Santo DI NUOVOEmeritus Professor of GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY [M-PSI/01]
Office Hours: Monday from 16:00 to 18:00 | Friday from 17:00 to 18:00
Born in Catania (Italy) June 3rd, 1950. Doct. Degree in Philosophy (Catania, 1972) and Psychology (Padua, 1976).
Full professor of Psychology at the University of Catania (1994-2020). Formerly (1990-1993) professor of Techniques of research and data analysis at the University of Palermo.
Teacher of Forensic Psychology (1st level degree of Sciences and techniques of Psychology); Psychology of cognitive and personality tests, Cognitive psychology and neurosciences (2nd level degree in Psychology)
President, Academy of Arts, Catania till 2020.
President of AIP - Italian Association of Psychology (www.aipass.org)
Emeritus professor since 2021-'22
1974- Research Fellow, 1981- Researcher in Psychology, University of Catania
1990- Full Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Palermo, then since 1995 in the University of Catania.
From 1992 to 1995 Director of the Department of Psychology of Palermo; from 1995 to 1998 Director of the Institute of Psychological and Pedagogical Sciences at the University of Catania, from 2001 to 2006 Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Catania, from 2007 to 2014 head of the degree in Psychology, from 2014-'15 Director of the Department of Education.
Responsible for clinical service Counseling and guidance, University of Catania.
From 2005 to 2008 member of the Organizing Committee of the Free University of Central Sicily 'Kore' Enna, pro-rector and vicar of the University. He was also the coordinator of the Interuniversity Degree in Psychological Sciences and Techniques, based in Enna.
From 2010 to 2017 vice-president of the National Conference of Deans of Psychology faculties, now Academic Psychology Board.
From 2014 to 2018 dean of the Department of Education, University of Catania
From 2017 President of AIP - Italian Association of Psychology, confirmed in 2020 till 2023.
From 2021-'22 Professor Emeritus in Psychology
Bibliometric information (updated 01.03.2022):
172 publications indicized in Scopus, total cites 1379, h-index = 20
382 publications indicized in Google Scholar, total cites 3682, h-index =30, i-10 index =112
Complete list of publications, with full-text if available, in:
See also the following section PUBBLICAZIONI (link to the IRIS database of publications)
view the publications
General objectives of the research
A common goal of many of the studies conducted since 1974 in different fields of psychology - basic cognitive functions, disability, training and orientation, clinical and legal environment - is the identification and modification of some factors that interfere with adequate cognitive, interpersonal and social-psychological functioning.
In particular, the studies concerned the rigidity (as lack of psychological flexibility) in the various aspects concerning the attentional and perceptive areas and the emotional one, the social perception, the personal mentality, the concept of self and the identity in situations of normality, psychic pathology, mental retardation, and handicap.
Within the general objective a methodological goal is articulated (for the variables in question, finding or developing techniques useful for a reliable assessment), and an applicative aim, i. e. preparing and verifying methods to increase the impairment of competencies and modify maladaptive cognitive styles, and experimentally verify their effectiveness.
From an applicative point of view, the most recent research interest concerns the methods of integration between experimentation and psychological intervention, and the methodologies and techniques of data analysis with particular reference to the evaluation of the effects of the interventions through a meta-analytical approach. The latter was the subject of the multicenter research project on "Evaluation of psychological therapies" coordinated with clinicians and researchers of different theoretical and methodological orientations.
The overall project of ongoing research involves a review of methods, assessment techniques, data analysis and results generalization strategies, aiming at making them congruent with an epistemology that takes into account the complexity emerging from the themes and different fields of study currently privileged: not only the normal and pathological personality and psychotherapy, but also the handicap and rehabilitation, social and legal psychology, neurosciences, and their applications (for example, robotics in the clinical-rehabilitation field). From all these sectors, different from each other but sharing the need to adopt a perspective of complexity and not of linear causality, conclusions are drawn for the development of more adequate methodological research plans and related tools.
- Participation in international research projects within the Society for Psychotherapy Research, translating and adapting psychodiagnostic tools for the assessment of psychotherapy for Italy (prof. Elliott, prof. Olson).
- Collaboration in international research on psychological factors of innovation with Duke University, U.S.A. (prof. Pietrobon).
- Participation in research projects on cognitive psychology with the City University of London (Prof. Hampton).
- Participation in international research projects on robotics and cognitive sciences with the University of Plymouth, U.K. (Prof. Cangelosi) and the University of Sheffield (U.K.) - As part of this collaboration, a Neuro-Cognitive Robotics Laboratory was established at the Psychology Section of the Department of Educational Sciences.
