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The first academic unit of psychology – the Laboratory of Psychology, was founded on the 11th of March 1973. In 1980 it was reorganized into the Central Laboratory of Psychology, which developed into the Institute of Psychology on the 1st of May 1990.
At first, the Institute's research work was focused on four major branches of psychology – personality psychology, social psychology, work psychology and methods in psychology. Later on five departments were established: Department of Personality and Developmental Psychology, Department of Social Psychology, Department of Work, Organizational and Applied Psychology, Department of Cognitive Psychology and Psychological Measurement and Laboratory of Psychophysiology and Neuropsychology.
The Institute of Psychology wins recognition as a leading psychological research unit in the country in a short time. Since 1980 some of its efforts have been aimed at assisting the psychological practice. In this regard, Psychology and Practice Conferences were regularly organized (1983, 1985, 1988, 1996).
The Institute collaborates with allied units and universities in the country and abroad. It has been highly involved in the development of the curriculum in psychology at the New Bulgarian University (NBU) and its research associates give lectures at all universities in the country.
The Institute organized international conferences and youth schools in psychology (1988, 1989, 1992). It was a co-organizer of the regular conferences held by the Department of Psychology to the South-West University, Blagoevgrad, an also of the ІІІ, ІV and VІ National Congresses of Psychology. Since 2004 the Institute of Psychology has been holding biannual schools for young researchers and PhD students. Both the 25th and the 30th anniversaries of the Institute's foundation were celebrated by jubilee conferences. The conferences and round tables, which were dedicated to the social crises and psychic well-being of Bulgarians and held in 2009 and 2010, were remarkably successful.
In 1998 the Institute launched an own journal "Psychological Research", which was the first academic publication in the field of psychology in Bulgaria.
The institutional research associates are members of international organizations, such as: European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology, International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, International School Psychology Association, European Health Psychology Society, the world health organization "Health Behavour in School-Aged Children", International Organization of Psychophysiology, International Society of Political Psychology, etc.
Prof. Zdrava Ivanova, Prof. Georgi Yolov, and Assoc. Prof. Vesselina Russinova have greatly contributed to both foundation and strengthening the position of the Institute of Psychology – BAS.

The demography department was established in 2010 as an independent scientific unit for demography research with the Institute for Population and Human Studies. The department is a successor of the transformed Population Research Centre (2002 – 2010) and of the Demography Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1990–2002).
Taking into consideration the contemporary level of demography science, the researchers at the Demography department follow the traditions of the Bulgarian demography school, the origin of which can be traced back to the end of 19 th century and the works of prominent Bulgarian statisticians and researchers like Marin Drinov and Kiril Popov. Later on, it was further developed by the university professors G. Danailov, D. Mishaikov and their followers Academician I. Steffanov, Professor Z. Sugarev, Professor N. Naumov, Professor A. Totev, and Professor M. Minkov.
The major aspects in the scientific and research activity of the Demography Department are: methodological problems in the demography studies, theories and concepts on population reproduction and its socioeconomic and ecological factors and personal attitudes; methods and models for demography research and forecasts, trends in the birth and mortality rates, reproductive and demographic behaviour; migration and social and biological balance of the population; analysis of the demographic development based on socioeconomic, ethnical and territorial grouping; economically active population; revealing the basic trends and specifics in the historical demographic development of the population, inhabiting the Bulgarian territories in the past; forecasts and retrospective assessment of the demographic reproduction and comparative studies with other countries and regions; demographic strategy and policies – implementation, revision and influence in management decision making.
During the period 2009–2011 the researchers and doctors from the Demography department carried out 13 business trips abroad in Germany, Hungary, France, Sweden, Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, and other countries, participating in various scientific events (conferences, seminars), workshops and specializations. Researchers from the Demography department took part in 10 international scientific conferences in different countries, presenting 12 reports.
During the period 2009–2011 the Demography department organized a scientific conference, with the reports presented at the conference published in Bulgarian and English in the collection: International Scientific Conference under the theme "Encouraging increase in birth rate – multifaceted practice of state intervention in population reproduction: Bulgarian and European experience", 13-14 March 2009, Sofia.
The Demography department holds in internal seminar "Population and society", aimed at becoming a centre of presentations and discussions on the basic research problems of the department's projects. Since 2006 a doctor seminar has also been organized to serve as a continuous forum for exchange of scientific ideas and information, at which the doctors present the theoretical foundation of their research, the methods applied in the realization of the set targets and problems and the accomplished results.