|← Résumé||A lélektan 80 éves története a szegedi egyetemen 1929-2009|
szerző: Szokolszky Ágnes
The turmoils of history in 1919 forced the University of Cluj-Napoca (Franz Joseph University of Sciences) to relocate, and in 1921, the Hungarian National Assembly (according to the terms of Act XXV of 1921) designated the town of Szeged as the temporary location of the university.
Psychology was first assigned its proper role at the university at Szeged by Professor Imre Sándor, who realized in the 1920's that to offer courses in psychology is just as important for a modern university as to maintain the well established field of pedagogy. Accordingly, on the 20th of October in 1926, he filed his petition to the directors of the university suggesting the establishment of a fundamentally different, modern Department of Pedagogy and Psychology. György Málnási Bartók, head of the Department of Philosophy, was an avid supporter of the petition, since the tuition of psychology was the responsibility of his department at that period. In his petition, Imre Sándor listed the following fields and branches as belonging to the new department's sphere of mmpetence: general psychology, developmental psychology, psychology ofdifferences, education ofbackward children, psychotechnics, and pedagogical somatology.
On the 27th of December, 1929, Dezső Várkonyi Hildebrand, a Benedictine monk was appointed as the head of the new Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology. His appointment brought an up-to-date perspective to the education of psychology at the University of Szeged. Actually, the Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology in Szeged was the first psychology institute in Hungary; it was only later followed by the Department of Psychology at the University of Budapest, established under the supervision of Pál Harkai Schiller in 1936.
The year 1940 brought another change in the life of the Institute, and the university itself. Following the re-annexation of Northem Transylvania, the Franz Joseph University of Sciences was relocated from Szeged to Cluj-Napoca, along with the majority of the teachers, Dezső Várkonyi Hildebrand among them. At the same time, a new university was founded in Szeged in 1940, named after Miklós Horthy. The lnstitute of Psychology was established in 1941 as a new unit, with the Bendectine Pál Bognár Cecil- well known in the scientific circ1es of the time - appointed as head of lnstitute.
ln the 1950's psychology was c1aimed to be a "bourguois science" and as such it was suppressed in Hungary. Accordingly, psychology was scaled down at the university. ln the academic year of 1950-1951, following the retirementof Cecil Bognár, the Institute of Psychology was incorporated into the Institute of Education and Psychology, led by the university's former Privatdocent, Béla Tettamanti (1884-1959). He was famously well-educated, his personality and intellect manifested itself even across the compulsory curtain of political ideology. ln the 1960's his fame spread among the students grapevine: there is an excellent teacher at the lnstitute of Education and Psychology, Béla Tettamanti; even then it was possible to relay worthwhile ideas towards the audience, under the guise of History of Education courses.
The Department of Psychology became a separate unit in 1970, under the leadership of Lajos Duró, and this situation stabilized until 1990's. During that period, research and tuition was mainly focused on educational and developmental psychology and served the needs of teacher education. Under Vajda Zsuzsanna's leadership, psychology became a major beginning in the academic year 1996/1997; initially under the aegis of the lnstitute of Psychology of the Kossuth Lajos University of Sciences (now University of Debrecen). Professor Csaba Pléh, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, also played a significant role in the formation of the newly created psychology program. He organized the Cognitive Science Group at the Department of Psychology and launched the Cognitive Program. After this long and strife-filled history, psychology currently strives as a popular major at the University of Szeged. As part of the "Bologna process" BA and MA programs have been initiated (before that psychology was a five year major in Hungarian universities). Current head of the Institute is associate professor Ágnes Szokolszky; István Winkler is Professor of Psychology.