areas of deficiency.

Author of 12 books and some 250 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in the highest-impact journals, Karmiloff-Smith is a Fellow of numerous other professional bodies. In 2002, she was the first woman to win the European Science Foundation’s Latsis Prize for Cognitive Sciences, and two years later she received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. In 2010, she received the joint Llifetime Achievement Award from the Research Board of the British Psychological Society.

As a regular consultant to radio and television, as well as to industry, Karmiloff-Smith has made a concerted effort to bring developmental science to the general public. She is also involved in a programme for lecturing about typical and atypical cognitive development to paediatricians in developing countries in Africa and Asia. In sum, Annette Karmiloff-Smith is  a world-leading figure in developmental science for her seminal theoretical and experimental contributions to
our understanding of normal human cognitive development and of atypical cognitive and neural development in infants, children and adults with genetic disorders. Annette Karmiloff-Smith’s significant contribution to psychological science, many achievements and wide-ranging impact make her a worthy nominee for honorary fellowship of the British Psychological Society.

Professor David Farrington, Honorary Fellow
Professor Farrington OBE is Professor of Psychological Criminology at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University. His work has spanned over five decades in understanding the processes that contribute to criminal behaviour and  how both individual and societal factors influence life outcomes. His work is a standard reference point for much work in forensic psychology and more broadly has contributed to government policy. His work has no doubt both highlighted the contribution of psychology to wider society and been a platform from which psychology has been advanced. Professor Farrington remains involved in Society activity and last year presented a keynote at the BPS Annual Conference titled ‘Risk, promotive and protective factors against violence’. Not only has his work directly influenced both psychology and society, his enthusiasm and commitment remains an inspiration to many others in the field.

He is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist, co-chair of the US National Institute of Justice Study Group on Transitions from Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime, co-chair of the Centre for Disease Control’s Expert Panel on Protective Factors against Youth Violence, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Observatory on Violence in Schools, a member of the Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Group Steering Committee, joint editor of the journal Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, and a member of the editorial boards of 17 other journals.

His major research interest is in developmental criminology, and he is Director of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, which is a prospective longitudinal survey of over 400 London males from age 8 to age 48. He is also co-Investigator of the Pittsburgh Youth Study, which is a prospective longitudinal study of over 1500 Pittsburgh males from age 7 to age 35. In addition to 540 published journal articles and book chapters on criminological and psychological topics, he has published over 80 books, monographs and government publications, one of which (Understanding and Controlling Crime, 1986) won the prize for distinguished scholarship of the American Sociological Association Criminology Section.

Professor Dianne Berry, Honorary Fellow
Professor Dianne Berry was elected to the Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Research Board for two consecutive terms, from 1995 to 2001 and served as the Deputy President of the Society over the same period. During this time she played a leading role in strengthening recognition of the importance of nurturing young researchers and of their role in the health of the discipline and in providing support for their activities. She led initiatives that have made a great impact on the support for young researchers, including Postgraduate Conference Bursaries, the Postgraduate Study Visit scheme and the Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research Contributions.

One of Professor Berry’s key initiatives as Chair of the Research Board – setting up annual liaison meetings between the Society and the main Research Councils – has had a lasting impact on the strength and quality of the research base in the discipline. Professor Berry also played a key role in the instigation of the Academy for Social Sciences, which has developed into a strong voice for social science disciplines and an increasingly effective vehicle for fostering interdisciplinary understanding and research.

Professor Berry has been an influential and effective ambassador for the discipline of psychology, including as a member of the HEFCE Advisory Group, Chair of the Joint Committee for Psychology in Higher Education, a member of the Research Assessment Exercise Psychology Panel in 2001 and as Chair of the 2008 Panel.

All of the excellent and outstanding contributions that Professor Berry has made for and on behalf of the discipline have been achieved while holding and carrying out to an exceptionally high standard several very responsible positions: Head of a leading Psychology Department, Dean of a Faculty of Social Sciences, and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, at the University of Reading. Her dedication, leadership and effectiveness have made a major difference to the support of young researchers and to the strength, standing and outward-looking perspective of the discipline. Through this her contribution to higher education has been exceptional, culminating in her being awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2012.

Professor Glyn Humphreys, Honorary Fellow
Glyn Humphreys is Watts Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. He has interests across many areas in visual cognition, spanning both cognitive and social neuroscience. Recent work has examined the ability to select stimuli by perceptual saliency, the role of learning in binding, the interaction between working memory, action and attention. It covers a wide range of neuropsychological disorders including agnosia, apraxia, action disorganisation syndrome, alexia and amnesia, and includes the development of new clinical screening instruments for detecting cognitive problems after brain injury.

Glyn has been awarded the Spearman Medal  and Presidents’ Award from the British Psychological Society. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, the Humboldt Foundation and the British Academy. He has been Special Professor at the Universities of Leipzig and Peking and at the National Academy of Sciences, China. He is a former President of the Experimental Psychology Society and is President-elect of the British Neuropsychology Society. He is a member of the Academy of Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences and has been award the Royal Society’s Wolfson Merit award.

His outstanding achievements in research have been progressed while taking on senior roles in university departments and university life more broadly. He has also taken on significant roles representing the discipline, most recently as Chair of the REF 2014 UoA: Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience.

Professor Humphrey’s enthusiasm, dedication, leadership and mentoringhas raised the profile and standing of the discipline in the UK and internationally, and provided excellent advice and support for early-career researchers in his and his colleagues’ research teams. 

