This article is adapted from Venezuela National Tour, Sanchez, 2006, which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.)(2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1).
Research in psychology is conducted mainly in eight universities, seven hospitals and six research institutes. Applied research is emphasized more than basic research in psychology in Venezuela, and the trend is towards solving learning, social, and health problems. Major fields of academic research are health psychology, environmental psychology, community psychology, learning and developmental psychology, experimental analysis of behavior, social psychology, and experimental psychology. Some research is also conducted outside the academy, in public and private work sites.
The oldest and most important center of research in psychology is the Instituto de Psicología, Universidad Central de Venezuela. The second one in importance and history is the Laboratorio de Psicología, Universidad de los Andes. More recently research units are: the Sección de Psicofisiología y Conducta Humana, Universidad Simón Bolivar; Centro de Investigaciones Psicológicas, Universidad Rafael Urdaneta; y el Centro de Investigaciones del Comportamiento, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.
At the present time there are seven universities in Venezuela that offer undergraduate programs in psychology. One group of long-term faculties: Universidad Central de Venezuela (Caracas) since 1956, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (Caracas) since 1957, Universidad Rafael Urdaneta (Maracaibo) since 1977. And, recent faculties: Universidad Bicentenaria de Aragua (Maracay), which started in 2000; Universidad Arturo Michelena (Valencia) in 2002; Universidad Metropolitana (Caracas) in 2004 and Universidad de Yacambu in 2005. These programs require five years of study (which include a thesis) for granting the degree of "Licenciado en Psicología" or "Psychologist" which is the official credential for professional practice.
Graduate degrees in psychology are offered at the three first mentioned universities, and also at the Universidad Simón Bolívar (Caracas). The degrees are "specialist" (with specific training in an applied field, requiring at least one year and a thesis), "magister" (with specific training in an applied field and usually requiring two years and a thesis) and "doctor in psychology" (requiring at least three years and a dissertation).
Degrees of Specialist in Clinical Psychology is offered at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, graduate program; Specialist in Mental Clinic at the Hospital Clínico Universitario (Caracas), and training in Clinical Psychology at various hospitals: Hospital Militar (Caracas), Hospital Psiquiátrico (Caracas) and Centro de Salud Mental del Este, El Peñón (Caracas). There is also the Specialist degree in Community Clinical Psychology at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and Specialist in Psychosocial Intervention, in Behavioral Analysis and in Group Dynamics at the Universidad Central de Venezuela graduate program.
Master degrees are offered in Human Development, in Social Psychology and in Instructional Psychology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela graduate program. Master degrees are offered in Psychology at the Universidad Simón Bolivar graduate program and at the Universidad Rafael Urdaneta graduate program.
In Venezuela the state confers upon universities degree-granting powers, and the degrees awarded are required for professional practice. The undergraduate and graduate training of psychologists is the responsibility of the universities, which should submit their projects to the approbation of the National Council of Universities. The Law of Psychological Practice protects the practice of this discipline under the responsibility of the Federación de Psicólogos de Venezuela.
Venezuelan psychologists have a formal Code of Ethics that was passed by the National Assembly of the Federación de Psicólogos de Venezuela in 1981, and each Colegio de Psicólogos has the obligation to provide a copy of the code of ethics to every new member. The Disciplinary Tribunal is the organ of the Federación de Psicólogos de Venezuela responsible for the hearing of cases involving unethical practice.
In addition to the traditional applied areas in Psychology, new and strong trends are manifest in Health psychology, Psychology of Disasters, Community Psychology, Environmental Psychology and Political Psychology.
Aportes a la Psicología Social de la Salud, 2006, Mérida, Venezuela, Publicaciones del Vicerrectorado Académico, ULA.
Contribuciones Recientes de la Psicología en Venezuela, 1981, 1986, 1999, Caracas, Instituto de Psicología, UCV
Revista Psicologia , 1974- , 2/year , Escuela de Psicología, UCV
Revista de AVEPSO , 1978- , 2/year, AVEPSO
Revista Comportamiento , 1990, 1/year, USB
Revista Analogías , 1994- , 1/year, UCAB