Psychology in the Czech Republic - Changes since 1993

Article excerpt

Summary

The Czech Republic was founded as a result of a split of the federated Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1st in 1993. The present report refers to the years 1993-2001.

Information concerning interests of the Czech psychologists is provided by the divisions of the Czech-Moravian Psychological Society (CMPS). Currently (May 2001) the society has 1060 members, grouped into 9 divisions. Their orientation and ranking as concerns the number of members is: 1. clinical (strongest), 2. counseling, 3. health, 4. developmental, 5. educational, 6. work and organisation, 7. general and theoretical, 8. forensic, 9. military.

Scientifically important psychological literature is published by Universities (Charles University in Prague, Masaryk University in Brno, Palacky University in Olomouc and University of Ostrava), and by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Brno and Prague. Reviews of books as well as journal articles are given.

Key words: Tradition, universities, academy of sciences of the Czech Republic, other institutions, journals and international cooperation

Tradition

English translation (Brozek and Hoskovec, 1995) is available of journal articles and book chapters dealing with psychological topics written in the years 1880-1900 by Thomas G. Masaryk, professor at the Czech University of Prague and later president of Czechoslovakia (1918-1935). Kolaríková (1999) studied the personality of T. G. Masaryk by using the method of psychological interpretation of data obtained from personal documents. The data she obtained originate from authentic materials (autobiographic texts, letters etc.) and from the statements recorded (e. g. by Karel Capek), as well as from information on T. G. Masaryk, included in texts of various authors. Another volume of translations (Brozek and Hoskovec, 1997) covers the contributions of former Czech students and professors associated with the Prague university since its foundation. The volume covers topics falling into abnormal, developmental, and educational psychology, mental hygiene and personality as well as pastoral, occupational and social psychology. Plháková (2000) wrote about history of psychology in general.

A volume on pictorial history of psychology in English contains a chapter on J. E. Purkyne (1787-1869), a physiologist with a life-long interest in psychology (Brozek and Hoskovec, 1997b). A chapter on outstanding Czech psychologists, enriched by photographs, closes a psychological atlas (Janousek, Hoskovec and Stikar, 1993, pp.263-275). Cach (2000) wrote about the psychologist Frantisek Cada (1865-1918), Musil (2000) about M. Habán (18991984) and once more Musil (2001) about C. Stejskal (1890-1969).

Selected writings of authors such as S. Freud, A. Adler, C. G. Jung, H. Kohut and V. E. Frankl, have been published in Czech. Translators and commentators include psychologists as J. Dan, K. Plocek, Lea and J. Svancara. Jan Vymetal (1997) is active in clinical psychology and devotes also attention to its history. J. Kocourek wrote historical papers about Czech psychoanalysis, and L. Kostroft in Brno carried out a profound study of E. Brunswik.

Universities (Prague, Brno, Olomouc, Ostrava)

Universities offering undergraduate and graduate programs in psychology are located in Prague, Brno and Olomouc.

At the Prague's Charles University the department of psychology, chaired by M.Rymes, has six sections: General psychology and history of psychology, Psychology of work and organization, Clinical psychology, Social psychology and Educational psychology and psychology for teachers, Mathematical psychology and Informatics. The department incorporates a psychological guidance center for university students, an extensive library, archives, and a collection of diagnostic aids, together with a historical collection of psychological apparatus and of modern research equipment. …