NP112

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any insight of working as a psychologist for government security agencies, particularly in the DC area. I am guessing that some parts of the job cannot be spoken about :)

Thanks!
 
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NP112

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2017
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Psychology Student
The background checks are extremely thorough (e.g., find your second grade teacher and ask about you as a kid). The security interviews and whatnot are hilarious. The pay is bad. Seems to skew heavily to people that are extremely patriotic.
Really? I just saw a job posting advertising salary in the range of 110k - 120k with 2 years experience after PhD. That seems pretty good for early career.
 

NP112

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That is VA money in the DC area with a lot more hoops to jump through. Or less than any higher end PP in the DC area pulls down.
Ok, I was unaware of the take home pay of PP. Always thought it was less than 100k. Thanks
 
Nov 9, 2018
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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any insight of working as a psychologist for government security agencies, particularly in the DC area. I am guessing that some parts of the job cannot be spoken about :)

Thanks!
I don’t have any experience as a psychologist in that area or for those agencies.

I do know some people in other industries working for not-to-be named government agencies. The security clearance interviews are extreme. The comment PsyDr made above about interviews with your second grade teacher is spot on. The pay is reportedly twice about twice the industry standard for positions that include knowledge of very sensitive information. There’s a reason the pay is high for those positions. I wouldn’t take one.

That’s probably not very helpful and vague.
 

AbnormalPsych

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any insight of working as a psychologist for government security agencies, particularly in the DC area. I am guessing that some parts of the job cannot be spoken about :)

Thanks!
This seems more fun:

 
Nov 14, 2018
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I interned at one of those agencies while in college and had a TS/SCI clearance. I am actively avoiding any job that would require me to hold a clearance again. As a few have said, the process of getting a clearance is extreme - I was polygraphed for ~8 hours, had to declare all foreign national contacts, had many people in my life interviewed with no warning, etc - as are the restrictions to maintain one.

Happy to answer any more specific questions I'm able to.
 

PsyDr

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There may be some ethical and potential legal problems involved in working for such agencies.
With all due respect, this opinion is ill informed. I believe you’re referring to Jensen and Miller, who were not employees, only contractors.

1) There literally cannot be ANY legal problems. Any legal proceedings would immediately run into jurisdictional challenges, the complete absence of discovery as the agency refuses under the auspices of national security, and immunity. This is why nothing happened to Jensen from lawsuits, and the Texas board said they couldn’t do anything. No evidence was produced which made it impossible to meet evidentiary standards, no one knows if they can even be charged due to immunity, and no one knows if he was operating in Texas or subject to Texas laws.

2) Ethics is unlikely to apply. If you think that psychologists are being used for much more than treatment, fitness for fury, or consulting about some minor thing, you’re not familiar with how those agencies work. Snowden showed that those agencies have recorded ALL internet traffic since the late 90s, early 00s. Google has an AI and neuroscience division which creates PREDICTIVE algorithms based upon neural function. Target’s algorithm could predict pregnancy before the individual knows, 10-15 years ago. Now which would you trust? A psychologist or one of those programs? Exactly. Not to mention what the boots on the ground guys receive training in.
 

msc545

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With all due respect, this opinion is ill informed. I believe you’re referring to Jensen and Miller, who were not employees, only contractors.

1) There literally cannot be ANY legal problems. Any legal proceedings would immediately run into jurisdictional challenges, the complete absence of discovery as the agency refuses under the auspices of national security, and immunity. This is why nothing happened to Jensen from lawsuits, and the Texas board said they couldn’t do anything. No evidence was produced which made it impossible to meet evidentiary standards, no one knows if they can even be charged due to immunity, and no one knows if he was operating in Texas or subject to Texas laws.

2) Ethics is unlikely to apply. If you think that psychologists are being used for much more than treatment, fitness for fury, or consulting about some minor thing, you’re not familiar with how those agencies work. Snowden showed that those agencies have recorded ALL internet traffic since the late 90s, early 00s. Google has an AI and neuroscience division which creates PREDICTIVE algorithms based upon neural function. Target’s algorithm could predict pregnancy before the individual knows, 10-15 years ago. Now which would you trust? A psychologist or one of those programs? Exactly. Not to mention what the boots on the ground guys receive training in.

1. Just because there are no legal problems now, that does not mean that there won't be some in the future, or as a result of future activities. Contractors are not immune from legal problems.

2. Psychologists designed the CIA torture program. To me, that is an ethical problem whether or not the APA responds to it.
 

PsyDr

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1. Just because there are no legal problems now, that does not mean that there won't be some in the future, or as a result of future activities. Contractors are not immune from legal problems.

2. Psychologists designed the CIA torture program. To me, that is an ethical problem whether or not the APA responds to it.
1. Legal problems.

a. If you have material knowledge that indicates that intelligence/military contractors have liability, you should absolutely contact the executive branch, all private military contractor companies, and the legal teams of several Fortune 500 companies. You'll make a killing. Because I'm sure that all of those groups would be VERY surprised to learn that decades of international legal precedent is wrong. Hint: there's a legal reason why the term private military contractor is used, and mercenary is not. Double hint: ever wonder why the Hague has NEVER tried a US citizen?

b. Assuming there is some form of liability ,I'm sure that the US government would be surprised to learn that there are some holes to state secrets privilege, and that sovereign immunity isn't a protection.
 
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PsyDr

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This just sent me down a rabbit hole I wasn't anticipating going down, and will likely eat up my morning.
Learning that the USA does not recognize the authority of the International Criminal Courts- confusing.
Learning that the USA created a plan to INVADE THE NETHERLANDS, if any american military people were brought to the Hague for war crimes- concerning
Learning that the invasion plan WAS VOTED INTO FEDERAL LAW IN 2002- crazy.
Learning that this law was almost enacted in 2007, because France tried to arrest Donald Rumsfeld while he was there- wait, are we gonna invade the Dutch?!
Learning that this stuff is actually related to USA death penalty law- whhhaaat?
 
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