papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief


In recent years, partly due to the continued controversy about race, ethnic group, and gender differences on intelligence and aptitude tests, psychological testing organizations and companies have come under political pressure to deemphasize the notion that psychological tests are legitimate measures of “aptitude” (in the context of aptitude as “potential”). Although group differences in aptitude test scores are historically less controversial than group differences in intelligence scores, some organizations have recast aptitude tests as achievement tests, or dropped the term aptitude from the test names (e.g., the Scholastic Aptitude Test was recast as the Scholastic Assessment Test in the 1990s).


The term Arab was originally applied to the Semitic peoples of the Arabian Peninsula. Today, the word refers to those whose first language is Arabic, and while it also includes Arabic-speaking Christians, the majority of Arab speakers are Muslims, and Arabic is the language of the Islamic sacred scripture, the Qur’an. The Arab population in the mid-1990s was about 256 million, of whom 63 million were Egyptians, the largest group in the Arab League countries.

The Arab Personality

In general, Arab society is culturally homogeneous, conservative, and is for the most part centered around family or tribal identification. Arabs are religious, fatalistic, generous, humanitarian, emotional, loyal, and they give paramount importance to personal dignity, honor, and reputation.

Ibn-Khaldun (1332-1406 CE)

Ibn-Khaldun is well known as the founder of sociology. He identified “selective perception,” i.e., that perception is affected by the individual’s mentality, subjectivity. and purpose. He also described identification with the aggressor, a concept familiar in modern times. noting that conquered people often imitate the conqueror in ideology, clothing, and customs.

Egypt and the Arab States

Samir Farag wrote two dissertations, < …. >The other work, Psychology of the Egyptian Personality, investigated the question of whether Egypt has had one identity from the pharaonic periods through the Christian, Islamic, and the modern era, or has there been a “different” Egypt for every age? What are the strengths and weaknesses of modern Egyptian society and how do we deal with them?

It is clear now that most psychologists in Egypt today want to use methodology that is a cultural match both for the Egyptian personality in particular and Arab culture in general.

Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq

Examples of problems having particular significance to the societies of the region include first wife syndrome: brief religious psychotic disorders; mystic (Sufi) doctrine; and such religious rites as fasting, prayer, and the use of amulets and talismans.

Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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