Panorama of Psychology in Latin America

  • Rubén Ardila


This introductory chapter presents a panoramic vision of psychology in Latin America. It includes historical and conceptual aspects of the training at the undergraduate and graduate level. It affirms that psychology in Latin America has been previously characterized by scientific orientation, dependency, lack of sufficient originality, a conflict between social relevance and political activism, emphasis on applied issues, and emphasis on work with human beings. Latin-American psychology as a science and as a profession has been isolated from international developments during the larger part of its history. Psychology in Latin America is a discipline with many active research centers, university training programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, journals, practical applications, professional developments, social impact, and original work carried out in many of the countries of the region. The first psychology training programs in Latin America began in 1946 (Chile) and in 1947 (Colombia) and a few year latter in other countries. However, Latin-American psychology has been isolated, with scarce participation in International Congresses of Psychology (IUPsyS), International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), APA conventions, etc. Few international psychological events have been held in the region. Reasons will be presented to explain that isolation and possible solutions will be suggested.


Latin America Development Research Profession Internationalization 


  1. Alarcón, R. (2002). Estudios sobre psicología latinoamericana [Studies on Latin American psychology]. Lima: Universidad Ricardo Palma.Google Scholar
  2. Ardila, R. (1986). La psicología en América Latina, pasado, presente y futuro [Psychology in Latin America, past, present and future]. Mexico, D.F.: Siglo XXI.Google Scholar
  3. Aron, A., Corne, S., & Martín-Baró, I. (Eds.). (1994). Writings for a liberation psychology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Díaz-Guerrero, R. (1972). Hacia una teoría histórico-bio-psico-socio-cultural del comportamiento humano [Toward a historical-bio-psycho-socio-cultural theory of human behavior]. Mexico, D.F.: Trillas.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rubén Ardila
    • 1
  1. 1.National University of ColombiaBogotáColombia

Personalised recommendations