Sunday, 30 November 2008

Applying psychology - if not these aims, then what?

Why would anyone study psychology and become a psychologist? Is there a common thread, a core set of values which psychologists share? How does the role of dispassionate scientist sit with the subject matter of human behaviour and human relationships?

The main reason I included the whole of the article below was that Prof Mackay argues that all psychologists should sign up to a common set of values which he summarises as:

Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can


What better aspiration can there be for a psychologist? Like many of my fellow students at Goldsmiths I have questioned how psychology can be successfully applied, and the answer is often difficult, even unsatisfactory.

But that certainly doesn't mean that we do not have a responsibility to try. Prof Mackay reminds us that it is only great ambition that truly changes the world.

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