Sunset and psychology or how we learned to love a crisis

Richard R. Kilburg, Mark R. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reviews the crisis that sunset legislation induced in organized psychology beginning in 1979. A description of the sunset process is provided along with an analysis of the conditions under which psychology was forced to respond to this challenge. The 3 primary features of this legislation are: (1) The laws require that various state programs (such as licensure/certification) be reviewed and evaluated on a periodic basis by the state legislature. (2) They mandate a public legislative hearing process for soliciting public comments and criticisms. (3) They provide a mechanism for the state legislature to reauthorize or modify the reviewed program. The strategy used to address the crisis is discussed, and examples of problems encountered in several of the state-level efforts are provided. An overview of the results of psychology's effort to meet the crisis is presented. It is concluded that organized psychology has made significant progress as a result of the impact of sunset legislation. (3 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1231
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • sunset legislation & organized psychology's response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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