Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Diversity in Participation

Regarding participation of diverse populations in research, until psychologists have ample accurate information from these populations, interventions and other programs cannot be designed and implemented adequately. Because the goal is an all inclusive psychology, it is troubling that individuals of diverse cultures are not as willing (or not asked) to participate in studies. Considering the historic element of social and psychological research, though, these sciences have not always been friendly or fair to people of diverse cultures. For example, consider the Tuskegee syphilis experiment (Walker, 2009). Additionally, scientific exploration was used, or construed, at times, to oppress diverse populations. It served to deepen the division between races and reinforced discrimination (Pickren, 2009). Many times, individuals from diverse populations responded to a variety of psychological and sociological assessments, and normal responses were perceived as pathological because the comparison was made with White European Americans. If they were not perceived as pathological, they were seen as inferior. If it is the choice of diverse populations to refrain from participation in psychological research, who could blame them?


Pickren, W. E. (2009). Liberating history: The context of the challenge of psychologists of color to American psychology. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(4), 425-433. doi: 10.1037/a0017561

Walker, C. A. (2009). Lest we forget: The Tuskegee experiment. Journal of Theory Construction & Testing, 13(1), 5-6.

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