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Main Characteristics of Psychology in Egypt

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Main Characteristics of Psychology in Egypt To construct a meaningful picture of psychology as it is practiced in Egypt, the following features may be emphasized: 1. The manner in which Egyptian psychology emerged and has been growing over the years has earned it a solid base for a promising future. In this context, most important is the fact that the discipline made its first appearance in 1911 as part of establishing and operating the first secular university and that the discipline's growth was in synchrony with that of the host institution (Cairo University, 1983, p. 31). Growth in this career enabled Egyptian psychology to have a share in all the strengths the host university has been cherishing. After all, the university was initially founded as a nongovernmental institution and was considered by Egyptian nationals as an investment to help actualize national aspirations for a progressive future. It continues to exist as a prestigious symbol of those aspirations in spite of some adverse events. 2. By the same token, the discipline has been affected by all the major difficulties under which Egyptian universities have been laboring. Such difficulties include the ever-increasing economic hardships encountered by all sectors of the Egyptian society, heavy-handedness of the bureaucracy in managing academic affairs, the ever-worsening ratio of the number of students to the number of instructors, etc. ...read more.


In 1925, the Egyptian University was officially recognized by the Ministry of Education, which began to supply it with the necessary budget. This event triggered a number of decisions pertaining to its administrative organization. One such decision stipulated that the Faculty of Arts be divided into a number of departments, one of which would be devoted to philosophical studies (Cairo University, 1983, p. 59). Psychology was apportioned some lectures under the umbrella of this department and was, therefore, to be taught by instructors of philosophy (who, incidentally, were mostly French). In 1940, however, the teaching of psychology became the responsibility of an Egyptian psychologist, Y. Mourad, who had just returned from France after qualifying as "docteur des lettres" in experimental psychology under H. Pieron and H. Delacroix. This event marked the beginning of a new stage in the progression of the discipline in the Egyptian academia. The late 1920s, however, witnessed an event that had a significant effect on the course of development of the discipline. In 1929, the Egyptian government had invited the Swiss educator Clapar�de as a temporary adviser. The mandate was to review the national system of (pre-university) education and to submit recommendations for improvement (Ali, 1995, p. 167). The method Clapar�de followed in fulfilling his duty was instructive. ...read more.


In 1992, the total number of young people who graduated with BA degrees in psychology since 1958 was estimated at about 20,000 (Abou-Hatab, 1992). Of these, at least 5% are thought to have earned a Ph.D. degree. Research Interests Numerous small-scale research articles are published either by Egyptian journals of psychology or journals of social studies. These works cover a broad variety of topics. The area that has been capturing most of our researchers' interests is that of "Egyptianizing" and/or restandardizing Western psychometric tools. Probably the activity that follows, in terms of saliency, is the replication of some Western studies carried out with the help of newly constructed tools. In this case, the explicitly stated aim would be the making of transcultural comparisons. In additions, a few cases of long-term projects addressing significant research problems (which were not imported as ready-made researchable questions from abroad) have to be mentioned. Since 1966, M.I. Soueif and associates have been conducting a series of field investigations on drug use and abuse under the sponsorship of the National Center for Social and Criminological Research in Cairo (Soueif, 1985a). Another long-term project carried out by the same principal investigator and colleagues focused on creativity, personality, and psychiatric disorders (Badr, 1988; Darweesh, 1978; Elwan, 1980, Ghobashi, 1980; Soueif, 1959). A third elaborate research project was conducted by Soueif and assistants on extreme response sets (Farrag, 1965; Hannourah, 1967, cited in Soueif, 1968; Soueif, 1958, 1968; Yunis, 1976). ...read more.

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