Tartu Ülikool


The field of psychology is broad and is in turn a basis for many other fields that are related to people and their view of the world. The research topics at the Institute of Psychology are diverse. World-class research is conducted in many fields. The main research topics are related to how psychological processes are connected to both mental and physical health, how people perceive and sense the world around them, why and how people are different, how culture, school and other environments impact people’s development and how interpersonal relationships work. In these fields, we are conducting large-scale, research-based studies related to the fundamental principles of psychology as well as more practical projects.

Research Field Description

The researchers at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Tartu are constantly publishing research in world-leading research journals and editing reputable research journals. The work of our researchers has been recognised both nationally and internationally. Some of the employees of the institute are members of the Estonian Academy of Sciences and leaders of specialist associations. Our researchers speak on key topics in society in media and have for example made contributions to the Scientific Advisory Board. Contemporary research techniques, e.g. eye tracking, electroencephalography (EEG), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), are used in various laboratory rooms.

Our institute is the main hotbed for the next generation of Estonian psychological researchers. At the University of Tartu, it is possible to acquire a psychology education to the doctoral degree. The institute is connected to the Doctoral School of Behavioural, Social and Health Sciences. Similarly to our researchers, students from the Institute of Psychology get recognised for their work at the annual National Contest for University Students. The teaching and research at the Institute of Psychology is valued at the global level.

Main fields of research

  • Vision, hearing and language perception
  • Attention, consciousness and memory
  • Regulating emotions
  • Health and subjective wellbeing
  • Psychology of eating and eating disorders
  • Behavioural genetics
  • Personality psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Social and cultural psychology
kuvatõmmis projekti Väike Nirvana videost

Research news: ethnic roots of Estonian peoples, problematic use of social networking sites, reducing the fear of pain, and a novel solution for wound treatment

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Lelde Luik

Doctoral defence: Lelde Luik “Re-evaluating the role of representative institutions in radical democratic theory: lessons from democratic identity construction in Latvia”

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Tartu Ülikooli peahoone

University of Tartu researchers received €60 million to develop two international centres of excellence