Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Address: H-1132 Budapest, Victor Hugo str. 18-22.
  Postal Address: 1394 Budapest, P.O.Box 398
  Telephone: (36-1) 279-6000
  Telefax: (36-1) 239-6727
  Director: István CZIGLER, D.Sc.
  Web site:


Scope of activity

  • Basic research in psychology that contributes to scientific progress and may be applied directly or indirectly.
  • Complex, interdisciplinary psychological studies
  • Applying and developing research methods
  • Contribution to institutional – gradual and postgradual forms - of professional and scientific training
  • Scientific cooperation with Hungarian and international research sites
  • Promotion of psychological research
  • Comprehensive participation in scientific public life and in the activities of the psychological community.

Research topics and objectives

Elementary information processing: Cognitive development and neurological mechanisms underlying cognitive processes

Visual attentional processes

  • principles of complex organization in automatic and attentional processes
  • changes of attentional processing with advancing age
  • Attentional processes in extreme environmental conditions (e.g. hypoxia)

Task-independent representation of the auditory environment

  • Processes of acoustic pattern formation

Automatic and attentional change-detection

Components correlating with cognitive psychophysiological phenomena

Chaos theory based and psychopharmacological investigation of spontaneous electric activity of the brain (EEG) in animal and human experiments

Scalp distribution of ERPs in circumscribed cerebral lesions in cerebrovascular patients

  • Dimensional map analysis of spontaneous EEG activity in this patient group


Neuronal mechanisms in the formation of ERPs in animal models

  • Investigation of regional features of transient and steady state responses by multichannel intracortical multielectrode analysis of primary-tonotopic and secondary areas of the acoustic cortex in behavioral task situations

Developmental aspects of cognitive functions (acoustic and phonological conditions of speech understanding, processing features of linguistic functions, lexical, morphological and semantic processing, developmental psychophysiology of arithmetics)

Psychophysiological investigations on cognitve aspects of brain pathology and the effects of every-day stimulants

Mechanisms of early cognitive development

  • Development of attribution of intentions, goals, beliefs and other intentional mental states
  • Mechanisms and functions of imitative learning
  • The relation between self-detection and deduction

The role of contingent parental affect-mirroring interactions in the development of emotional consciousness and self-control

  • Mechanisms of contingency detection and early sensitivity to response-contingent stimulation in infancy
  • Different developmental functions of parental mirroring interactions in infancy

Research of socialization with focus on critical developmental stages and parent-child relations

Longitudinal in the framework of attachment theory (Budapest Infant-Parent Study BIPS)

  • Genetic and environmental factors infuencing the development of early attachment relationships are studied in collaboration with the Molecular Genetics Group of the Department of Medical Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Pathobiochemistry of the Semmelweis University. The research is focused on interactions of the genetic variability of the dopamine neurotransmission, temperament and parental behaviour in the formation of infant attachment.
  • The BIPS will be extended to investigating the long-term continuity of attachment, and to studying effects of attachment on later information processing, especially on the attention system.

Social psychological study of deviant careers

Use of risk drugs and analysis of drug-using at-risk groups with social psychological and qualitative methods

Concepts of competition in cross-cultural comparison and in the mirror of social-political changes in Hungary

  • Age-related and generational changes in attitudes to competition
  • Relation between competition and personality

Longitudinal study on the identification of high ability and outstanding skills

  • Follow-up of careers of chosen children
  • New methods for the determination and early detection of high ability

Processes of information gathering and utilization, decision making and judgement

  • Research of personal and person perception determinants of questioning strategies
  • Effect of emotional states on information gathering
  • Changes in cognitive processes in old ages
  • International comparison of the perception of societal risk profiles

Esthetic judgement in the visual arts

Theoretical and empirical assessment of theories of esthetic experiences.

Social information processing, social representations, text understanding, communicaton

  • Comparative psychological study of literary, Freudian and historical text understanding by mapping mental representational networks
  • Prototypical concepts of literature and history
  • Distinction between literary and historical texts
  • Relations of reading motives and textual characteristics in both types of texts
  • Understanding of literary texts
  • Perception and evaluation processing in fine arts

Relations between texts (with focus on narrative texts) and psychological processes (with focus on personal and social identity)

Methodological developments in computerized and computer-aided psychological content analysis

The use of such developments in the research of

  • Personality development (with focus on deviant forms of behavior)
  • Identity (with focus on national identity and identity traumas)
  • Social and cultural memory (with focus on social representation of history)
  • Dynamics of social representation

Social psychological research of the organization of personal and social identity

Narrative construction, autobiographical structure and social representation of identity

  • Computer-aided content analysis of interview texts (with focus on coping with autobiographical traumas and crises)

Relation of political attitudes, human rights awareness and prejudice (with focus on attitudes toward Romas, strangers, and on anti-Semitism)

Longitudinal study of ideological contents and social psychological structures of prejudices, and their effects on institutional and legal practice

Problems of body picture and self-picture

  • Analysis of body-related popular and scientific discourses
  • The role of body representations in the formation of personal and social identity.