|Editor in Chief||Kaja Perina|
|Based in||New York City|
Psychology Today is a media organization with a focus on psychology and human behavior. The Psychology Today website features therapy and health professionals directories and hundreds of blogs written by a wide variety of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, medical doctors, anthropologists, sociologists, and science journalists. Psychology Today also publishes a bimonthly magazine, which first appeared in 1967.
Online presence and magazine circulation
Psychology Today is among the oldest media outlets with a focus on behavioral science. Its tagline is “Here to Help” and its mission is to cover all aspects of human behavior so as to help people better manage their own health and wellness, adjust their mindset, and manage a range of mental health and relationship concerns.
Psychology Today content and its therapist directory are found in 20 countries worldwide. Psychology Today's therapist directory is the most widely used and allows users to sort therapists by location, insurance, types of therapy, price, and other characteristics. It also has a Spanish-language website.
The print magazine's circulation is 250,000, with 15.02 readers per copy, totaling an audience of 3.75 million.
Psychology Today has a social media presence with 7.5 million Facebook followers, more than 700,000 Twitter followers, 475,000 Instagram followers, and 450,000 LinkedIn followers as of February 2021.
History and mission
Founded in 1967 by Nicolas Charney, Ph.D., to make the burgeoning psychology literature accessible to the general public, Psychology Today features reportage and information that looks inward at the workings of the brain as well as outward to the bonds between people. It draws on research reports and interviews with experts on topics ranging from human motivation to personality development, from intelligence to child development and parenting practices, from schizophrenia to sexuality, from leadership to addiction, from anxiety to politics—the vast range of the human behavior, with coverage of animal behavior as well.
With articles on groupthink by Irving Janis, Ph.D., learned helplessness by Martin Seligman, Ph.D., and management by Peter Drucker, Psychology Today earned a wide readership among professionals and the public. Psychologist Abraham Maslow described his ideas on peak experiences and self-actualization in Psychology Today. Other articles explored biofeedback, brain imaging, body language, and the halo effect of beauty.
In 1992, after several changes in ownership and a publishing hiatus of two years, Psychology Today resumed publication as a general magazine, adding distinguished science journalism to cover a rapidly expanding field of human knowledge. Culturally relevant articles on bullying, bias, and behavioral economics join the now-famous Hare checklist of psychopathy and portraits of perfectionism. The current editor-in-chief is Kaja Perina.
The Psychology Today website, in addition to archiving magazine articles since 1992, features a continuous stream of blogs by laboratory researchers, clinical practitioners, and writers with a broad range of expertise. Daily reports of the findings of new research on human behavior accompany accounts of common concerns and explorations of the impact of current events on mental health. The website is also the primary portal to a comprehensive directory of psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals in the U.S. and around the world.
From June 2010 to June 2011, it was one of the top ten consumer magazines by newsstand sales. In 2013 Adweek noted a 36 percent increase in the number of readers of Psychology Today, while many magazines suffered readership declines.
From 1983 to 1987, Psychology Today was owned and managed by the American Psychological Association. It is currently owned by Sussex Publishers and endorsed by the National Board for Certified Counselors, which promotes subscriptions and offers professional credit for a small fee and assigned assessment for each article read.
Content and standards
The magazine is not peer-reviewed. Independent review of articles can help ensure content is factual, trustworthy, and scientifically valid. Likewise, much of the editorial team lack formal training in the behavioral sciences (e.g. editor-in-chief Kaja Perina). However, many of Psychology Today's contributors are experts in their fields who hold advanced degrees.
A 2013 content analysis of both Dr. Phil and Psychology Today reported that approximately 56% of articles in the latter outlet highlighted a specific mental health disorder. Psychology Today mentioned major depressive disorder (26.7% of items) and generalized anxiety disorder (10% of articles) the most in these articles.
Some articles by Psychology Today bloggers have promoted the idea that ADHD does not exist. These articles highlight that ADHD may be overdiagnosed in the North American population and debate regarding the classification of mental disorders as a whole. Some authors have argued that, although they may work for some, stimulants can be addictive. Thus they support non-pharmacological therapies as the best or only way to treat ADHD. Although there may be an association between ADHD and substance use disorder (SUD), correlational relationships do not indicate that ADHD or treatment leads to SUD. Moreover, there is a belief that the relationship may be a form of self-medication. When individuals take medications to treat their ADHD as prescribed, they are not at greater risk for SUD.
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