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. (Reid, 1990, p. 174). With all these factors

adversely affecting the academic climate, it is no wonder that the

quality of the academic end products, psychology included, comes out

less than satisfactory.

3. T...

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...arisons. 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).

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