PINK(er)

16 May 2014 | By Seramis Sas | Filed in: Știința psihologică.

În data de 5 mai 2014 apare în gazeta de la Harvard un articol ce conţine un interviu luat unuia dintre cei mai renumiţi intelectuali de pe planetă. Nu am nicio îndoială, poate doar într-un colţişor al minţii (care din ele?), că despre dumnealui a auzit orice student (în psihologie) care merge la cursuri şi/sau studiază (in timp ce altii stau acasa sau nu, urmand, dupa o vreme, sa-si ridice licenta la fel ca ceilalti), deorece este un autor (şi scientist în psihologie) deosebit de pomenit şi citat de către profesori la cursuri şi în lucrările lor academice. Toti acestia recita poezii cu titlurile de la lucrarile domniei sale. Crezi că sunt ironic sau sarcastic?

Steven Pinker, căci despre dumnealui vorbim, are o experienţă de mai mult de 30 de ani în predare şi cercetare experimentală în domeniul de cunoaştere numit psihologie. După mintea mea, uşor “scrântită” de la cantitatea de gândirea critică pe metru cub, dacă se întâmplă să ai o licenţă în psihologie sau, cu atât mai mult, dacă studiezi psihologie şi nu ai auzit de Pinker, înseamnă că poti declara cunoaşterea ta în psihologie ca fiind (aproape) nulă. Mi se pare un motiv suficient, oricui i se pare suficient, să-ţi reactualizezi degrabă cunoştinţele sau, măcar, să-ţi îmbogăţeşti cultura psihologică. Oricum, sper ca nu e cazul tau, daca esti unul dintre cititorii fideli.

Aici am lipit un paragraf din interviul publicat. Vei afla cum se vede de la “înălţimea” lui Pinker domeniul psihologiei. Nu de altceva, doar să ai un reper (înalt) când compari cu psihologia ce se vinde prin alte zone ale globului (nu cel cristalin) cu psihologie serioasa. Mai important, dacă eşti un consumator de psihologie, vei afla o perspectivă extinsă, completă as zice, a locului ocupat de psihologia modernă (ştiinţifică) între marile domenii de cunoaştere. (boldările şi sublinierile îmi aparţin) 

 Q: If you were trying to get someone interested in this field today, what would you say?

A: What could be more interesting than how the mind works? Also, I believe that psychology sits at the center of intellectual life. In one direction, it looks to the biological sciences, to neuroscience, to genetics, to evolution. But in the other, it looks to the social sciences and the humanities. Societies are formed and take their shape from our social instincts, our ability to communicate and cooperate. And the humanities are the study of the products of our human mind, of our works of literature and music and art. So psychology is relevant to pretty much every subject taught at a university.

Psychology is blossoming today, but for much of its history it was dull, dull, dull. Perception was basically psychophysics, the study of the relationship between the physical magnitude of stimulus and of its perceived magnitude — that is, as you make a light brighter and brighter, does its subjective brightness increase at the same rate or not? It also studied illusions, like the ones on the back of the cereal box, but without much in the way of theory. Learning was the study of the rate at which rats press levers when they are rewarded with food pellets. Social psychology was a bunch of laboratory demonstrations showing that people could behave foolishly and be mindless conformists, but also without a trace of theory explaining why. It’s only recently, in dialogue with other disciplines, that psychology has begun to answer the “why” questions. Cognitive science, for example, which connects psychology to linguistics, theoretical computer science, and philosophy of mind, has helped explain intelligence in terms of information, computation, and feedback. Evolutionary thinking is necessary to ask the “why” questions: “Why does the mind work the way it does instead of some other way in which it could have worked?” This crosstalk has made psychology more intellectually satisfying. It’s no longer just one damn phenomenon after another.


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