APA Books Authors at the 2015 APA Convention

Are you attending the 2015 APA Convention? Don’t miss these APA Books authors:

APA Books are for sale in the APA Convention bookstore on Thursday and Friday from 7:30-5:00, Saturday 8:00-5:00, and Sunday 8:00-12:00.

If you are an APA Books author with a session at #APA2015, let us know, and we’ll add you to the list above!

What Are APA Handbooks in Psychology?

RKelaherby Chris Kelaher

In April of 2015, APA Books proudly released the APA Handbook of Human Systems Integration, edited by Deborah A. Boehm-Davis (George Mason University), Francis Durso (Georgia Tech), and John D. Lee (University of Wisconsin-Madison). This most recent addition to APA’s Reference list is also the latest entry in our growing APA Handbooks in Psychology® series.

The Handbooks program is an integral and growing component of APA Books. With a steady focus on and commitment to best science and best practice, these handbooks address core subdisciplines in the field (e.g., educational psychology, counseling psychology) or specialized content areas within subdisciplines (e.g., aging, sexual behavior and identity). The series launched in early 2010 with the three-volume APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Sheldon Zedeck, Editor-in-Chief).

Each APA handbook addresses the key reference interests and essential needs of researchers, clinicians, and practitioners in psychology and allied behavioral fields, as well as graduate students in the relevant areas. The series includes 16 titles now available in print and electronic formats, with some dozen more currently in development and several under discussion.

APA Handbooks in PsychologyThe APA Handbooks in Psychology series is coordinated by the APA Reference Department, under the direction of Ted Baroody. Editing and development of manuscripts is handled through a back office peer-review and tracking system, managed internally by Reference Project Editor Lisa T. Corry, Senior Reference Editor Kristen Knight, Reference Project Editor Katharine Lenz, and Reference Editorial Manager Trish Mathis. The products vary in size, from one volume (e.g., APA Handbook of Human Systems Integration) up to the four-volume APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology (with the first five-volume set due in 2016). Each set or single-volume focuses on what is currently known in the area of study, including basic historical reviews, and identifies the most pertinent sources of information in both the core and emerging literature. Individual chapters pinpoint practical issues, probe unresolved and controversial topics, and present future theoretical, research, and practice trends. Cross-referencing among chapters within and across volumes leads the user to a clearer understanding of the complexities of each field.

In the classic reference model, the handbook sets take a meta-analytic approach, surveying the field broadly but in as much detail, and with as much balance given to varying perspectives and controversies, as space allows. The series is not intended to promote any research or clinical bias within fields but, rather, to lay out a well-balanced and comprehensive statement about how each field has developed, where each field currently stands, and where it may be heading.

Carrying the imprimatur of the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and the largest association of psychologists in the world, the APA Handbooks in Psychology® series is the indispensable and authoritative reference resources for researchers, instructors, practitioners, and field leaders alike.

Currently released titles in the series

APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology ©2011 (3 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Sheldon Zedeck

APA Handbook of Ethics in Psychology ©2012 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Samuel J. Knapp

APA Educational Psychology Handbook ©2012 (3 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Karen R. Harris, Steve Graham, Tim Urdan

APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology ©2012 (3 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Harris Cooper

APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook ©2012 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Howard J. Shaffer

APA Handbook of Counseling Psychology ©2012 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Nadya A. Fouad

APA Handbook of Behavior Analysis ©2013 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Gregory J. Madden

APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality ©2013 (2 volumes)

  •  Editor-in-Chief: Kenneth I. Pargament

APA Handbook of Testing and Assessment ©2013 (3 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Kurt E. Geisinger

APA Handbook of Multicultural Psychology ©2014 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick T.L. Leong

APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology ©2014 (2 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Deborah L. Tolman and Lisa M. Diamond

APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology ©2014 (4 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver

APA Handbook of Career Intervention ©2015 (2 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Paul J. Hartung, Mark L. Savickas, W. Bruce Walsh

APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology ©2015 (2 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Brian L. Cutler and Patricia A. Zapf

APA Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology ©2015 (2 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Peter A. Lichtenberg and Benjamin T. Mast

APA Handbook of Human Systems Integration ©2015

  • Editors-in-Chief: Deborah A. Boehm-Davis, Francis T. Durso, and John D. Lee

What Is Lexical Uncertainty?

Timothy McAdooby Timothy McAdoo

“The usefulness of language derives in no small measure from the fact that it permits reference to a nonlinguistic world—to objects and events, to properties and relations, to all of the distinct phenomena of which perception informs us” (Lockhead & Pomerantz, 1991).

Psychology is a diverse, interdisciplinary field of research with a unique and rich vocabulary. In 2007, APA Books published the APA Dictionary of Psychology to help practitioners, researchers, students, and the public understand this science. (This dictionary, now in its second edition, includes almost 26,000 carefully vetted terms.)

The launch of the APA Books Blog provides a new opportunity to discuss and disseminate the lexicon of psychology, and thus we launch a regular feature—What Is… Wednesdays! Here, we will define and explore psychological terms, occasionally noting APA Books that interested readers may want to consult.


So, what of lexical uncertainty? The APA Dictionary of Psychology offers two descriptions: (a) “In logic, the type of uncertainty that arises from inherent imprecision of human language, and in particular from the attempt to describe and evaluate real-world situations using imprecise and often subjective linguistic categories” and (b) “in psycholinguistics, any uncertainty about the meaning of particular words experienced by or observable in language users.”

