This article is adapted from "Colombia National Tour," prepared by Rubén Ardila and German Gutierrez in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44(Suppl. 1).Reprinted from Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44(Suppl. 1).
In Colombia the first work in psychology was done in the nineteenth century, specifically by professionals of medicine, education, and philosophy. The first professional training program was founded on November 20, 1947, at the National University of Colombia (Bogotá) , being one of the oldest training programs professionally oriented of psychology in all Latin America. The number of psychologists has grown very rapidly, particularly in the 1970s and 1990s, with the founding of several Faculties of Psychology in Bogota, Medellin, Barranquilla, Cali, Manizales Bucaramanga, and other cities. At the present time the number of professional psychologists is approximately approximately 36,352 professional psychologists and 34,039 psychology students. The major fields are clinical, industrial, educational, basic research, and social psychology. Sport psychology, gerontological psychology, heath psychology, community, criminological and forensic psychology are more recent. Psychology is a well established profession in Colombia, and attracts large number of students, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Research in psychology is carried out at the universities with teaching programs in psychology (approximately 134 programs, in a large number of universities), and also at several research institutions. Major fields of investigation are the experimental analysis of behavior, and social psychology. Also there is work in physiological psychology, neuropsychology, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, developmental psychology, comparative, evolutionary psychology, geropsychology, thinking and language, psychotherapy, work environments, and educational processes. Sources of funding for research exist at local and national levels. Colciencias is the national governmental agency for funding scientific research.
Training in psychology is offered at a large number of universities situated in major cities, and follows a similar pattern: five years (in a few cases four years) of professional studies in all areas of psychology and related disciplines, a thesis, usually of an experimental nature, and supervised practice. The degree received is "Psychologist" and allows the person to work in any field of psychology. There are graduate programs in the following areas: behavior analysis, clinical, child, health, industrial/organizational, educational, criminological and community psychology. There are two doctoral programs in psychology, (in Cali and Barranquilla) and two more in the process of being organized in Bogota. The government has formally recognized psychology as a profession, and the functions, responsibilities, and rights of psychologists have been specified (December, 1983).
There is a formal Code of Ethics for Colombian psychologists. It was approved in 2000.
Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, 1969- , 3/year
Avances en Psicología Latinoamericana, 1982- , 2/year
Revista Colombiana de Psicología, 1992, 1/year
Suma Psicologica, 1988, 2/year
Psicología desde el Caribe, 1998, 2/year
Acta Colombiana de Psicología, 1998, 2/year
Updated September 2007