Date: Thursday, September 3, 2015
Subject: Re: [SCPDiscussion] The Hoffman Report: A Call for "Transparency"
Like many of you, I have been deeply troubled not only by the findings, but also the methods utilized in the Hoffman Report. However, as a result of this most recent rejection of common-sense due process by the APA, I have been compelled to publically respond. I have just sent a brief message to APA’s dedicated e-mail (IRFeedback@apa.org) requesting that they release all data to those named in the report, and I urge each of you to do the same.
Regardless of your views about the report, this precedent has the potential to affect every organizational consultant. Imagine if one of your organizational clients became involved in a media-frenzied public scandal (think Enron) that HARMED employees and investors. If the methods utilized in the Hoffman inquiry were replicated and the political winds at APA were blowing in the right direction, you too could be publically tried, convicted, and professionally sentenced without access to due process or even an opportunity to review the all of the evidence used to convict you. And most strikingly, such a sentence could be rendered even if there was public evidence that you had advised your organizational client against using illegal or unethical practices, and if you had publically sought legal and ethical guidance from APA on how to proceed!
As a scientist, I find this reticence to transparency anathema to our values and a clear violation of our ethics. Ethical Standard 8.14 “Sharing Research Data for Verification” clearly mandates that “After research results are published, psychologists do not withhold the data on which their conclusions are based from other competent professionals who seek to verify the substantive claims through reanalysis and who intend to use such data only for that purpose.” Although the Hoffman inquiry was far from a scientifically defensible research endeavor, by denying this request for data, APA is at the very least violating the spirit of this ethical standard, if not the letter.
I urge each member of Div 13 to call upon APA to release ALL data to those named in the report in order to prevent setting an additional dangerous organizational precedent, and to avoid codifying an organizational bias against consulting psychologists. There is a special e-mail for correspondence related to the Hoffman Report where requests can be sent, IRFeedback@apa.org, and I believe that even a brief e-mail could have an impact if enough of us respond. Like many social justice actions, quantity of voices (not length of e-mail) increases organizational pressure, which can catalyze change.
Phillip J. Atkinson, PhD, ABPP
Clinical & Consulting Psychologist
Board Certified in Clinical Psychology
On Thu, Sep 3, 2015, Greene, Carroll wrote:
APA, through attorneys, has refused to provide copies of the Independent Review interview transcripts to some of those named in Hoffman's allegations of unethical collusion (Banks, Dunivin, James, Newman). Those accused would like to examine - and possibly respond for clarification to - the actual statements made by interviewees (see attached). I believe this is a very reasonable request and would normally be a required element of any lawful process where one is officially accused of inappropriate acts. APA's refusal - so far - represents anything but the "transparency" promised by APA leaders - and, highlights the fact that there was no fact finding process prior to recent actions taken by the APA Council of Representatives . This issue will not go away without a proper disposition - APA cannot unilaterally dictate a restriction of trade or denial of legitimate business practices.
Carroll H. Greene III, Col (Ret), USAF, PhD, ABPP