The Problem of Integrating Science and Practice
The years following World War II were heady times for U.S. psychology. An ambitious program for developing psychology’s professional side, adopted at the Boulder Conference, recommended that psychologists be trained as scientist-practitioners (Raimy, 1950). They would embody the intelligence, values, skills, and burgeoning promise of both psychological science and psychological intervention as each embarked on a period of striking growth. New ideas, of substantial intellectual, social, and practical consequence, abounded in both arenas. Psychological science—careful, conservative, and increasingly assertive about its logical-empiricist foundations—promised to bring both mind and body under the secure fold of twentieth-century science. Similarly, psychologists were discovering that their knowledge and interests could contribute to the development of nonmedical interventions for mental dysfunction, and to improving the overall mental health of U.S. society. The notion of integrating these two aspects of psychology, science and practice, and of enhancing psychology’s social credibility at the same time was a spontaneous and obvious acknowledgment of the state of the discipline.
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