This article is adapted from "Italy National Tour" prepared by S. Carta & A. L. Iacono, 2008, which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1).
Italian psychology originated in early 1800. University labs started in Rome, 1889, and in Florence, 1903; professional labs started in 1906. Until the 1920s Italian psychology was characterized by the psychometric approach and psychophysiological studies. Starting from the time of the two world wars and the intercurrent fascist period, until the 1950s, Italian psychology gradually developed. From the 1960s and 1970s its development became faster, above all for the field of applied psychology, because in Italy psychological services were organized by law within the national health system. Research subjects since 1970 showed a decline of Gestalt theory, while cognition and interpersonal processes increased. Psychophysiology moved from neuroendocrinology and body potentials to brain hemisphere functions. Epistemology and historical interests are quite recent. In applied research, family treatment, handicaps, old age and recent views on individual and group therapy emerge.
In the past the main centers of psychological studies in Italy were the Chair of Experimental Psychology at Torino University (Professor F. Kiesow), the Psychology Institute of the University of Firenze (Professor F. De Sarlo), and the Psychology Lab of the University of Padova (Professor V. Benussi). In 1971 the first courses of psychology were founded at the Universities of Roma and Padova. Further courses have also been founded at the Universities of Cagliari, Bologna, Firenze, Milano, Palermo, Torino, Trieste, and Urbino. At the present there is an institute or department of psychology in each Italian university. We think that the best phrase that characterizes the kind of psychological research in our country could be "From the Lab (the psychological sciences) to the Town (the "polis", the political society); from the Town to the Lab." This motto illustrates the circular movement of the development of psychology.
In Italy students receive the degree in psychology after five years of university studies, after which they need to attend a one-year period of apprenticeship. Afterwards they can take an examination to register themselves to practice the profession of psychologist. After the attainment of the degree, students may also specialize in a triennial school of psychotherapy. In the psychology departments they may also take a doctors degree - the first grade of the university career.
Psicologia Italiana, 1910- , 4/year
Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, 1973- , 4/year
Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, 1966- , 48/year
Psicologia Contemporanea, 1974- , 6/year
Eta Evolutiva, 1978-
Psicologia e Scuola, 1980- , 6/year
Psicologia e Societa, 1975- , 2/year
Psicologia del Lavoro, 1968- , 6/year
Bollettino de Psicologia Applicata, 1954- , 4/year
Sociologia y Psicologia Juridica, 1990
Studies in Gestalt Psychology, 1993
Studi Junghiani, 1998
Studi Organizzativi, 1998
Studi di Psicologia dell'Educazione