New Ideas in Psychology

  • An ecological approach to creativity in making
    Publication date: April 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 49

    Author(s): Rob Withagen, John van der Kamp

    Cognitive accounts of creativity generally assume that novel ideas originate in the head and precede the actual materialization of them. Over the last decades, this cognitive view has been criticized by, among others, proponents of a sociocultural perspective. In the present paper, we aim to further this critique by developing a genuine ecological approach to creativity in making. We do so by incorporating Ingold’s theory of making into the ecological perspective that was initiated by Gibson. It is argued that because action is not preplanned but continuously unfolds over time, creativity is to be found in the process of making. Indeed, creativity can be conceived of as the discovery and creation of unconventional affordances (action possibilities) of objects and materials. Discussing the primacy of exploratory actions in this process, we argue that the concepts and research tools of ecological psychology may help to deepen the understanding of the creative process.





  • Editorial Board/Publication Information
    Publication date: January 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 48









  • Affective semiosis and affective logic
    Publication date: January 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 48

    Author(s): Luca Tateo

    Psychology values consistency, reduction of uncertainty, causality and continuity as normative aspects of mental life. Even though theories of dynamic equilibrium include phenomena of ruptures, homeostasis and tension as part of the psychological functioning, these are understood as momentary alterations of a condition that must be restored in order to maintain the integrity of the system. Yet in everyday life one can observe phenomena in which human beings constantly move ahead the conditions of living and the limits of what is somehow acceptable. Tension, ambivalence and uncertainty are part of existence and the most part of us can perfectly live with it, if not actively looking for it. Traditional logic underneath psychology cannot account for this meaning-making process. We then need to think about a specific form of affective logic that can enable us to understand extreme phenomena not as pathologies but as special forms of meaning-making. I will outline an affective semiosis process based on an affective logic, drawing from the ideas of Peirce’s semiotics, Meinong’s theory of objectives, Wittegenstein’s concept of “seeing-as”, Herbst’s co-genetic logic and Simmel’s complementarity between binding and unbinding.





  • The embodied simulation account of cognition in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy
    Publication date: January 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 48

    Author(s): Alexandru I. Tiba, Laura Manea

    Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is built on a unique theory of cognitive vulnerability for emotional disorders that differentiates itself from other forms of cognitive behaviour therapy by several important features. In this article, we describe concepts from the embodied simulation framework on cognition with relevance to REBT and we argue that several distinctive features of REBT may benefit from clarification from an embodied perspective on the cognitive vulnerability to emotional disorders. We present important embodied cognition concepts from the position of grounded cognition and conceptual-act theory of emotions and discuss their implications for the biological foundation of irrational beliefs, the identity position on psychological interactionism, and the centrality of irrational beliefs for disturbed emotions. Finally, we describe the embodied simulation concepts in relation to the cognitive model of emotional disturbance in REBT and conclude by pointing to general implications for the treatment.





  • The reward of unification: A realist reading of the predictive processing theory
    Publication date: January 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 48

    Author(s): Majid Davoody Beni

    In a recent paper, Colombo and Wright (C & W for short) built on their neat assessment of the activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems to argue that hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is not the grand unifying theory that has been claimed by its advocates. To the contrary, they argued that the scientific practice is consistent with a pluralist reading (Colombo & Wright, 2016). Despite its reliance on solid experimental resources, C & W’s defence of explanatory pluralism is adorned with sophisticated philosophical assumptions. Of course, this provides all the more reason to admire C & W’s enterprise on account of its tasteful combination of scientific and philosophical insights. However, despite being conscious about the relation of their works to the philosophy of science, C & W have presented their pluralistic construal as if it is a direct consequence of the scientific status quo. This paper aims to defend a unificationist account. C & W’s endeavour might successfully block the way of some discredited forms of unificationism (such as micro-reductionism and Nagelian model). However, in this paper, I argue that it fails to establish its pluralist reading in the face of the more advanced forms of unificationism that are at issue in the contemporary philosophy of science (mechanistic accounts or structural realist accounts). After introducing these more sophisticated theories of unification schematically, I refer to the scientific practice to show how the free-energy formulation of PTB (as well as a case that has been mentioned by C & W as evidence for pluralistic reading) could be construed along the lines of unificationism. I end the paper with reminding that the reward of unification is realism.





  • Editorial Board/Publication Information
    Publication date: December 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 47









  • The prospects for fictionalist inquiry in psychology
    Publication date: December 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 47

    Author(s): William E. Smythe

    This paper undertakes a critical appraisal of the prospects for fictionalist inquiry in psychology, which runs contrary to the traditional dissociation between fiction and knowledge-laden discourse. Following a review of the contested boundary between fiction and nonfiction, a portrait of essential aspects of fiction emerges, which includes authorial warrant, imaginative prescription, and performative engagement. The paper then proceeds to outline fictionalism as a philosophical approach, with reference to early and more modern variants of the position. This leads to a little discussed epistemic position called the fictional stance, which is then developed and applied to various psychological domains including the psychology of fiction, the fictional constructions of psychology, and the narrative study of lives. The viewpoint that emerges sees the epistemic value of fictional thinking in the unique access it provides to intuitive powers of the psychological imagination and to non-conceptual understandings of psychological life.





  • Complexity-thinking and social science: Self-organization involving human consciousness
    Publication date: December 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 47

    Author(s): Stephen A. Sherblom

    Complexity-thinking refers to a cluster of concepts popularized in several branches of science, primarily in the physical sciences but increasingly in the social sciences. There is reason to be cautious regarding how the concepts are used across disciplines and branches of science. This paper discusses self-organization in dynamic systems, tracing its roots in social science and critiquing current usage of the term with regard to systems involving consciousness – humans and groups of humans. A brief sketch of the levels of complexity sets the groundwork for understanding the critique of self-organization to follow. I argue that consciousness fundamentally changes the terms of discussion in self-organization by adding a self/selves that is not equivalent to the system as a whole, but which directly influences what is organized, how, and toward what end. Self-organization in complex adaptive systems involving consciousness should be distinguished as self-cultivating self-organization and self-presenting self-organization.





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