For more about lexical uncertainty, On the Consequences of Meaning Selection: Perspectives on Resolving Lexical Ambiguity is a great place to begin. The research in this book sheds light on how we decipher and comprehend ambiguous words.


Gorfein, D. S. (Ed.). (2002). On the consequences of meaning selection: Perspectives on resolving lexical ambiguity. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4318997.aspx

Lockhead, G. L., & Pomerantz, J. R. (1991). The perception of structure. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4318101.aspx>

VandenBos, G. R. (Ed.). (2007). APA dictionary of psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4311007.aspx

The first two titles above are available through the PsycBOOKS database. (Students: Note that your library may provide you free access. Check your library’s resources and consult your librarian if you need help!)

Gary R. VandenBos: On Reading and Writing

This is the first in a series of interviews we will conduct with APA Books authors and editors. For this first interview, Mary Lynn Skutley, the Editorial Director of APA Books, interviewed Dr. Gary R. VandenBos, APA’s publisher, who has both written and edited numerous APA Books.

Note: The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the authors and should not be taken to represent the official views or policies of the American Psychological Association.


Gary VandenBos

Gary R. VandenBos, with son Bret

Gary R. VandenBos, PhD, APA Publisher, is responsible for developing and disseminating psychological knowledge worldwide. Under VandenBos’ leadership, the Office of Publications and Databases produces over 90 journals, 7 databases, and 80 books per year.

Books include scholarly titles for researchers, academics, and students; self-help titles for adults and children; and a complete line of reference works for writers and researchers in psychology. In addition, a comprehensive list of titles on psychotherapy are enriched by the APA Psychotherapy Video Series, designed to demonstrate therapy in action.

VandenBos began his career at Michigan State University as research coordinator of the Michigan State Psychotherapy with Schizophrenics Research Project. After that, he served as the director of the Howell-Area Community Mental Health Center in Howell, Michigan, for 5 years.

VandenBos is editor-in-chief of the award-winning APA Dictionary of Psychology and its derivative dictionaries. He has coauthored or edited more than 30 books, written over 40 book chapters, and published 80-plus peer-reviewed articles. Much of this work is in his two primary areas of expertise, schizophrenia and violent individuals.

Q: What was the first book that changed your life?
A: I read a book by Robert Heinlein when I was about 12 called The Door Into Summer. It was a time-travel novel where a boy’s future self comes to create opportunities for his younger self to shape his life. I found it to be a very optimistic novel that led to thinking about how each of us can play an active role in shaping our future in who and what we become. This was the stimulus that led to developing a lecture called “Planning for your future: How to be ready for six different career paths.”

Q: In 1977, you cowrote a book with Bert Karon on schizophrenia arguing that, contrary to popular notions, psychotherapy was an effective approach to working with schizophrenics. The enhanced sense of agency and possibility you describe also characterizes this book.
A: All of us are shaped by the events that happen to and around us as well as our active processing and interpretation of those experiences. Even as we are the creators of ourselves, we are massively affected by what happens to us—the worse the events of our lives, the more likely our expectations of a negative world and our adoption of nonadaptive behaviors and cognitions. Once we’re aware of this, we can take greater active control of our lives.

Q: Back to your lecture on being ready for multiple career paths. You have in fact had more than six careers, many simultaneously—university professor, active researcher, clinical practitioner, lobbyist, entrepreneur, writer, editor, publishing executive.
Central to all is understanding human behavior and wanting to change and improve the human condition for the greatest number of people possible. Research and data are central to all endeavors. Psychology is a hugely versatile science that can contribute to all areas and activities that involve behavior and understanding.

Q: What do you look for in a good professional book?
I look first for good organization—evidence that the author or editor has actively thought about what information I need or don’t need, what order it would be best for me to receive it in, and how to communicate it effectively for rapid absorption and maximum retention of information. Loving “words,” being precise with words, and knowing how to create a smooth and articulate flow of words are all pluses.

Q: What are you reading?
I’m currently working my way through the third edition of Clinical Neuropsychology: A Pocket Handbook for Assessment. Every edition of this volume has been fantastic. This new edition is as great as the first. At core, the revision updates the empirical knowledge base behind the practice of clinical neuropsychology. This edition includes chapters on cultural aspects of neuropsychology as well as new developments in neuropsychological dimensions of a range of somatic disorders. It, of course, is also updated for the latest classification systems.

Q: What are you writing?
A: I’m writing some chapters to be published in the Handbook of Clinical Psychology that I’m coediting with John Norcross and Don Freedheim. They’re great to work with, and we bring a nice mix of perspectives to any project we work on. A few years ago, we finished the second edition of the History of Psychotherapy, 20 years after the first edition was done. The Handbook of Clinical Psychology is a five-volume set with 150 chapters covering all major topics of training, research, and practice in clinical psychology.

Q: What advice do you have for new writers?
Write, write, and write some more. Make writing something a daily activity. This makes it a habit, and it helps to prevent falling into the traps of self-criticism and self-censoring that stop people from writing. But, in addition to writing, get feedback from others—critical feedback. Getting feedback that says, “That was great—well done!” is not particularly helpful. Getting feedback, large or small, on organization, tone, order of presentation, word usage, and material to cite is a good and useful way to help you improve the quality, effectiveness, and elegance of your writing.