Foreword – Psychology in India, Volume 3


The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) is happy to release the results of the fifth survey of psychological research. Organized in four volumes pertaining to Basic Psychological Processes and Human Development, Social and Organizational Processes, Clinical and Health Psychology, and Theoretical and Methodological Developments, this survey has twenty-four thematic chapters encompassing major areas of research.

The survey has been one of the major programmes since the very inception of the Council. It allows periodical stock-taking of the state of affairs in social science research. It also helps assess disciplinary developments in theories, methods and the analysis of various problems. By pointing out gaps as well as by drawing attention to conceptual and methodological innovations, the survey performs the important academic functions of consolidating social sciences and providing a basis for the furtherance of knowledge and its application. The publication of the surveys is immensely useful to scholars, students and professionals of various social science disciplines.

The surveys in psychology have been regular and have moved in a thematic direction to offer information on state-of-the-art developments in different fields of psychology. This survey is different from earlier ones in particular because it has attended to theoretical and methodological developments in areas of psychology not previously covered. The contributions in these volumes highlight the multifaceted growth of the discipline of psychology. The chapters herein also present ways in which Indian psychologists are becoming more open towards indigenous and global moves, enabling the co-presence of both universalizing and particularizing trends. It is indeed a commendable attempt to assemble in one place the key developments and findings of psychological research in India.

The authors provide a critique of current trends and demonstrate that in order to make sense of the social and psychological reality we need to be culturally sensitive, enhance our conceptual repertoire and be willing to go for a more open-ended methodological strategy than is currently followed. I am sure that the four volumes of the present survey, Psychology in India: Advances in Research, will be useful and will serve as a sourcebook for students and professional social scientists.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contributions by the authors, reviewers of chapters and members of the editorial board, and in particular the editor Professor Girishwar Misra, for their hard work towards the publication of the four volumes of the fifth survey. But for their cooperation, this venture would not have been successful. I have no doubt that the academic community would welcome these volumes. The ICSSR is considering modalities to bring out more frequent periodical surveys to avoid long delays in the publication of these volumes.


Javeed Alam


New Delhi
January 2009