Fathali on Psychology of Dictatorship & Democracy


Since 1950s, Nepal have gone through various revolutions and political changes at different points of time that had looked very promising, people hoped for positive changes in everyday lives of Nepali and betterment at all levels. Most recently, Nepal promulgated the new constitution after abolishing the monarchy over 8 years ago. It was welcomed as a historical milestone, the country moved from the political deadlock among monarchy, political parties and Maoists but wait, after all these years, what has happened to the lives of general Nepali who belong to middle-class and lower middle-class so far, the situation is getting tougher. The youth of Nepal is forced to migrate to gulf and other risk-prone countries for survival and to take care of their families. According to ILO, in fiscal year 2014, over  520,000 labour permits were issued to Nepalis for work abroad. High class people continue to hold back the power and dominate the politics. The country suffered devastating earthquakes last year, much of the rebuilding is yet to be started. There is a dissatisfaction among people over new constitution and the lack of right of women to pass on the citizenship to their children among many other issues. On June 14, the government issued online media directives which gives the power to government to crack down over dissenting voices. In democracy, voice is the most crucial aspect of political practice and public lives. Do we feel safe enough to go out and express ourselves at Basantapur Square without fear of police nearby located at Hanumandhoka? What if it reinforces fear to speak up? So, this brings up an important question: have we regressed back and moved even backwards than before? Are we once again heading back to times of dictatorship that our forefathers lived under??

I have found Iranian psychologist Fathali Moghaddam‘s theoretical concepts  useful to understand our political situation from psychological perspective. He has tried to explain the rise and fall of dictatorships through his springboard model in which he says that the context that lead to the rise of the dictator is more important the personality of the leader. In traditional psychology, the personality of the dictating leader is studied to understand the dictatorship but he prioritizes context and collective over individual processes to understand dictatorship and democracy.


Where does Nepal lie on this continuum between dictatorship and democracy???

Fathali also writes about the development of psychology in third-world countries like Nepal. His publications can be read here: http://fathalimoghaddam.com/?page_id=18

From Public Lecture about the book: http://www.iop.or.jp/Documents/1626/%5B125-138%5DJournal26_Moghaddam.pdf [125-138]Journal26_Moghaddam


Love and a Question

What is Love? Barbara L. Fredrickson redefines love in her latest book Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become. She emphasizes on the energizing micro-moments of love that we feel when we truly connect with others and share a common source of positivity which nourish and can have the crucial effect upon our psychological well-being. In the short clip below, she talks about her book and love, check out:

Free Chapter Link

Nepali Psychological Research in ISSBD 2012

The Need for Relatedness in Nepali Teachers: Investigation of a Western Theory in a South Asian Context

Sujen Man Maharjan1, Robert M. Klassen2, and Shishir Subba1

Tribhuvan University1, University of Alberta2


The purpose of our study was to test a culturally western theory in a South Asian, specifically Nepali, context. The collectivist character of Nepali society emphasizes compliance, group harmony, and avoidance of conflicts. Nepali students have been described as passive learners relying on the teacher to provide the material to be learnt displaying little capacity to think independently and critically (Regmi, 1987). The acquisition of knowledge is thought to be dependent upon the teacher who transfers or grants it to the students in social interactions that have affective and moral implications (Dahlin & Regmi, 2000). The social and cultural context in Nepali schools stands in stark contrast to most western schools (Dahlin & Regmi, 2000). Little is known if teacher and student motivation operates in fundamentally similar ways in Nepal in comparison to western settings, where teacher-student relatedness is a key element of teacher engagement and student motivation (Klassen, Perry, & Frenzel, in press).

We wondered if the basic psychological need for relatedness would explain teachers’ engagement and burnout in a Nepali context. Using a self-determination theory framework (SDT: Ryan & Deci, 2000), we explored the relationship between the satisfaction of Nepali teachers’ basic psychological need for relatedness with colleagues and students, and their self-reported levels of teaching-related engagement, emotions, and emotional exhaustion. In particular, we tested a two-component model of teachers’ need for relatedness, with representation of the need for relatedness with students and the need for relatedness with colleagues.

Participants were 190 practicing teachers recruited from 10 private schools in Kathmandu, Nepal, who were asked to fill out a brief questionnaire on teacher motivation. A single questionnaire was administered, which included measures of perception of autonomy support, satisfaction of relatedness to colleagues and to students, work engagement, and emotional exhaustion. Throughout the questionnaire, we used the same response format, a self-report Likert scale with anchors of 0 (Never) and 6 (Always). The questionnaires were administered in both English and Nepali versions. The majority of the teachers (70%) chose the English version of the questionnaire. There were no difference in levels and pattern of results according to language of questionnaire. Initial results show both cultural convergence and divergence from SDT, with teachers’ engagement more clearly influenced by the need for relatedness with students than with colleagues (p < .05). Implications for psychological theory and Nepali practice will be discussed.


Our research has been accepted for presentation at ISSBD 2012! Dr. Klassen will be presenting it on behalf of research team. The conference is happening from July 8-12, 2012 at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

We would like to thank all the schools and teachers who participated in the study.

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Mary Crawford’s Research Articles

Dear All,

I would like to share some articles which was recently sent to me by Mary Crawford.

Mary Crawford is a professor emerita of psychology and former director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Connecticut. She is the author of numerous research articles and nine books including Gender and Thought (1989); Talking Difference: On Gender and Language (1995); Gender Differences in Human Cognition (1997); Coming Into Her Own: Educational Success in Girls and Women (1999); Innovative Methods for Feminist Psychological Research (1999); and Transformations: Women, Gender, and Psychology (2006). Her research focuses on gender and communication, particularly in contexts of
health and sexuality. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar (2004-2005), she explored interventions to reduce sex trafficking in Nepal.

Prof. Mary Crawford is here in Kathmandu. She will stay here for the next 3 weeks and is interested to keep in touch with psychology students and professionals. So, if anybody is interested in meeting her to discuss ideas related to research or psychology, then, you can contact her at: nepal7801@yahoo.com

More: http://web.uconn.edu/psychology/people/Faculty/Crawford/Crawford.html


PS: Thanks Mary for your time to meet me and sharing your articles with us.

Crawford 2008 Globalizing Beauty.pdf
Crawford & Kaufman 2008 Sex trafficking in Nepal.pdf
Crawford et al 2007 MD.pdf

Online Publications of Bibliographies (Psychological Research & MA theses)

Dear All,

I would like to share the bibliographies (Bibliography of MA Theses in Psychology submitted to Tribhuvan University & BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN NEPAL ) that has been just published in Martin Chautari website. Please, see: http://martinchautari.org.np/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=284 or check out the attachments. Alternate versions (in APA style) will be published online in my website in the future.

These bibliographies has been compiled to inform and guide the researchers and students to trace the resources in literature review for their research work. Most of the works are available online or in print.

Every effort has been made to make this list complete. I would appreciate receiving information about any missing entries or about corrections needed to be done on the entries given here.

I would like to thank you all of you who have me during its compilation. Alternate

Sujen Man Maharjan
Tribhuvan University, Nepal.