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Social Media and Mobile Apps for Psychology Students and Professionals

A December 2012 report by Nielsen and NM Incite illustrated what most people probably already knew: social media continues to account for a larger portion of the time Americans spend online. In fact, social media use totaled 121 billion minutes in July 2012, a 37% jump over the same month a year earlier.

Over the same period, there was a more than 60% increase in time spent on social media networks via mobile web and apps, the report noted.

Like many organizations, the American Psychological Association (APA) has entered the online game in a big way. With more than 134,000 members, the association is the largest organization of psychologists in the world. As part of its outreach, the association has an official presence on dozens of social media sites, as well as numerous blogs and mobile apps designed for mental health professionals, psychology students and the public.

  • The APA’s Facebook page contains discussions about the latest research and discoveries in psychology and human behavior. There are links to stories related to a variety of issues, including marriage, brain mapping and child behavior.
  • The association’s Twitter feed, which has almost 8,000 followers, can be found at @APA and provides breaking news about psychology, the APA and related issues. In addition, the association’s executive director for professional practice, Katherine Nordal, tweets about the latest issues and research in the field. Her Twitter feed is at @DrNordal.
  • The association’s magazine for psychology students, gradPSYCH, also has a Facebook page, which features posts and links related to the study of psychology.
  • The APA’s Federal Budget Blog documents budgetary and other financial proposals that could affect research funding in the profession. The blog is maintained by the association’s Science Government Relations staff.
  • The PsycCRITIQUES blog features open discussions about movies, books and APA videos. The blog runs in conjunction with a searchable database of decades-worth of film and book reviews, written from a psychological perspective.
  • Another blog, Psychology Benefits Society, highlights the ways in which psychology can improve society, focusing on issues such as human rights and diversity.

The APA also has issued a concise dictionary of psychology in a mobile app, which includes 10,000-plus entries relating to therapies and concepts across dozens of subcategories. The dictionary app is available for mobile devices with iOS and Android operating systems at a cost of $29.99; a free version features a sampling of the dictionary definitions.

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