Issues about Psychologists present during interrogation

Issues about Psychologists present during interrogation

Military or intelligence agencies have taken help of psychologists while interrogating criminals from time to time. Psychologists have helped in understanding psychological condition of the criminals which has been helpful in solving various cases.

Some psychologists believe that participation of psychologist in interrogations is against the code of ethics of noble profession of a psychologist. While others opine that presence of psychologists decreases the amount of physical torture.

Various human rights associations and group of psychologists in U.S. have been camping against participation of psychologists in military and intelligence interrogations.

This issue was highlighted by Brad Olson, a psychologist at Northwestern University at the American Psychological Association's annual convention this week in Boston. Brad Olson circulated a petition among APA members to place a moratorium on psychologists being involved in interrogations.

Members of the American Psychological Association haven’t reached to any final decision regarding this matter. Some psychologists believe that presence of psychologists in interrogations is not against the principals of the profession.

William Strickland, who represents the Society for Military Psychology before the association, said, "The vast majority of military psychologists know the ethics code and know exactly what they can and cannot do."

Strickland added that this is a fight about individual psychologists' behavior, and it should be kept there only.

Groups of psychologists, including Psychologists for an Ethical APA and Psychologists for Social Responsibility, as well as human rights organizations, including representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International collected outside the convention hall where the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association was being held. These people protested against indecisiveness of APA on the issue related to the role of psychologists in military interrogations. Protesters say that APA should put a strict ban on participation of psychologists in interrogations.

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