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“Much Learning does Not Teach Understanding” (A Conversation with Vasili Davydov): Karl Levitin

19/07/2012 Deja un comentario

Professor Davydov, your books, articles and public statements suggest that present-day psychology needs new, drastically different methods and is therefore on the eve of a radical change of theory, and hence in practical application. Can you elaborate on that idea?

To begin with, I must say that contemporary psychology has split into a number of disciplines each having its own object of study. They are general psychology, psychophysiology, peer group, developmental and educational psychology, social, medical, the psychology of law, the psychology of labour, art, sport, and so on. In looking for answers to the questions put forth by life, psychologists are forging ahead with their investigations and have come up with a lot of valuable results. In a sense, such differentiation of psychological disciplines is useful as it gives deeper insights into the psychological laws of whatever happens to be the particular object of study. On the other hand, it results in the loss of something general that should unite all psychological studies. For a long time now the prevalent trend has been to allow not relative but complete autonomy to every branch of what used to be the one psychological tree: let everyone do his own job and forget about what the man next door is doing. And the connection between the psychology of art, peer group psychology, and psychology of labour, for example, is considered a problem of no particular interest, or else a task for another discipline.

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