Presently, almost all companies and government agencies use psychometry instruments and the expertise of psychologists in carrying out staff recruitment and development. Most of the psychological theories and practices, however, still adopt the European and North American models; even as high as 80% psychological tests for staff recruitment are imported from the West. Unfortunately, these instruments are relatively outdated as they were made in the 1940s to early 1990s prior to adjustments to Indonesian cultural context.
Such use of imported tools has caused a number of problems. First, if they are not well contextualised, the theories and instruments will just cause misinterpretation of psychological aspects and behaviours of Indonesian people. Second, dependance on such tools may inhibit creativity and innovation among Indonesian psychologists to be able to find and develop new concepts and instruments. These became the background for the Indigenous and Cultural Psychologists Association (APIK) to host a workshop and congress from 24-26 January 2016 in Omah Petruk hall, Kaliurang area. The event was attended by researchers and representatives from centres for indigenous and cultural psychology studies from 15 universitas.
Psychology professor from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Prof. Kwartarini W. Yuniarti, Ph.D., regretted the low number of researches made by Indonesian researchers that gain international coverage and get published in international journals.
This makes it more significant to APIK researchers to share and have discussion. In her opinion, the vision of APIK is also closely related to the importance of Indonesian nation to maintain its identity. “Currently, it seems that our society does not have a strong ideology, easily affected by various changes in trends from abroad. It is highly relevant to know who we are. If we don’t know our own identity, other nations will dictate us and what we need to do,” she said in a press conference on Saturday (23/1).
APIK was established in 2013 by a number of Indonesian psychologists who care about above issues. The organisation aims at encouraging, developing, and protecting scientists and practitioners of Indonesian psychology that have the interest in developing theories, measuring tools, and practicing models that are in line with Indonesian culture. Through the workshop and congress, APIK aims at enhancing network and strengthening the organisation.