[FRIAM] Turning Psychology into a Social Science

Jochen Fromm jofr at cas-group.net
Thu Jan 26 16:52:50 EST 2023

I think it is possible that some *mental* illnesses might be caused by some form of *social* influence. Freud in the Victorian era and his patients come to mind. Or Goethe's first book "The Sorrrows of Young Werther" which is about a poor young guy in the 18th century who kills himself because he can not get the woman he desires - an aristocratic woman out of his reach. If society forces people to act against their deepest desires it can make them mad. I would say this is rather rare in our free and liberal societies today.The book from Bernard Guerin asks interesting questions: how are our behaviours shaped by social systems? How do we get from sociological to individual? How do social structures shape and impact individual behaviour? How do we change other people's behaviour? By convincing them with arguments and stories? Interesting questions.-J.
-------- Original message --------From: Steve Smith <sasmyth at swcp.com> Date: 1/25/23  12:41 AM  (GMT+01:00) To: friam at redfish.com Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Turning Psychology into a Social Science On 1/24/23 3:55 PM, Jochen Fromm wrote:> I am currently browsing the millions of books in the Berlin state > library. They have so many books that they are a "closed stack" > library where you have to order every book you want to read (unlike > most open-stack university libraries). One of the books I have > stumbled upon today is named "Turning Psychology into a Social > Science" by Bernard Guerin, a professor of psychology at the > University of Southern Australia in Adelaide.You can't just ask chatGPT the question "what does Bernard Guerin have to say about Turning Psychology into a Social Science?" ?   I'm guessing OpenAI *hasn't* ingested that work so it would have derive it's answer from reviews or synopses and quotes and references from other works?> The idea in his book is to focus on the social interactions that > determine the behavior and shape human actions. Similar to the > fundamental idea we have discussed earlier that subjective experience > can be understood by the particular slice of the world someone has > perceived.>> IIRC it was this discussion that made me think that cinemas are just > machines to solve the hard problem of consciousness: they show us what > it is like to be someone else by revealing us all the essential social > interactions and contexts that shaped the behavior of a person.I really like this way of characterizing it.Mary and I discuss often the value and utility of literature in a general education.  She and I have somewhat complementary tastes in literature and non-fiction but we both appreciate the others' and gain something from the discussions/readings/quotes we share from one another.    For example, Mary has a strong fascination with various forms of social abuse and in particular political incarceration.   For example, she just finished Gustaw Herling's memoir " A World Apart"...  a Pole who was put into the Soviet prison system *before* the start of WWII with Germany...  as a Pole, he was fighting their (then ally) Germany and therefore considered an "enemy of the (Soviet) state".I have also held the un(der)founded opinion that a great deal of what we consider to be a *mental* illness is actually a *social* illness:  the cognitive dissonance experienced with one's social context can be something "wrong" with both/either the individual or their context.-. --- - / ...- .- .-.. .. -.. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. .FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listservFridays 9a-12p Friday St. Johns Cafe   /   Thursdays 9a-12p Zoom https://bit.ly/virtualfriamto (un)subscribe http://redfish.com/mailman/listinfo/friam_redfish.comFRIAM-COMIC http://friam-comic.blogspot.com/archives:  5/2017 thru present https://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/  1/2003 thru 6/2021  http://friam.383.s1.nabble.com/
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