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From the Editor

What Does it Mean
to Be on Team SIOP?

Tara Behrend


 

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I have a younger brother. When we were kids, I fought with him all the time. He was smaller than me, and skinny, and easy to trick. I saw nothing wrong with using my advantages to torment him. In fact, in my mind, I was doing him a favor—toughening him up so he could face the world.  This logic, however, did not apply to any unfortunate neighbor kid who tried to pick on my brother. I would bloody the nose of anyone who looked at him sideways. As the saying goes, nobody picks on my brother but me.

Is SIOP like my brother?  Must I torment the thing I love in order to make it stronger? Criticism is a foundation of academic progress, and so in that respect, yes, I must always question the things others take for granted if I am to be a responsible academic. As TIP editor, I must also publish articles that I disagree with, and that others disagree with, so that they might advance our collective progress.

I am fond (too fond?) of saying that if nobody disagrees with you, it’s a bad sign—it means your opinion is too boring or too obvious to engage with. In the last issue of TIP, I was proud to publish an article by Ones et al., titled “Has I-O Psychology Lost its Way?” The article generated an incredible amount of discussion, online and in person at the conference. If you disagree with the authors, I want to hear from you. Offer your critique. Part of being a good team member is by voicing your opinion when it matters.

Another aspect of being a good team member is educating yourself about the team. This issue of TIP has a number of articles that are meant to explain how SIOP committees work and how you can get involved. The most common complaint I hear from SIOP members is a lack of understanding about how decisions get made and who is involved as an “insider.” The good news is that anyone can become an “insider” by volunteering as one. Read the articles by Bharati Belwalkar and colleagues, Kisha Jones, Stephanie Klein, and the GREAT committee (for a few examples) to learn about how SIOP works.

This issue also has a special section featuring conference reflections from a wide range of SIOP members: self-proclaimed “old-timers,” first-time attendees, practitioners, and students.  You’ll see that they are being good Team SIOP members by reflecting honestly about what worked for them and what didn’t.

Finally you will read about a few ways that SIOP interfaces with the world. Barbara Ruland, in her inaugural Members in the Media column, shows us how we can engage with the public through the media.  A pair of articles explains the Alliance for Organizational Psychology.  The rest of the issue has many more informative and inspiring articles to motivate the members of Team SIOP.

I close with another installment of the occasional feature, Ask the Editor. Send your questions to behrend@gwu.edu, and thanks for reading.

Q: My advisor has been wearing the same outfit for the past 20 years. What should I do?

A: You should compliment your advisor’s sartorial wisdom, and be grateful for it too. All the effort they are not spending on choosing an outfit is going into reading drafts of your thesis instead. The New York Times agrees with me. They also claim, however, that wearing shorts with black tube socks is acceptable, and I’m afraid that they are way off base on that one.

Q: I am displeased with TIP. Some of the articles are not personally relevant to me.

A:  I’m as shocked as you are! Perhaps, though, you are thinking too narrowly about what counts as “relevant to your interests.” Learning something new is its own reward, and you might be pleased to discover the ways these ideas turn out to be helpful after all.

Q: What is this rash?

A: Please go to a doctor.