Thursday, March 28, 2019

Journey 2 Psychology

A couple of weeks ago, one of my former students, Michael S. Gordon, now a professor of psychology at William Paterson University, stopped by my office unexpectedly. He told me he had sold his house in New Jersey so that he could spend a year traveling around the world, with his family, interviewing famous psychologists about their lives. He wants to compile an oral history of psychology. He was at the UCR campus to interview Robert Rosenthal.

Wait, he's spending a full year, along with his wife and son, traveling around interviewing famous psychologists? And he sold his house to do it? Whoa. That's commitment. How awesome!

He is posting excepts of his interviews on his blog, Journey2Psychology. For example: Alburt Bandura, Ed Diener, Alison Gopnik, Elizabeth Spelke, Dan Schachter, Dan Gilbert, etc., etc.!

Okay, a psychology nerd could get excited. What an amazing idea!

Part of me wishes he could have done it in the 1980s, when BF Skinner, Timothy Leary, Stanley Milgram, and Eric Erikson were still alive. Or, hey, maybe if we could go back into the 1950s, or the 1920s, or....


Anonymous said...

Great that you include Timothy Leary on your list of great psychologists from the past. Just out of curiosity, what do you make of his claim that he "learned more about ... (his) brain and its possibilities ... [and] more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms than ... in the preceding 15 years of studying and doing research in psychology"? I can't help but think that psychology--and perhaps the same goes for philosophy--could benefit tremendously from engaging with these substances and the transformative, mind-shifting experiences they can bring about. (Fortunately, psychotherapy is slowly but surely waking up to its therapeutic potential...)

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the comment, Anon! I take seriously people's reports that psilocybin had a transformative effect on their understanding of the universe, and I'm glad that we are finally, very slowly coming around to thinking seriously about the pros and cons of psilocybin and other such drugs, instead of simply demonizing them.