As early as 1910, two years after the University of the Philippines was founded, psychology was being taught at the Department of Philosophy and Psychology, College of Liberal Arts. The Department was placed under Dr. Henry S. Townsend, an American who taught all of the Psychology courses being offered then, namely General Psychology, Genetic Psychology, Educational Psychology and Tests and Measurements. Soon psychology separated and became part of the College of Education when the college was created in 1918. Townsend became acting head of this new department as he continued to be the head of the Department of Philosophy at the College of Liberal Arts (de la Llana 1972: 4; Santamaria 1961: 13-14). Under the able leadership of Dean Francisco Benitez, the UP modelled for the entire country the curricular utilization of psychology in education.

In 1959, the Department of Psychology was transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences, "an event which marked the weaning of the discipline from the apron strings of Education in the UP." (Lagmay 1982:6)

Vision and Mission

We are the premier institution of learning in Psychology in the Philippines, recognized here and abroad for promoting a scientist-practitioner-advocate model of psychology.

We strongly emphasize Filipino Psychology. We address basic as well as applied issues, particularly those related to social justice, social change and quality of life. We inspire the community of psychologists in their pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and service to society.

We have a roster of highly competent, productive faculty, all with PhDs, who are at the forefront of mainstream and cutting-edge (innovative/pioneering) psychology.

We provide high-level teaching and mentoring. We conduct and publish individual and collaborative, area-based and multi-disciplinal research. We disseminate research results locally and internationally.

We bring psychology to government, civil society and private sector.

We actively maintain and promote a culture of integrity, collegiality and professionalism among faculty and staff.

We foster an optimum learning environment based on respect and openness to diverse points of view.

The Emergence of Filipino Psychology

A new consciousness labeled sikolohiyang Pilipino reflecting Filipino psychological knowledge, experience and orientation has emerged through the use of the local language as the embodiment of the psychology of the Filipino people (Enriquez 1982: 4-5).

Philippine Psychology as an area of concentration in the Ph.D. program makes psychology quite distinctive at the University of the Philippines. As a "special topics" course, Philippine Psychology was taught by Alfredo Lagmay prior to its institution as a separate graduate course by the University Council, UP on October 20, 1978. The course has since been offered by Virgilio G. Enriquez and Zeus A. Salazar. Aside from discussing theoretical and scientific issues, graduate students debated on social and political issues; the different psychologies - the "national", the indigenous and the emic; and the extent psychology in the third world is international or western" (Enriquez 1982: 11).

As an undergraduate course, Filipino Psychology (Psychology 108) was recommended for institution during the 1978 UPDDP curriculum workshop. The University Council duly approved it. Jose Ma. Bartolome, at home with a few consciousness, was the first one to teach the course (Enriquez 1982: 11). Rogelia Pe-Pua took over where Bartolome left and faced the problem of articulating the concepts and methods of Filipino psychology with a book entitled Sikolohiyang Pilipino: Teorya, Metodo at Gamit (Filipino Psychology: Theory, Method and Application) (Pe-Pua 1982).

*A section of this document came from a paper written by Pe-Pua (1980) entitled "A Brief Historical Sketch of the UP Department of Psychology". Dr. Rogelia Pe-Pua used to teach in the Department and is now a lecturer at the School of Social Science and Policy, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


The Department of Psychology is one of the few departments in the university which has its own building -- the Lagmay Hall, which is located between Palma Hall (College of Social Sciences and Philosophy) and Benitez Hall (College of Education). Graduate and undergraduate courses are held in classrooms in the second and third floors of Lagmay Hall.

Offices of faculty and of the administrative staff are located in the first floor. The main building also includes the Psychological Assessment Laboratory and the Human Experimental Psychology Laboratory. The Psychological Assessment Lab houses the department's collection of psychological tests and instruments for the measurement of personality, attitudes, cognitive abilities, and so on. The laboratory also includes facilities for individualized administration of these tests. The Human Experimental Psychology Lab consists of three rooms for experiments in cognitive, developmental, and social psychology. The Lab is designed so that it can be used for different experimental situations (e.g., interactive group experiments, individual experiments using audio/visual presentations, computers, paper-and pencil tests, etc.). Adjacent to the Lagmay Hall is the newly renovated and expanded Physiological Psychology Laboratory which houses specimens and equipment for various forms of physiological research.

