European Semester of Psychology (ES)
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Psychology in Serbia

 

      Psychology can be studied in Serbia at five state-owned and four private universities. Dr Paja Radosavljević is considered to be the first psychologist in Serbia, who obtained his PhD in Zurich (1904) on the thesis about memory mentored by the famous professor Meumann. As subject, psychology was first taught in the Teachers’ School in the city of Sombor and in the Lyceum of Kragujevac, but it was until the beginning of the 20th century that this was done by experts educated in other fields (philosophy, law, literature). The Department for psychology was established at the Belgrade University in 1927, and its first chief was dr Borislav Stevanović. However, by the time of the World War II there were only few students of psychology; records say that only six of them graduated before the psychology study was reinstituted in Belgrade in 1951. Subsequently, in 1971, the Department for Psychology was established in the city of Niš and the Department for Psychology in the city of Novi Sad in 1982. Within the past decades, study groups for psychology were opened also at other Serbian universities. 

The Institute for Psychology, established in 1961, is a study unit of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Belgrade University dealing with fundamental and applied research in psychology, as well as the development of the scientific staff of the Republic of Serbia. 

The Laboratory for experimental psychology at the Psychology Department in Belgrade was founded in 1977 and in Novi Sad in 1994, as an antenna of the Belgrade Laboratory for experimental psychology. 

The Serbian Psychological Society was founded in 1953 as a section of the Psychological Association of Yugoslavia. The Section of Psychologists of Serbia was renamed in 1964 to the Serbian Psychological Society. In the period until 1979, psychological associations were founded in 11 cities throughout Serbia. At the Assembly held in 1979 the Association of Societies of Serbia was established. All these Societies were merged into one single Serbian Psychological Society in 1991. The number of psychologists in Serbia nowadays is estimated to be around 400, half of them being professionally active in psychology. Many of the psychologists are professionally engaged in administrative and managerial activities.

In terms of its organization, the Society is composed of sections and branches. The sections assemble psychologies based on their field of work, while the branches are territorial. The Psychological Society is a vocational organization of citizens, its activity being governed by its Statute and annual assemblies deciding on the reports, plans and composition of the bodies managing the Society’s work. The Serbian Psychological Society has initiated and the National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia has passed the Law on the conditions for performing psychological activities, setting out the rules of the psychologists’ professional work. Additionally, the Society has produced the Code of Ethics of Psychologists of Serbia, harmonized with the legislation and the EFPE (European Federation of Psychologists’ Association) Code of Ethics, the Serbian Psychological Society being its member since 2007. The Court of Honor has been set up with the aim of protecting the ethical standards of the profession.

Within its scope of work, the Society has established an entity called Center for Applied Psychology, which has been successful in publishing psychological reference literature and psychological tests, in addition to organizing seminars for the professional development and different types of training for the professional practice of psychologists. 

Until 1970, professional issues had been discussed during annual assemblies of the Society, while since that year on, special scientific vocational gatherings have been organized dedicated to scientific research and professional information intended for psychologists. The first gathering was titled Convention of the Psychologists of Serbia, while nowadays it is called Congress of the Psychologists of Serbia and lasts several days, with several hundreds of participants from our country and abroad. 

The Serbian Psychological Society awards its meritorious members for their scientific contribution to psychology in our country, popularization of psychology, contribution to the work of the Serbian Psychological Society, master theses in applied psychology and also gives the life achievement award.

Since 1967 the Society has been publishing the journal “Psihologija” (Psychology), featuring theoretical and research papers that contribute to the development of psychological science in Serbia and all over the world, being one of the highest quality magazines in this field in our country. 

The Psychology Newspaper, vocational and professional paper of the Serbian Psychological Society, has been published monthly since January 1977. It provides information to psychologists on all the activities of the Serbian Psychological Society and diverse professional issues. In addition, they inform on significant achievements in the country and world-wide. 

The webpage of the Serbian Psychological Society, operational since 2002, is a source of diverse professional and vocational information. 

 

The Psychological Society has also produced the Draft Psychological Activity, which kicked off the establishment of the Chamber of Psychologists of Serbia. 

The activities of the Serbian Psychological Society launched and established the cooperation with the societies from the territories of the former Yugoslav countries and signed the cooperation agreement with the Societies of the Republic of Srpska, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro, while having successful cooperation with the psychologists from North Macedonia as well. 

 

Besides the activities organized and implemented by the Psychological Society, the Faculties organize other activities important for the development of the profession. 

The Department for Psychology in Niš organizes the annual scientific conference called Days of Applied Psychology

Empirical research in psychology has also been organized annually by the Institute for Psychology and the Laboratory for Experimental Psychology since 2005. 

The scientific conference Current Trends in Psychology, organized by the Department for Psychology of the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad has been held biannually since 2005. 

The journal “Applied Psychology” has been published since 2008 by the Department for Psychology of the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad.

 

The list of presidents of the Psychological Society to date: prof. Borislav Stevanović 1953-1956, prof. Baja Bajić 1956-1959, prof. Tomislav Tomeković 1959-1960, dr Milo Jovičić 1960, prof. Nikola Rot 1960-1961, Aleksandar Radojković 1961 -1962, dr. Josip Berger 1962-1963, prof. Vera Smiljanić Čolanović 1963-1964, prof. Baja Bajić 1965-1966, Nada Kostić, Ljuba Stojić 1970, Zvonimir Đamonja 1970-1977, Dobrosav Tripković 1977-1978, Nenad Havelka 1978, Stevan Radović 1980 , prof. Bora Kuzmanović 1983-1985, Bojana Parković 1990-1992, prof. Ksenija Kondić Beloš 1992-1996, prof. Josip Berger 1996-2000, Danica Nikić Matović 2000-2004, prof. Biljana Trešani 2004 –2006, Prvoslav Plavšić 2006-2011, prof. Aleksander Baucal 2011-2013, prof. Ivan Jerković 2013 -

Stojanović, М. (2003) „Педесет година Друштва психолога Србије1953-2003.“   ISBN 86-83797-11-2 (=Fifty years of the Serbian Psychological Society)
Jerković, I. (2015). Istorija psihologije u Srbiji. (=History of Psychology in Serbia.) in: Zlatar, B.(Prir.): Kazivanja o Srbima kroz vekove. (=About Serbs through centuries) Beograd: Draslar partner. p. 1200-1211. ISBN 978-86-7614-304-7

 

Learn more about the history of psychology in Serbia


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