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Program Background

Photos: Thiago Facina

The Graduate Program in Social Psychology (PPGPS) at UERJ originated from the Master’s Degree in Psychology and Sociocultural Practices, created in 1991 by the Resolution 0002/1991 of the Higher Council of Education, Research and Extension, as a stricto sensu graduate program within the Department of Social and Institutional Psychology. With the end of two institutes at Fundacao Getulio Vargas in 1990–the Institute for Selection and Vocational Guidance (ISOP – Instituto de Selecao e Orientacao Profissional) and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Education (IESAE – Instituto de Estudos Avancados em Educacao)–, UERJ absorbed some of the professors from their graduate courses. Three of them integrated the faculty of the Institute of Psychology (IP), which at that time did not count on graduate courses and only had a few PhDs in its faculty. It was possible, then, to create a robust faculty that could constitute the first graduate program at the Institute of Psychology. One of these professors passed away, and two others remain at UERJ to date, despite entering retirement.

The Master’s Degree in Psychology and Sociocultural Practices counted on a faculty with doctoral education marked by the liaison between the Psychology knowledge and the knowledge from other human and social sciences, based on a wide variety of theoretical and methodological frameworks. This plural background found good acceptance, with increasing demand from new candidates, culminating in the creation of the Graduate Program in Social Psychology, which was established by the Resolution 0008/1999 to add the responsibility of providing doctoral education. From 2001, PPGPS remained active in stricto sensu graduate education at both levels. The University’s profile has changed, largely due to the existence of the Program. A steadily increasing number of doctors has been interested in joining it, and in the early 2000s PPGPS absorbed several other professors from the Institute of Psychology. In the early 2010s, professors from other departments applied to be part of the faculty and as of 2014 the Program ceased to operate in the Department of Social and Institutional Psychology to be directly linked to the Institute of Psychology Board.

Although the aspect of Social Psychology that prevails in the Program is based on French thought, the vocation for adopting a diversity of epistemological assumptions and theoretical-conceptual approaches persisted and intensified with the entry of these new professors in the faculty. On the other hand, due to its internal dynamics, PPGPS has developed an identity of contemporary Social Psychology, by inserting itself within the increasingly broader limits, however delimitable. But it also delimited a small number of research lines, in which specific currents exhibit a satisfactory level of academically productive affinity and liaison.

Several approaches in social psychology continue to be represented in PPGPS, encompassing traditional cognitive and interactional aspects, European psychosociology and perspectives linked to socio-historical and anthropological approaches. Evolutionary psychology, the domain of social memory, post-modernity studies, and research on the history of psychology in Brazil have been consolidated, which transformed PPGPS into a reference in these fields of study, also at international level. Specifically, the field of history had an exponential growth in 2016, with the inauguration of the new and excellent ClioPsiqué facilities and the transformation of its collection into a Library specialized in the History of Psychology, linked to the Sirius Network of UERJ Libraries.

More recently, especially at the end of this four-year period, another area has been gaining strength in the Program: the studies on Psychological Assessment by measuring behavior throughout human development, with contributions from neuropsychology and from psychometrics and theories of measurement knowledge, in psychology. Studies on emotions and mindfulness are also growing within ISDES, the Laboratory for Social Interaction and Development, created at the beginning of PPGPS, with a network of national and international researchers. In this last year, works in sports psychology, a promising area of research, started.

These are the lines structuring PPGPS today. In the near future we might demand other topics in terms of lines of research. The countless faculty changes in this four-year period will certainly require another Program configuration.

Regarding the demand and paths of the student body, (a) a good number of masters trained by the Program has continued in the program for their Doctorate studies; (b) an expressive number of PhDs who have graduated from the Program has been hired as professors in other higher education institutions, and also at UERJ; (c) more and more students from other states have sought the Program; (d) several professors from other states of the country have carried out Post-Doctoral Internships in the Program and interest from professors from other countries is beginning to emerge.

PPGPS has been institutionally regulated by Resolution 0033/2004, and is currently governed by Resolution 03/2016, both available on the website, since there are still classes governed by the first regime.

Currently, there are three journals linked to the Program: The journal Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia (Studies and Research in Psychology), the journal Mnemosine and the journal Psicologia e Saber Social (Psychology and Social Knowledge).

Program Operation

The maximum period for completion of the Master’s Degree is 24 or 25 months, depending on the requirements of the funding agency that grants the scholarship and the Program’s determinations. For the Doctorate Degree, it is 48 or 49 months, according to the same criteria.  Exceptions are discussed in the Collegiate Body which judges, with clear criteria, whether or not the deadline should be extended.

The University is growing and there is an increasing interest in hiring professors for the graduate programs. The criteria for the entry of new professors into the Program, as well as for their permanence, are available on this website, in the new resolution.