The 19th and 20th centuries were extremely turbulent in Lithuanian history, being at the frontline of the World War I and II, subsequent occupations, mass deportations and other significant historical events. This history is reflected in the development of psychological science in Lithuania. Quite a few studies have been conducted on the development of psychology in Lithuania: general analyses, analysis concerning the joining of psychologists into professional organizations, studies of important personalities, articles concerning institutions or theoretical schools (Kern, 2012). However, there is a lack of studies analyzing the history of scientific psychology. The purpose of the present study was to analyze the development of psychological science in the oldest Lithuanian journal of scientific psychology “Lietuvos TSR aukštųjų mokyklų mokslo darbai. Pedagogika ir psichologija“ (1962–1977) and “Psichologija. Mokslo darbai” (1980–2015) taking into account research designs, types of articles, research topics, kinds of statistical analysis, and the language that the article was written in. A quantitative analysis of 457 articles was performed. The articles were coded for language (Lithuanian, English, Russian), types (an empirical study or not); research topic (cognitive psychology, personality psychology, social psychology, etc.), research design (experimental, correlational, etc.), statistical data analysis (descriptive, inferential or multivariate statistics). The results indicate that up until 1990 about 60–70% of articles were written in Lithuanian and the rest in Russian. From 1990 onward, most articles are still in Lithuanian (80–90%) and the rest in English. The increase of empirical studies begins in 2000–2009. The current percentage of empirical studies (80%) seems adequate when compared to other journals in the discipline. Three main groups of research topics could be distinguished: 1) research topics that have never been popular, for example, psychology of conscious states or biological psychology; 2) research topics that decreased in popularity, for example, cognitive or pedagogical psychology; 3) research topics which, because of ideological repressions, became popular just before the re-establishment of Lithuania’s independence, for example, clinical psychology. The analysis of different time periods also shows that the experimental design has become less prevalent in the studies. However, more studies started using the correlational design. By investigating statistical procedures in empirical papers, it became apparent that the Lithuanian psychological science lagged behind in this respect, probably because of the “Iron curtain” which separated Lithuania from the rest of the world for a long time. In summary, 1990 was the breaking point which brought many changes into the Lithuanian psychological science because of the end of censorship. After the Lithuania’s re-establishment of independence, papers in the journal “Psichologija. Mokslo darbai” are becoming much closer to the world trends of psychological research.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Please read the Copyright Notice in Journal Policy.