why two national psychology associations (US)?

What are the differences between the American Pysch Assocation (APA) and Assocation for Psychological Science (APS; which did have a different name when I was in school but same abbreviation)? While the APA seems to be the broader umbrella organization (and clearly larger), was the APS founded as part of a schism or to focus on applied science? Seems both do some lobbying and plenty of applied work.

The APA is full of clinical psychologists and psychotherapists of various kinds. This is where most of the money is in psychology, and it tends to dominate the agenda and direction of the association (although it certainly gives plenty of support to psychological research too). The American Psychological Society, which seems to have transmuted into the Association for Psychological Science, was founded by research psychologists who wanted a society that gave more attention and support to psychology as pure science, as research into the workings of the mind.

That pretty much sums it up. One tends to be applied science the other tends to be research science.

Hmmm…I had the view that APA was also largely researchers. In fact, the APS website seems to emphasize applied science and teaching, not pure science.

Well, most researchers probably are in the APA, which is much bigger, and the APA certainly does do a lot to support research, but researchers there are still outnumbered by clinicians/therapists. Also, virtually all psychologists who do “pure” research are going to be university teachers, so that would explain the APS emphasis on that.

It may also be the case that the APS has evolved in a different direction since its founding as the American Psychological Society. The name change suggests this might be the case (though it also might just be to make it more international). My reply was largely based on the pitch that the American Psychological Society made to me to join, soon after they started (I did not join, and I am not really a psychologist anyway). Clearly the motivation for founding it was that some researchers were upset that the APA was too much clinician dominated. No doubt many university research psychologists regard a lot of psychotherapy as quackery or pseudoscience. That does not mean, however, that they would reject all applied psychology. There are other applications apart of psychotherapy, and even clinical applications can be based on sound science.