New Issue: Psychologia Latina

The May 2011 issue of Psychologia Latina, an e-supplement of The Spanish Journal of Psychology, devoted to the Theory and History of Psychology in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, has just been released. The issue includes five articles, all of which are freely available online. Among the topics addressed in the issue are the development of comparative psychology in the Hispanic world, the development of the biopsychopedagogic card, and the correspondence of Adolf Meyer (right) with Spanish psychologists. Titles, authors, and English language abstracts follow below.

“Naturalistic Observation in the Hispanic World and its Contribution to the Development of Comparative Psychology,” by Javier Campos Bueno, Pedro Montoya, and Niels Birbaumer. The abstract reads,

The observation and descriptions of animal’s behavior and emotions from the New World began shortly after the arrival of Spaniards in America. The discovery of the Indian natives and completely unknown species in Europe sparked a great interest in pioneers like Álvarez Chanca, Fernández de Oviedo, Cieza de León, Sahagún, Francisco Hernández, Acosta, Cobo or much later by Azara. In our opinion, these studies provided the basis for the study of animal behavior and emotions in the New and the Old World and allowed a new understanding of the Natural History and the relationship between structure and function. It is likely that these findings were crucial for the work of Charles Darwin three Centuries later. Moreover, it is suggested that the future development of Comparative Psychology based on Darwin and Romanes work, based its roots in the work and observations of these early pioneers.

“La Congregación de Religiosos Terciarios Capuchinos en la Historia de la Psicología Española,” by Fidenciano González Pérez. The abstract reads,

The Capuchin Tertiary Order, Amigonianos, is an institution dedicated to the education of youth in Reformatory Schools and Re-education Centers. Its work began in Spain in1889 and very soon started to use scientific Psychology and Psychotechnic methods not only to understand and to solve the problems of its students but, mainly, to reintegrate them as able and useful people to society. In this article we review: the work developed at the Santa Rita School (Madrid) and the Casa Reformatorio El Salvador (Amurrio); the curricula and psicopedagogic instruction at the research centers of the amigoniana institutions; the trips to study at the most developed European psicopedagogic centers of their time; some biographical profiles of outstanding scientific personalities within the amigonianan Order. Finally, we show at the annex a catalogue of devices and instruments that were used at the psychology laboratory of the Casa Reformatorio El Salvador.

“Historia y Desarrollo de la Ficha Biopsicopedagógica en los Centros para Jóvenes de la Congregación de Religiosos Terciarios Capuchinos,” by Fidenciano González Pérez. The abstract reads,

The biopsychopedagogic card is an instrument of great documentary, technical and scientific value. It was used at the Capuchin centers of reform and re-education for minors. The card tries to be a faithful and authentic reflection of the identity of the subject; it tries to introduce us to the inner knowledge of each minor and it allows us to reflect with him, to guide him, to accompany and to advise him in his education; it is an arsenal of objective data on the psychological, personal, familiar, social and physical conditions of each student; it is the synthesis of a whole period of observation and experimentation which allowed a diagnosis and prognosis on the educability of the young person, his educative classification and the due pedagogical advising; the card is the record that accompanies the minor throughout his period of education, allows the follow up and analysis of the process and the confirmation or rectification of the reform plan drawn up. In this article we describe the development of the biopsychopedagogic card, from the first tests made as of 1890 in the Santa Rita Reformatory School (Madrid) until the model registered in 1964 and that was used in the centers of reform and re-education of the Capuchin Tertiary Order until the 1980s.

“La cátedra de Agustín Moreno Rodríguez: Psicología y Regeneracionismo Cristiano,” by Javier Bandrés and Rafael Llavona. The abstract reads,

Agustín Moreno Rodriguez (1886-1967) was a disciple, at the University of Madrid, of Luis Simarro, professor of Experimental Psychology, and of Tomas Maestre, professor of Medical Law, Toxicology and Psychiatry. He completed Medicine and Natural Sciences degrees and worked as a teacher at schools in Orense, Segovia and Madrid (Institute Cardenal Cisneros). In these schools he shared the classrooms with Eloy Luis André, Antonio Machado and Vicente Aleixandre, respectively. He retired in 1956 and passed away in 1967. In this article we analyze his educational work in the three mentioned schools and his main writings of this period: Elementary Treaty of Hygiene, the Biological Hygiene of the Spanish Student and Biological Meditations. Dr. Moreno constitutes a representative of what we can denominate “Christian Regeneracionism”: an attempt of social and intellectual renovation that tried to conciliate evolutionary biology, christian anthropology and scientific psychology.

“Adolf Meyer and Spain: A Historical Account Gleaned through his Correspondence,” by Natividad Sánchez. The abstract reads,

In the early twentieth century, the Swiss-born psychiatrist Adolf Meyer (1866-1950) played a major role in defining and institutionalizing the field of mental hygiene. In addition, he was actively involved in establishing American Psychiatry and Psychology as allied, but professionally and academically independent disciplines. From his highly visible position as professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and director of the prestigious Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, Meyer assumed a preeminent place in the American Psychological scene. From that position, he also exerted a profound influence internationally. This paper examines Meyer’s correspondence with certain Spanish authors in order to glean some insight into the significance of the Spaniards to their American counterparts. It is concluded that Meyer had a deep knowledge of the work of Ramon y Cajal, Nicolas Achúcarro, Gonzalo Rodríguez Lafora, and Emilio Mira. Furthermore, Meyer knew first-hand the political circumstances that forced most of them into exile, and worked with some American initiatives to support Spanish doctors and scientists during and after the Spanish Civil War.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.