This article is adapted from "Mexico National Tour" prepared by J. J. Sanchez- Sosa, 2008, which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Supl. 1
As a formally recognized scientific discipline, psychology in Mexico was born in 1896 when Professor Ezequiel A. Chavez instituted psychology courses in the baccalaureate system of the University of Mexico. Originally founded in 1551, the University was renamed National University of Mexico in 1910. In 1916, Professor Enrique O. Aragon founded the first fully equipped laboratory of experimental psychology at UNAM's School of Higher Studies. Outside UNAM applied psychologists' work involved mainly translating, adapting, and using French and United States intelligence tests. Psychology was taught at UNAM as part of philosophical studies up to 1945 when it became an independent department. Training in psychology gradually increased its professional and research format becoming a fully independent school and faculty in 1973. Up to the decade of the 1950s, most professional psychologists adhered to the psychodynamic clinical models and most researchers worked in psychometric data collection of some type. The 1960s saw a boom of experimentation including strong groups working within the behavioral approach. Schools of psychology, public and private, have multiplied approaching 100 (45 public and 55 private) in number nationwide in 1995, 21 of them are in Mexico City.
Currently, research in psychology is conducted in several universities. These include the National University of Mexico (UNAM), Iberoamericana, Anahuac, de Guadalajara, Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua and the National Polytechnic Institute among others. The main fields of research and specialization include: psychophysiology (sleep, psychopharmacology, inter hemispheric correlation, biofeedback, neuropsychology); health psychology (risk factor detection, preventive psychology, epidemiology, behavioral medicine, biofeedback, health promotion); social psychology (sexual behavior, sports psychology, self esteem, social interaction, environmental psychology); cross cultural research and animal experimental models, among others. In 1995, there were approximately 900 psychologists involved in research projects.
Professional training involves nine to ten semesters of formal university training exclusively in psychology. Students must then engage in supervised social service training for one semester and finally write and defend a thesis in front of an academic committee. Theses are usually expected to involve either the report of a research project or the evaluation of some type of professional intervention or service. Only universities accredited by either the National University (UNAM) or the Ministry of Education can award the corresponding diploma, which is later endorsed by the national office for the regulation of professions of the same ministry. This provides psychologists with the legal permit to offer professional services. The Mexican Civil Code states that a professional Collegium of any given discipline, composed of at least 100 licensed persons in as many states as possible, are expected to recommend post licensure regulations. Currently the Mexican Psychological Society and the National Collegium of Psychologists of Mexico are actively collaborating in projects toward fulfilling these responsibilities. Specialties include the clinical, industrial, educational, social, experimental, psychophysiological, developmental, health and behavior analysis areas. Depending on the specific program, these specialties are sometimes built into the license degree itself or are part of post licensure graduate training. Formal specialty diplomas usually require two years of graduate supervised training. Master and doctorate degrees generally involve two and four years of post specialty training respectively.
Mexican psychologists do have a formal code of ethics. http://www.psicologia.org.mx/publicaciones/codigo_etico.htm
Revista Mexicana de Psicologia, 1963-
Journal of the Mexican Council for Teaching and Research in Psychology