Article adapted from "Greece National Tour," prepared by Anastasia Efklides, 2008 and printed in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1).
The history of psychology begins with the systematic study of psychological phenomena in the seventh century B.C. by Hellenic philosophers. The etymology of the term philosophy is "the love of wisdom", and is characteristic of the belief of the ancient Greek philosophers that observation and logic are methods for understanding social and physical phenomena in contrast to the animistic beliefs of the cultures of that period. Psychology means "psyche" and "logic", two Greek words, and the vocabulary of modern psychology has been constructed largely from the texts of Hellenic philosophers. The precursors of many theories in modern psychology are of Hellenic origin. Locke's empiricism was originally discussed by Democritus, Epicouros, and Aristotle. The term agraphos pinax was employed by Aphrodiseas many centuries before tabula rasa. The recent rise of cognitive psychology with its challenge to behaviorism and to psychoanalysis had its antecedents in the skepticism of the reality of the senses and its belief in rationalism as exemplified by Pythagoras, Heraclitos, Democritus, Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Plato discussed the relationship of nature and nurture, and his treatment of the role of dreams in the psyche antedates Freud's unconscious.
Aristotle is clearly the most eminent in defining and systematically studying the phenomena of psychology. It is estimated that approximately ten published manuscripts – among the over two hundred manuscripts he has written – deal with psychological issues. He wrote about the senses and perception, about the nature of the psyche, about sleep and alertness, about dreams, about youth and old age. His writings on the phenomena of memory and recollections were precursors of the law of association by the British associationists. In social psychology, Holland's theory of attitude change has its precursors in Aristotle's Rhetorics.
The science of modern psychology in Greece begins with Theophilus Voreas, who wrote his Ph.D. under Wilhelm Wundt in 1897, and established the first Psychological Laboratory at the University of Athens in 1926. The first Greek book on child psychology was written in 1922 by G. Sakellariou, who also standardized the Binet-Simon intelligence test, and went on to establish the Psychological Laboratory of the University of Thessalonike in 1937. With the establishment of new universities in Greece during the 1960s at Ioannina and at Patras, in the 1970s at Crete, and during the last years at other cities in Greece, psychology continued to expand, but only as a subject within a pedagogical curriculum and not within independent departments of psychology.
Psychological training in Greece today is in the School of Psychology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, of the University of Crete, of Panteio University, and in the Department of Psychology of the University of Athens.
Psychology is also an integral part of the programs in the departments of elementary education and the departments of preschool education in the universities in Greece. In addition, courses in psychology are taught at the medical schools, in the schools of law, in schools and departments of social sciences, in departments of sports and physical education, in the schools of theology, and others.
Research in the universities is conducted in both basic science and applied psychology. This includes cognitive science, psychometrics, developmental psychology, personality, social psychology, motivation and emotion, and neuropsychology. In addition it includes applied research in clinical psychology, school psychology, organizational psychology, health psychology, sport psychology, traffic psychology, etc.
Greek psychologists publish their research in Greek and international journals, as well as in the Scientific Annals of the School of Psychology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and in the Scientific Annals of the Psychological Society of Northern Greece.
The Hellenic Psychological Society has held eight Panhellenic Congresses since 1989, in all fields of psychology, basic science and applied psychology. Members of the Hellenic Psychological Society and others have organized topical conferences and seminars in areas such as social psychology, cognitive science, developmental psychology, personality, etc. The Hellenic Psychological Society and the Association of Greek Psychologists organized the Fourth European Congress of Psychology in 1995, and are currently co-organizing the 26th International Congress of Applied Psychology to be held in Athens in 2006. A number of international conferences in topical areas of psychology, such as motivation, assessment, and developmental psychology, have also been organized in Greece in collaboration with the Hellenic Psychological Society.
The Psychological Society of Northern Greece has held seven Pan-Hellenic Confererences, two International Conference, 5 seminars/workshops, and 5 lectures since 2001. The Psychological Society of Northern Greece is organizing the 2nd International Conference on psychological assessment to be held in Thessaloniki from May 3-6, 2007. Website: http://www.pseve.org/ic2
Training in psychology is conducted at the four university departments of psychology in Greece. At least four years (eight semesters) of residence, and a total of approximately 160 credit hours in course work (approximately forty courses), in addition to a senior thesis and practical training are required. The title of the degree is Ptychion. Approximately 70 percent of the courses are in psychology. The core of required courses includes methodology, statistics, experimental psychology, courses in development psychology, cognition and neuropsychology, social psychology, personality, cross-cultural psychology, and history of psychology. In addition there are introductory courses in applied psychology, such as clinical psychology, school and educational psychology, organizational psychology, health psychology, and sport psychology. In addition, the departments offer graduate programs leading to the equivalent of the M.S. degree (Metaptychiako diploma) in areas such as clinical psychology, school psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and organizational psychology. Programs leading to the Ph.D. (Didaktoriko Diploma) by research, are offered in a variety of fields in psychology.
Graduates with the Ptychion qualify for licensing as a psychologist with the Ministry of Health.
Greek psychologists have a code of ethics regulating the teaching, research, and practice of psychology.
Psychologika Themata, 1988- , 4/year
Psychology: The Journal of the Hellenic Psychological Society, 1992- , 4/year
Hellenic Journal of Psychology, 2004- , 3/year
Scientific Annals of the Psychological Society of Northern Greece, 2003- , 1 volume/year
Updated June 2008