Review Jex, S. M., Britt, T. W. (2014). Organizational Psychology: A Scientist-Practitioner Approach (3rd Ed.). John Wiley Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, Nj.
Organizations are complex social systems that sometimes perform well and sometimes fail miserably. Organizational psychology is a subfield within the larger domain of industrial/organizational psychology that seeks to facilitate a greater understanding of social processes in organizations. Organizational psychologists also seek to use these insights to enhance the effectiveness of organizations—a goal that is potentially beneficial to all.
The essence of the scientist-practitioner model is to train the students who study psychology in acquiring both the research skills and the clinical skills. It is in compliance with scientifically-based protocols to convey psychological assessment and psychological intervention measure. This model is built upon the three elementary roles of psychologists (Stoltenberg & Pace, 2007). Firstly, a consumer of science; where this requires psychologists to employ prevalent research as the foundation of their practice. The idea is that scientist-practitioners should be capable to read, comprehend and administer relevant research findings, in addition to practice using the scientific approach. If there is no validated methods of assessment available, scientist-partitioners should be able to apply scientific principles of observation, hypothesis generation and hypothesis testing to each individual patient. This ensures that psychologists use empirically supported treatments to increase effectiveness and efficiency of their practice.
Page (1996) also adheres to the notion that the positivist approach is outmoded, however, believes that there are various scientist-practitioner models which are based on different philosophies, which he refers to as ‘more faces than Eve’. This belief, i.e. that philosophical views affect decision making in assessment, therapy and research is consistent with the work John (1996) and Milne and Paxton (1998). For example, Milne and Paxton (1998) found that clinicians often focused on research information that fit in with their world views. Another burgeoning argument is that whilst there is much emphasis placed on the research/science factor, few psychologists actually adhere to this, due to various factors (e.g. Gale, 1985; Pfeiffer, Burd and Wright, 1992; Vespia, 2006; Wilson, 1981), such as not having the required time, lack of funding, effort, motivation and skill to put it into practice. For example, O’Gorman (2001) believes that low publication rates are evidence of practitioners not acting as scientists.
As can be seen, the scientist-practitioner model is founded on the ideology that trained professional psychologists should be knowledgeable in both research and clinical practice. Emphasis should be placed on the successful integration of science and practice, where the relationship between the two variables is carefully considered. Education and training in either research or practice alone, or concurrently without integration, is viewed as not fulfilling the requirements of this model.
Kanfer, F. H. (1990). The Scientist-Practitioner Connection: A Bridge in Need of Constant Attention. Journal of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 2(4), 264-270.
Martin, P. (1989). The Scientist-Practitioner Model and Clinical Psychology. Australian Psychologist, 24, 71-92.
Milne, D., & Paxton, R. (1998). A psychological re-analysis of the scientist-practitioner model. Journal of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 5, 216-230.
O’Gorman, J. (2001, July). The Scientist-Practitioner Model and Its Critics. Australian Psychologist, 36(2), 164-169.
Page, A. (1996). The Scientist-Practitioner Model: More Faces than Eve. Australian Psychologist, 31(2), 103-108.