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

INDIA
...The founders of scientific psychology in India were trained in Western psychology and were particularly influenced by Wundtian, Titchenerian, and Freudian approaches. Their fascination toward Westernization insulated them from local psychological knowledge and wisdom existing in various forms in their own society. Thus, psychology in India began with what Ramalingaswami (1980) described as a “photocopy approach,” leading to the uncritical importation of psychological knowledge from the West without much concern for the Indian sociocultural context.

The Postindependence Expansion

The end of British colonial rule in 1947 led to major expansion in higher education in the 1950s and 1960s, with the opening of new universities, institutes of technology and management, and an increase in social science research. National organizations such as the University Grants Commission, Indian Council of Social Science Research, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Indian Council of Medical Research, and Indian Council of Agricultural Research were established for policy making and funding.

India’s academic contact, particularly with the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States, was further strengthened after independence in 1947 and has actively continued through various educational exchange programs (Commonwealth, Fulbright, Ford Foundation. Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, etc.). Thus, Western influence on development of psychology in India has continued with a flow of students, scholars, and literature (books and journals). There has been a noticeable shift from British to American influence

Mainstream Western psychology received a major jolt in the 1980s from the growth of a worldwide concern for culturally appropriate knowledge that deemed it a “culture-bound and “culture-blind science. This process has led to the emergence of a new approach, the “indigenization” of psychology, which, while it has popular acceptance, has not received momentum either in India or elsewhere (D. Sinha, 1997). According to this approach it is possible to integrate the ideas of the ancient texts, as well as folk knowledge and practices, with scientific psychology.

INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

...Indeed, perhaps the most important question of individual differences is whether people are more similar to themselves over time and across situations than they are to others, and whether the variation within a single person across time and situation is less than the variation between people. A related question is that of similarity: People differ in their similarities to each other. Questions of whether particular groups (e.g., groupings by sex, culture. age. or ethnicity) are more similar within than between groups are also questions of individual differences.

Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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