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Eye on Psi Chi: Spring 2015
Special Anniversary Reprint:
Charge to Psi Chi Initiates1

Loyd Rowland, PhD, Baylor University (TX)

To commemorate Psi Chi’s 85th Anniversary, we will reprint some past messages from the Psi Chi Newsletter. This issue presents Dr. Loyd Rowland’s rousing “Charge to Psi Chi Initiates,” which he originally wrote for the Baylor University (TX) Chapter’s induction ceremony. When Dr. Rowland’s article was first published during WWII, he kindly gave his permission for chapters to use it for their own induction ceremonies.
You are now the novitiates of Psi Chi. You have indicated by your action that you have more than a casual or sampling interest in psychology as one aspect of knowledge. In the period just ahead of you, therefore, it is reasonable to expect of you certain achievements, certain points of view, certain loyalties.
More than in the case of the average college student it may be expected of you that you will develop an understanding of yourself. This understanding will be good for you. It will call attention to all your traits and abilities and will enable you to evaluate yourself more objectively. You will be expected to strengthen those aspects of your nature which need strengthening and to advance in those directions where you find yourself naturally strong.
You will learn to scrutinize with more than the usual attention [of] your motives. You will give large place to the better ones because you will know that happiness depends upon the goodness of the motives that are operating in your life.
You will try to keep a unified self. You will avoid as many wars within as possible. You will try to develop a consistent life. You will know, further, that you must have goals and that these must be reasonable and in line with your abilities and your social and economic assets.
You will properly educate your emotions. You will control yourself through understanding and a suitable choice of situations. You will come more and more to get enjoyment out of the subtler emotions. The harsher emotions that are at the same time unpleasant in character you will permit to develop less and less frequently. In all this, through the understandings you will have developed and in the practices followed, you will have begun to reach that dynamic status known as mental health.
Along with this personal achievement should go a better understanding of other individuals. You, more than untrained people will know your limitations. You will know the dangers of reading your own points of view, experiences, and motives into other people. And yet you will know that this reading is unavailable and necessary. The difference will be that you will be more critically careful in attributing to others your experience.
You will see the whole social structure in a manner that is more than topographical. You will have an inside view. You will come to see human needs as the source of all national and international strivings, whether in the people or in the leaders. You will come to see mankind as essentially alike in abilities and traits, except as selection and localized conditions have rendered otherwise. Yours is a scientific foundation for belief in democracy.
From this time forward you may be expected to look upon your science as a developing effort to understand human nature. As you grow in perspective you will become more and more dissatisfied with the incompleteness of your science. This will be an indication of your maturity. You will realize, upon circumspection, however, that understanding human nature through psychology, even though incomplete and imperfect, is better than any other way. The flashes of insight of the poet or the artist may at times seem to you to be keener, more penetrating into human nature than your own, but they will be less generally applicable.
With respect to your association with the local chapter of Psi Chi, the members have a right to expect of you
  Attendance upon all meetings, except where absence is unavoidable,

Participation in programs when asked,

Furtherance of the cause of psychology on the campus,

Adoption of the role of loyal alumni in the years ahead.

    1 From “Charge to Psi Chi Initiates” by L. Rowland, 1944, Psi Chi Newsletter, p. 1–3. Copyright 1944 by Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. Reprinted with permission.

    Copyright 2015 (Volume 19, Issue 3) by Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology


    Eye on Psi Chi is a magazine designed to keep members and alumni up-to-date with all the latest information about Psi Chi’s programs, awards, and chapter activities. It features informative articles about careers, graduate school admission, chapter ideas, personal development, the various fields of psychology, and important issues related to our discipline.

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