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Psychology Day in Spain, February 24

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Psychology Day

Today, being Psychology Day in Spain, the person who is considered the patron of psychology in the Spanish university environment is commemorated: Juan Huarte of San Juan (1529 – 1588). This physician and philosopher of Navarrese origin, published during the last days of February of the year 1575 his work Examination of wits for the sciences, a book in which he delved into individual differences and human temperaments linking biology and behavior. In turn, Huarte de San Juan proposed a different training for each person depending on their physical and mental abilities.

Although the book was censored by the Inquisition for offering a description of the human essence different from the line of the Catholic officialism, it was possible to print several times and being sold clandestinely, becoming very popular thanks to its versions translated into various languages. The merit of this shrewd philosopher was knowing how to resume the line of study that linked mind and brain, started by

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Alcmaeon of Crotonahundreds of years ago, and study how the body and the psyche could influence each other (and all this, having all the power of the Inquisition against it). Although psychology as a discipline that uses the scientific method was consolidated many years later, he is also valued for his role as pioneer. Juan Huarte de San Juan was in charge of putting the first grains of sand for psychology to formalize its research criteria.

Due to the impact that his theoretical body had on the conception of the human being and his behavior, he is considered a precursor of differential psychology and professional orientation. Similarly, this somewhat unknown figure in Spanish history is considered pattern of psychology in Spain since 1983, and the day of its commemoration responds to the dates for which the Examination of Wits began to be printed. Today, numerous universities offer talks, conferences, cycles and, in short, program educational activities other than the usual ones. There is also the option of taking the holiday, something that many psychology students will surely appreciate.

Happy Psychology Day!

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