Professor Peter Saville, Honorary Fellow
Peter Saville is one of the most prominent and creative occupational psychologists in the UK and he has an impeccable global reputation. As the early instigator of modern UK workplace psychometric testing, Peter has developed more than 100 work-related tests, probably best known for creating the original Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ), published in 1984. In the same year he developed the first commercially available measure of the Big Five (the OPQ Pentagon). His measures of ability, personality, motivation and talent are now extensively used across the globe and have had a major impact on HR and on the practice and professionalism of a generation of psychologists. Peter has enhanced the impact of psychology from both a practical and academic perspective, and his innovative approach continuously drives forward the research and application of psychology into the internet age.

Peter’s PhD, examined by Hans Eysenck, looked at the factor structure
of Cattell’s 16PF. From 1990 to 1998 he was Professor of Occupational Psychology at Queen’s University and is currently Professor of Leadership, HRM and Organisation at Kingston Business School, a position he has held since 1999.

In 1970 Peter Saville joined the National Foundation for Educational Research as an Assistant Psychologist. By the age of 27 he was Chief Psychologist at the Test Division where he was responsible for the standardisation and adaptation of psychological and educational tests for clinical, educational, and industrial use. He was actively involved with the BPS Test Standards Committee, enhancing and developing best test practice. Peter also acted as Specialist Advisor to the United Nations and as International Consultant to Mensa.

Peter has twice built up highly successfully companies which have become leaders in the field of workplace assessments. As Executive Chairman of SHL with some 300 psychologists, and now Saville Consulting, he has flown the flag for Britain and objective assessment around the world and has been referred to as an ‘assessment guru’. In 2012 he was awarded the Academic Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for Leadership and Research Innovation,  the highest accolade within the CIPD.

Professor Saville’s services to the field of psychology in terms of applying the science to the workplace and creating the global gold standard for psychometric tests are exemplary and, we believe, worthy of recognition. He is held in the highest esteem by academics worldwide and acknowledged as a major leader in the field of occupational psychology.

Sylvia Downs, Honorary Lifetime Member
Sylvia Downs is a past chair of the Division of Occupational Psychology, and an exemplar of someone who has given outstanding service to psychology through both her ground-breaking work on older adult learning and through her services to the DOP. Now 85 years old, she still communicates the value of psychology to others and she inspires them. Her focus is on the development of other people. She continues to be active in the psychology profession and contributes her wisdom and expertise to her fellow psychologists whenever possible.

From her days in the Wrens (see to her pioneering research in psychology through to her active retirement, Sylvia continues to seize the moment and to challenge expectations. In November 2009, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division of Occupational Psychology, recognising her outstanding contribution to our profession. She was an early member and founder of the section of Occupational Psychology, bringing both leadership skills and a practical and realistic perspective to her three years as the Division’s Chair. Sylvia has worked to ensure high professional standards coupled with a strong emphasis on learning and development, and she was instrumental in supporting the training and development of many psychologists.

Over the years, she retained her academic and industrial links including Visiting Professor at City University Business School, Visiting Professor at Queen’s University Belfast and at the Open College of New Zealand Wellington and as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Exeter.

Sylvia is active in the community and continues to give her time and skills to others. She currently works with the Exeter Aged Macular Society where has introduced a buddy system and made meetings more friendly and productive for participants. She is working with Age Concern, looking at older people’s interests and how to engage them. She continues to love travel and has visited many countries around the globe. She recognises the signs of ageing but is still full of energy and vitality. She continues to write and she is starting a publishing firm with her husband and grandson. She has republished her Learning at Work book as Making Learning Happen and has written a new book, Passing 70 Plus.

Like many of the early ‘pioneers’ in our field, Sylvia has persistently challenged existing practice and ensured that professionalism and ‘good science’ prevailed. In 1950 she gained her BSc Honours Psychology, University College London with a pure Mathematics subsidiary. In those days, men easily got a job in defence as a psychologist, but women did not. So, she took a job as a secretary in a new research unit at the Child Study Centre. This was administered by the Institutes of Child Health and Education, where they were conducting the first longitudinal study on normal babies in England. She conducted research and applied statistics. She expanded her work on training with the London Postal School. They were having
a problem with the training of people 35 years and older, in that they often had difficulty memorising addresses so therefore failed final tests. She designed a programme to overcome these issues.

Sylvia’s work expanded to the training of London bus and underground train drivers; also to the relationship of age to training and labour turnover. Her work in twelve Government Skills Centres with carpenters and welders demonstrated the link between the learning of specific tasks and performance in training, not only for older workers but in general. This work later expanded to how people were enabled to self-assess their own ability, and the implications for training programmes such as following the redundancies in the South Wales coal mines, and in Strangeways Prison. Her many researches on trainability led to her being made a Fellow of the BPS.

For 21 years Sylvia worked at the Industrial Training Research Unit in Cambridge. In 1981 she was headhunted by the Manpower Services Commission, and set up her own research unit, The Occupational Research Unit, at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, researching and designing youth training and courses for long-term unemployed older workers. The focus of these ‘learning to learn’ courses was on methods related to M.U.D. facts to memorise, concepts to understand, and physical activities which are learned by practising.

At age 60, Sylvia retired from the university and joined Pearn Kandola, and the firm became known as Pearn Kandola Downs. Her main clients were ICI, who sent her to South Africa regularly for eight years to help with selection and learning in the context of fairness and equality.
In 2009 Sylvia won the DOP’s coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. She continues to hold an active interest in the DOP, and attends its annual conference when able thus sharing her expertise and knowledge with a new generation. The Division holds her up high as a model applied psychologist and leader of our profession.

In recognition of the rapid developments in social media and its uses, this Guidance will be regularly reviewed by the Ethics Committee and members will be alerted to any updated version.

For any queries, contact [email protected].

For full version please view PDF version, including; Socially inclusive parenting; Member engagement in Northern Ireland; Consultation; Forensic awards news; stories of psychology

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