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UM Psychologist Invited for National Academies Second Term

Staff Report

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi psychology professor Laura Johnson has been selected to serve a second three-year term on the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science. Submitted photo

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have asked University of Mississippi psychology professor Laura Johnson to serve a second three-year term on the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science

“Dr. Johnson’s initial appointment and now reappointment is a notable recognition, as a second term is not a routine occurrence,” said Rebekah Smith, professor and chair of the UM Department of Psychology

The national committee serves as a focal point for discussions on how to promote the advancement of psychological science both in the U.S. and throughout the world. The committee also provides guidance to and plans U.S. participation in the International Union of Psychological Sciences.

“I am thrilled to be serving a second term,” Johnson said. “One of my major objectives will be widespread dissemination of the National Academies report on the need to ‘internationalize’ psychology research journals.”

As part of her work with the academies, Johnson served on a planning committee that organized a workshop for journal editors and publishers to increase international representation in flagship psychology journals. With her new appointment, Johnson will be sharing the outcomes of that workshop with the broader scientific community.

“With about 87% of published psychology research based on a small percentage of the global population, it is critical to correct the imbalance and bias toward a Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic, aka ‘weird,’ worldview,” Johnson explained. “I hope that my selection to the academy underscores this need and positions me to expand interest in international research among faculty and students at UM.” 

Johnson teaches multicultural psychology, environmental psychology and Ole Miss study abroad in Tanzania. Her research interests include international and multicultural psychology, positive youth development, community-based conservation and mixed methods, including action research and “photovoice.” 

“This honor, along with Dr. Johnson’s extensive international service, benefits students and the community, and brings visibility to her research program, the College of Liberal Arts and the university,” Smith said. “Her work on the special planning committee makes important contributions towards expanding the diversity of topics and authors publishing in leading journals in the field.”

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