Dan Gilbert on the importance of social psychology

Dan Gilbert has a brief interview in this month’s (paywalled) Psychologist magazine. From which the following nugget of wisdom:


Psychologists have a penchant for irrational exuberances, and whenever we discover something new we feel the need to discard everything old. Social psychology is the exception. We kept cognition alive during the behaviourist revolution that denied it, we kept emotion alive during the cognitive revolution that ignored it, and today we are keeping behaviour alive as the neuroscience revolution steams on and threatens
to make it irrelevant. But psychological revolutions inevitably collapse under their own weight and psychologists start hunting for all the babies they tossed out with the bathwater. Social psychology is where they typically go to find them. So the challenge for social psychologists watching yet another revolution that promises to leave them in the dustbin of history is to remember that we’ve outlived every revolutionary who has ever pronounced us obsolete.

Link Gilbert Lab
Link Psychologist Magazine (sorry, subscribers only, but you can browse issues older than six months for free)

2 Comments

  1. Posted July 2, 2008 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Just as an aside, I attended a wonderful conference a couple of years ago presented by Michael Yapko, addressing treatment of depression and anxiety. He made the statement that some of the best clinical research and treatment findings for depression were being completed in the field of social psychology, and he went on to discuss the importance of social/interpersonal factors in the etiology and maintenance of depression. He provided several really interesting examples of how to utilize findings in social psychology to address the treatment needs of people with depression, and he encouraged everyone in attendance to get themselves up to speed on social psychology research. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received at a conference…

  2. Azillion
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    It is my own assertion that psychology and sociology will eventually combine knowledge to restructure the known ways of life. As a conscious species with the technology we have , the field of ‘socialization manipulation’ should be put on the backs of our best psychologists and sociologists. In that sense social psychology is the best source of research and a great foundation for initial testing.


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