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Beyond the Goldwater Rule: The Place of Psychology in Our Political Culture

In 1964, Fact magazine published a survey of psychiatrists that claimed to show that Barry Goldwater was psychologically unfit to serve as president.  The article set off a major controversy. Goldwater sued for libel and won.  And the American Psychiatric Association (APA) adopted an new ethical principle that quickly became known as the Goldwater Rule:  “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion [on a candidate for public office] unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.” The Goldwater Rule is still among the APA’s ethical principles, Read more