American Psychological Foundation

The Monitor asked developmental psychologist Jerome Kagan, PhD, Harvard professor emeritus, to talk about why he has included the American Psychological Foundation in his will.

Why did you decide to make a bequest to psychology through APF?

Supporting talented students who have chosen psychology is necessary to ensure a quality of scientific work that will advance our understanding of mental phenomena and, in select instances, contribute to the mental health of the nation.

What has psychology meant to you?

I chose psychology as my career early in my undergraduate years because I believed that a more profound understanding of development would be followed by insights that would guide new practices that parents and teachers could implement, which might reduce the mental illness burden. I have enjoyed my 59 years of research, teaching and writing and I feel a deep sense of privilege for the many satisfactions this choice of career brought.

Why do you feel that giving back is important?

I urge my colleagues to support APF in any way they can. The social sciences are faced with stiffer competition from the biologists for funds to support students and inquiry. Hence, increasing the amount of resources is more critical today than it was when I entered graduate school in 1950.

To read more about Kagan's vision about the future of psychology research, go to The ghost in the lab..

Donate your IRA and receive a tax benefit

In 2013, people age 70 and a half years or older may donate distributions of up to $100,000 from their traditional or Roth IRAs directly to a charity like APF without having to pay income taxes on the distributions.

If you are interested in making a charitable gift with your IRA, ask your fund administrator to direct your distribution to the charity of your choice. Your distribution will be rolled-over from your IRA account to your charity, and will be a non-taxable gift. For more information, contact APF's Kimberly Rowsome at (202) 336-5622.