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Origins and development of indigenous psychologies around the world

by John G. Adair

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As the discipline of psychology is spread around the world, it is often imported into countries where the culture is so substantially different from North America and Western Europe that the imported discipline is soon seen by local psychologists to be ill-suited to their culture. Through a process called indigenization, the topics researched, the theories guiding this research, and the tests and questionnaires used are translated, transformed and adapted to make the originally imported discipline fit the new culture so well that it appears as if it was indigenous. Hence this is the meaning of the term indigenous psychologies, which has parallels to the national psychologies presented in the two other sections of the Origins and Development of Scientific Psychology Around the World.

The first link (below) goes to the article on the indigenous psychology of the Philippines, first published in the International Journal of Psychology (Volume 37, pp. 129–148) in 2002. This is the first of what we expect will be other articles summarizing the origins and development of indigenous psychologies around the world.

The remaining links (below) go to papers from the special issue on the indigenous psychologies, first published in the International Journal of Psychology, (Volume 41, pp. 241–320) in 2006. This special issue aims to present a sample of thinking about, and current research on, indigenous psychologies. It includes a core article by Allwood and Berry (with contributions by other authors), and articles about ongoing research programmes into indigenous psychologies in various parts of the world—especially East Asia

List of papers

Indigenization of psychology in the Philippines
Timothy Church and Marcia S. Katigbak

Preface to the special issue on the indigenous psychologies
Carl Martin Allwood and John W. Berry

Origins and development of indigenous psychologies: An international analysis
Carl Martin Allwood and John W. Berry
[With contributions by: Carl Martin Allwood; John Berry; Pawel Boski; Fanny M. Cheung; Kwang-Kuo Hwang; Henry Kao; Uichol Kim & Young-Shin Park; Leo Marai; Fathali M. Moghaddam; Linda Waimarie Nikora, Michelle Levy, Bridgette Masters, & Moana Waitoki; A. Bame Nsamenang; Elizabeth Protacio-De Castro (formerly Marcelino), Melecio C. Fabros, & Reginald Kapunan; T. S. Saraswathi; Jai B. P. Sinha; Kuo-Shu Yang]

Kurt Danziger

Moral face and social face: Contingent self-esteem in Confucian society
Kwang-Kuo Hwang

Shufa: Chinese calligraphic handwriting (CCH) for health and behavioural therapy
Henry S. R. Kao

Indigenous psychological analysis of academic achievement in Korea: The influence of self-efficacy, parents, and culture
Uichol Kim and Young-Shin Park

Human ontogenesis: An indigenous African view on development and intelligence
A. Bame Nsamenang

Indigenized conceptual and empirical analyses of selected Chinese psychological characteristics
Kuo-Shu Yang

In order to have a clear visual image of the country/region each paper is dealing with, each article in this section includes a relevant map near the beginning. The maps are taken from two sources:

  1. The CIA World Factbook (, whose information is in the public domain.

  2. The website at the University of Texas at Austin (, which displays part of the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.

The maps have been subsequently modified to suit the purposes of this section of the CD-ROM.

John G. Adair
University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Canada

Updated October 2006

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