Science Practitioner Model Gap Essay

Science Practitioner Model Gap Essay

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Research indicates that efforts to reconcile science and practice in psychology since the Boulder conference in 1949 have mostly failed (Hayes, 1999). The scientist-practitioner (SP) ideal claims that practitioners should consume new research, evaluate their own methods as well as research and share their findings with other practitioners and scientists (Hayes et al, 1999). The SP gap has implications in a managed-care system in that it can make professionals accountable, ensures research is relevant to practice and provides structure and a theoretical framework for practitioners; without these, there is risk of losing accountability, the profession to the dominant scientific paradigm and government funding (Perez, 1999). Such obstacles to an integrated model in practice include, a lack of understanding of the model, the inherent split due to naturally different interests of scientists and practitioners, inefficiencies of traditional evidence in the clinical setting and differing epistemological attitudes of scientists and practitioners. In light of this, it will be argued that in the era of managed care, a more pragmatic local clinical model is suited for psychological practice.
The SP gap starts to be created in graduate programs through a lack of understanding and hence implementation of the model (Belar, 2000). The role of scientist practitioner has often been misinterpreted in too narrow a sense leading the two roles being treated by program coordinators as competing paradigms (Stricker, 1997). This has led to programs developing heavily scientist or practitioner focus with little integration. Many programs focus on the scientific paradigm due to the assumption from Boulder that most graduates of psychology would follow an ...


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...not romanticism. American Psychologist, 54, 205-206.

Routh, D.K. (2000) Clinical psychology training. A history of ideas and practice prior to 1946. American Psychologist, 55, 236-241.

Simionato (1991) The scientist-practitioner model and its critics. Australian Psychologist, 36, 164-169.

Stricker, G. (1997) Are science and practice commensurable? American Psychologist, 52, 442-448.

Stricker, G. (2000) The scientist-practitioner model: Ghandi was right again. American Psychologist, 50, 995-1002.

Stricker, G., & Trierweiler, S.J. (1995) The local clinical scientist. A bridge between science and practice. American Psychologist, 50, 995-1002.

Zachar, P., & Leong, F.T.L. (2000). A 10-year longitudinal study of scientist and practitioner interests in psychology: Assessing the Boulder model. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31, 575-580.

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