Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Psychology in Society now online

The long-running critical psychology journal edited by Grahame Hayes, Psychology in Society (PINS), is now available online. So far only four issues are up, but the idea is to gradually add all previous issues, plus new ones as they appear. Complete articles are provided in pdf form, with no log-in or payment required.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Evidence-based psychotorture

The US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE's COUNTERINTELLIGENCE FIELD ACTIVITY (CIFA) BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE DIRECTORATE (APPLIED BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE) recently issued what they call a 'Presolicitation Notice' (Solicitation Number: Reference-Number-BAA-CIFA-DB-07-01) tendering for some good old applied research. They frame it so:

'The purpose of the research is (1) to develop, test and evaluate the application (translation) of known principles and findings of the behavioral and social sciences to enhancing capabilities relevant to current and future intelligence, counter-intelligence, and human intelligence collection; and (2) to understand threats to national security in terms of the principles and methods of the social and behavioral sciences. A portion of the funding may be made available for meritorious proposals from minority institutions and historically Black colleges and universities, and these entities are encouraged to participate.'

They continue:

'This research is primarily focused on: (i) developing and evaluating reliable, valid, behavior-based methods of evidence and human intelligence sources ssessment; (ii) developing and evaluating methods for understanding terrorist groups and their relationships to populations of interest; and (iii) methods for the translation principles and models in the social and behavioral sciences developed in laboratory settings to field and operational settings.'

A colleague of mine correctly summarises the aims of this, er, solicitation, in the following way: 'The call states that many of the techniques currently in use often are based only on the individual experiences of the interviewers, anecdotal information, and shared beliefs, rather than on empirical behavioral and social science. It goes on to say that until evidence-based approaches to interviewing and elicitation are established, little progress will be made in our ability to distinguish effective from ineffective techniques. Is it just me or is the Department of Defense asking for research to identify best practice methods to torture people?'

You can send your applications or well-wishings to:

Counterintelligence Field Activity
Department of Defense
251 18th Street Crystal Square 5 Suite 1200
Arlington VA 22202
Attn: Loretta Buckley (Contract Specialist, Phone (703) 699-7283, Fax (703) 699-7740, Email

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mute, but wordy

The online version of the magazine Mute: Culture and politics after the net is certainly worth a browse. It is filled with fascinating, wordy articles.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Baiting the capitalist lawyers...

Er, in case you're interested, here's the key for unlocking high definition DVDs -


No I have no idea how it works either, but apparently the movie industry has been threatening legal action against anybody who publishes the key. So of course everybody is going ahead and doing exactly that, and I thought I'd better do my bit.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Don't believe the hyper...

This blog has been dormant so long, we even forgot to mention the death of Jean Baudrillard. It just didn't feel real (urgh, lame joke). Many obituaries have been written over the last few weeks, and much scholarly discussion will follow, but I found this short article in the Guardian Unlimited quite good.

Slumming it in Toronto

Those attending the International Society for Theoretical Psychology meetings in Toronto in June, especially those of us from 'less developed' countries who see Canada as a utopia of equality and dollars for all, this website will be instructive...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Same sex marriages in South Africa 3

On Saturday, 2 December 2006, Christi van der Westhuizen attended the first legal gay wedding in a religious ceremony in South Africa (and Africa). Here is her report.