Psychology or Adaptology?
INDIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH, A SURVEY OF RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY, Popular Prakashan, Bombay 1972, pp 454 + xxxiii, Rs 40.
CHILDREN learn by imitation. So do Indian psychologists but with one difference: while the voung ones learn new things and unlearn little, the psychologists forget all about themselves in playing the sedulous apes of the West. This year when the Indian Psychological Association celebrates its golden jubilee, they are busy adapting tests and instruments, theories and models, therapies and traits: all 'phoren9 and imported, even smuggled in the baggage of returnees from the United States,l What we fancy as Indian in this area of study is nothing more than an attempt to reconstruct psychology out of (ancient) systems of philosophy: even here most psychologists have a definite bias against Lokayata systems as thev were people's systems, not sanskritized enough to be acceptable to the bhadra lok,
Psychology as taught and practised in India is an imperialist legacy* Till mid-1950s it was dominated by teachers of philosophy for whom the Indian mind was not as potent as its occidental counterpart. The innovations in the methodology of psychology in the West were restricted 4o fashionable ^drawing-room discussions on Freud's sexuality or the mind-matter dualism. When the Ministry of Defence started advertising lucrative positions in the research laboratories and on service ^election boards, university departments of philosophy introduced psychology courses.
The second phase in the development of psychology was inaugurated by American universities offering attractive studentships for graduate work on completion of which most of the psychologists found jobs outside India. It was then that students who could not travel abroad began doing their doctoral work here. The research guides available till early 1960s were not competent enough and would ask their students