Development of Psychology in Slovenia after 1990

By Pecjak, Vid | Psychology Science, January 1, 2004 | Go to article overview
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Development of Psychology in Slovenia after 1990


Pecjak, Vid, Psychology Science


Summary

Psychology in Slovenia has a long past, but a short history. In 1895, D. Verbec wrote a book on temperaments in Latin. The first book in Slovenian language, Experiental psychology, was written by Gabrsek in 1890. Till World War II, only 20 psychological books in Slovenian language were published. Psychological courses were taught at some departments. But despite some attempts to build an empirically based psychology, a methaphysical prevailed.

After World War II, there was a rapid growth and diversification of psychology, partially caused by the industrialization and modernization of the society, and also by a sudden decline of metaphysical philosophy, which was not congruent with official Marxism. In 1950, the Department of psychology at the University of Ljubljana was founded. It is still the only one in Slovenia.

Since 1968, ajournai »Anthropos« is being published. The department of psychology grew to a big department with 20 professors and some hundreds of students. Soon after World War II, professional psychology was the main field of applied psychology. Diverse psychotherapies were pratctised.

After 1990 (change of political system and independence of the country), the growth of psychology accelerated in regard of published books and papers. Many new fields of psychology were put forward. The Slovenian psychological society was founded and soon afterwards it had two congresses. A new journal, Horizons of psychology, was set up.

On the one hand, the communist regime stimulated psychology, but one the other hand it impeded it because of many taboos, ideological and political guidance and inappropriate atmosphere in the academic institution. Today, Slovenian psychology does not differ from most Western and Middle European smaller countries.

Key words: Publishing, department and chairs, applied psychology, other achievements during the development between 1990 - 2001

In order to understand the development of psychology in Slovenia during the last decade, some knowledge of its previous development is necessary. The origin of Slovenian psychology goes back to the Renaissance, when D. Verbec wrote the book Disputatio de temperament (A debate about temperament, 1589) in Latin. The first book written in Slovenian language Iskustveno duseslovje (F. Gabrsek, Experimental psychology, 1890), was published only 16 years after the famous Wundt's Principles of physiological psychology. At the beginning of the 20th century, some Slovenian scholars studied with distinguished European psychologists (e. g.Wundt). There was also some applied psychology especially in regard to professional counseling. Several tests were constructed or adapted.

Till World War II (in Slovenia in 1941), only 20 psychological books in Slovenian language were published. Psychological courses were taught at the departments of philosophy and pedagogy. Despite some attempts to build an empirically based psychology, a metaphysical and philosophical orientation prevailed.

Soon after World War II, there was a rapid growth and diversification of psychology in Slovenia, which was partially influenced by the industrialization and modernization of society. Another reason was the sudden decline of metaphysical philosophy, because Marxism, the official ideology, opposed it. This ideology was also unfavorable towards psychological testing, at least in the initial phase.

In 1950, the Department of psychology was founded. This department is still the only one in Slovenia, although there have been attempts to found another one. The first professor was M. Rostohar, who came back from Czechoslovakia because of political reasons (Yugoslavian conflict with Stalin). At the beginning only general, child and social psychology were taught.

From 1945 to 1990, about 170 psychological books were published. Their number increased in geometrical progression. They cover all main fields of psychology.

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