Other technical facilities available as adjunct to research and teaching include: a storeroom of equipment and instruments that include, among others, video-tape camera, video-tape recorder and player, slide projector, overhead projectors, audiotape player and recorder, simple chronoscope, classical conditioning laboratory, depth-perception apparatus, dexterity tests, maze tests, memory drums, pursuit rotor and stereoscope.

The department also has several microcomputers (PC compatibles) which can be used for research functions like data-analysis, timed stimulus presentations, and response time measurements. However, graduate students' access to these computers is restricted and has to be supervised by a knowledgeable graduate faculty member.

Related University Resources

The main psychology library is currently housed in the Social Science Section of the U.P. Main Library. Also available are relevant collections in the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Resource Collection, the College Education Library, the Family Life and Child Development (FLCD) collection at the Home Economics Library, The Filipiniana collection at the Main Library, the Science Library, and other college libraries.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for training that extend beyond the Department of Psychology. Students whose interests lead them into allied disciplines will find valuable opportunities open in other departments and colleges in the Diliman campus like the Institute of Biology, College of Education, FLCD department at the College of Home Economics, College of Social Work and Community Development, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, College of Business Administration, School of Economics, College of Public Administration, and Statistical Center.

Graduate courses from these units may be taken as cognates, with the consent of the student's program advisor.


The UP Department of Psychology maintains four laboratories, namely:

  1. Experimental-Physiological Psychology Laboratory

  2. Psychological Assessment Laboratory

  3. Human Potential Development Laboratory

  4. Computer Laboratory

  5. Human Development Laboratory

In addition, it has two Audio-Visual Rooms (AVRs) which are fully operational.

Experiments in the areas of learning, physiological psychology, sensation and perception are generally conducted in the experimental rooms housed in the department’s main building (Lagmay Hall). These rooms include one which is divided into three cubicles and which is designed to be used in studies where data collection is done with one or a few individual participants at a time. A second larger room used for experimental studies is found in the second floor. This room is utilized for studies where data generation is undertaken with larger groups of participants. The room is also equipped with a one- way observation mirror. Some studies, particularly those involving animal subjects, are undertaken in the Physiological Psychology Laboratory (PPL) which is located in an adjoining building (Solidor Hall). Animals are housed in cases in this laboratory as are brain specimens used in studies and classes in the area of physiological psychology. Conditioning experiments are generally done with Skinner boxes and an automated operant conditioning machine.

Psychological testing and assessment are done in the Psychological Assessment Laboratory which is found in the second floor of Lagmay Hall. This room houses the department’s collection of psychological tests. The room contains several cubicles for assessment with the use of individually administered tests. Small group testing is done in a larger ante-room in the same laboratory. The department has continuously updated its collection of tests and has a good collection of Philippine-developed measures. The department, likewise, has access to standardized tests found in the Department of Counselor Education and the Library of the College of Education. Testing demonstrations are scheduled in the research room with a one-way mirror.

The Human Potential Development (HPD) Laboratory was developed in conjunction with the Human Development (HPD) Program (Ph.D. level), which the department is currently finalizing with the help of visiting professors from Kassel University. Workshops and courses in this program are undertaken in the HPD laboratory which is a multi-media training center equipped with technical and modern facilities for video-micro-teaching. The laboratory has the capability to produce video-clips and other didactic materials for special training as well as CD-ROMs for individualized learning tutorials. The HPD Laboratory is an intercultural cooperation project, based on a Memorandum of Agreement, among the University of Kassel , the University of the Philippines Diliman (Department of Psychology), the German Academic Exchange Service, Bonn (DAAD) and the German Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

The department’s computer laboratory is used by both faculty and students. It is utilized mainly for data analyses and production of instructional materials and publications. In addition to this, the department has ready access to the computing resources of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy which is housed in the adjoining Palma Hall’s Computer Laboratory. There is, likewise, access to the Computer Laboratory of the College of Education and the university’s main Computer Center.