- Participation in an international research project on Hope State and Trait Scale with Keen State College in Boston (prof. Anthony Scioli)
Experience in coordination and evaluation of research
- Responsible for research projects funded by the C.N.R.
- Coordinator of research units in numerous national funded research projects (CoFin, PRIN).
- Referee of the CIVR (2005), and evaluator of PRIN projects, on behalf of the Ministry of University and Research.
- Collaboration with the CNVSU (national center for the evaluation, Ministry of University and Research) for the assessment of risk factors in University courses (2009).
- Referee for the VQR (2016), on behalf of the ANVUR (National Agency for the evaluation of University and Research)
- Member of the ANVUR workgroup for the formulation of the TECO-D tests (disciplinary competency tests) for psychology.
Experiences in innovation and technology transfer
- Collaboration with the IRCCS 'Oasi' di Troina, specialized in research on disability and brain involution, for the development of a tele-assistance system (Oasi-Net project), funded by the Ministry of Health.
- As head of the Guidance and Psychological Counseling Center of the University of Catania, he contributed to creating an evaluation and orientation system for high school and university students through a platform accessible online from remote locations throughout the territory (RiusiNet project).
- He is currently working on a project for the application of knowledge on the psychometric assessment of attention in the training of aeronautical pilots through simulation systems, in collaboration with leading companies in the sector at an international level and with the Italian Navy.
- Collaboration in the development of psychodiagnostic tools concerning motivation and job satisfaction with the Italian Army Selection Center (Foligno).
- Managing leader of an agreement with Rete Ferrovie Italiane (Italian Railways) for the evaluation of cognitive tests (on attention, perception, memory) for driving personnel. Registered with the Board of medical and psychological consultants of the Health Directorate of R.F.I.
The publications resulting from the research activities described here are reported in the appropriate section.
Prizes and awards
2011 - International Award 'William James' (International Science Week, University of Matera)
2014 - Best paper Award - AISC (Italian Association of Cognitive Sciences)
2015 - Prize 'Sancte De Sanctis' for scientific publications, for the book “Prigionieri delle neuroscienze?” published by Giunti, Florence.
2016 - 'Akadèmon' literary prize, scientific section, for production on Science and Art.
2017 - Award of the Italian-American Association of Psychology (IAPS) as Distinguished Italian Psychologist
2019 - 'Pierre Janet' Award, Phenomena Conference, Naples.
Co-editor of the international Journal LifeSpan and Disability (indic. Scopus)
Member of the Scientific or Advisory Committee of the Journals:
Minori Giustizia - Psichiatria e Psicoterapia – Psicologia di Comunità - Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale - Ricerche di Psicologia - TPM Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology - Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome
Referee for International Journals:
Journal of Adult Development, Addictive Behaviors, Applied Neuropsychology, Child Development, European Journal of School Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology, Learning and Individual Differences, Conceptual and Motor Skills, Psychological Reports, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research , Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, International Journal of Psychological Research, Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, PlosOne, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, Quality and Quantity
Member of the teaching board of the Doctorate in Neuroscience, University of Catania (-2017)
Member of the teaching board of the Doctorate in Interpretation Sciences, University of Catania (2017-2020)
Member of the board of tutors and professors of the Scuola Superiore (High School) of the University of Catania.
Member of the scientific committee of the inter-university or inter-faculty research centers:
- Interuniversity Center for research on Genesis and Development of Prosocial and Antisocial Motivations (University of Rome "La Sapienza", Milan Catholic, Padua, Turin, Florence, Naples, Catania)
- "Mind in Sport Team" Interuniversity Center (IUSM of Rome, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Trieste, Cagliari, Catania)
- Interfaculty Center for the Law of Minors and Families (Faculty of Law, Educational Sciences, Political Sciences, Literature and Philosophy of the University of Catania)
- Center for Advanced Studies on Cyberpsychology (University of Bari and Rome)
Editorial manager of the series: LineaTest (Franco Angeli) - Psychology, Pedagogy, Teaching (Euno Publishing) - Culture and Education (Bonanno Publishing)
Participant as "Special Invitee" O.M.S. to the Working Group on the Classification of Intellectual Disabilities of the International Advisory Group for the Revision of ICD-10 Mental and Behavioral Disorders - World Health Organization – 2010
Member of the EFPA (European Federation of Psychological Associations) International Board for the 'Geropsychology' section
Member of the scientific committee of the EFPA International Congress, Moscow 2019
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