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Title:Paul Bloom: The Psychology of Everything | Big Think
Duration:48:16
Viewed:931,345
Published:24-10-2012
Source:Youtube

Paul Bloom: The Psychology of Everything
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Give Paul Bloom one hour, and he'll teach you "the psychology of everything." Through the case studies of compassion, racism, and sex, Dr. Bloom explores the intrinsic fundamentals of human nature, including some of our most intriguing tendencies, such as the kindness of babies, stereotyping (which can be both detrimental and beneficial), and our universal sense of beauty. Additional topics addressed in the lecture include: "What do studies suggest is the number one characteristic that males and females look for in a mate?", "How can I get someone to have compassion for causes I care about?", "Are we all unconscious racists?", and even, "What do the porn preferences of monkeys tells us about our own sexual choices?"
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PAUL BLOOM:

Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. An internationally recognized expert on the psychology of child development, social reasoning, and morality, he has won numerous awards for his research, writing, and teaching. Bloom’s previous books include Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil and How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like, and he has written for Science, Nature, The New York Times, and The New Yorker.
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TRANSCRIPT:

Hello, my name is Paul Bloom and I’m a Professor of Psychology at Yale University. And what I want to do today is present a brief introduction to psychology, which is the science of the human mind.

Now, I’m admittedly biased, but I think psychology is the most interesting of all scientific fields. It’s the most interesting because it’s about us. It’s about the most important and intimate aspects of our lives. So psychologists study everything from language, perception, memory, motivation, dreams, love, hate. We study the development of a child. We study mental illnesses like schizophrenia and psychopathy, we study morality, we study happiness.

Now, psychology is such a huge field that it breaks up into different subfields. Some psychologists study neuroscience, which is the study how the brain gives rise to mental life. Others, like me, are Developmental Psychologists. We study what happens to make a baby turn into a child and a child turn into adults. We study what makes a baby turn into a child and a child turn into an adult. We ask questions like, how does a baby think about the world? What do we start off knowing? What do we have to learn?

Other psychologists are Social Psychologists. They study human interaction. What’s the nature of prejudice? How do we persuade one another?

Some Psychologists are Cognitive Psychologists. What that means is they study the mind as a computational device looking particularly at capacities like language, perception, memory, and decision-making. Some Psychologists are Evolutionary Psychologists, which means they’re particularly interested in biological origin of the human mind.

There are Evolutionary Psychologists. Evolutionary Psychologists are particularly interested in the evolutionary origin of our psychologies. So they study the mind with an eye towards how it has evolved. What adaptive problems it’s been constructed to solve.

Finally, there’s clinical psychology. For many people, this is what psychology means. Many people associate psychology with clinical psychology, and in fact, it’s a very important aspect of psychology. Clinical psychologists are interested in the diagnosis that the causes and the treatment of mental disorders, disorders like schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders. It would be impossible for me to provide a full spectrum introduction to all of these sub fields of psychology in the time I have.

So what I’m going to do instead is I’m going to focus on three case studies. I’m gong to focus on compassion, racism, and sex. I’ve chosen these case studies for two reasons. First, each of them is particularly interesting in its own light. These are questions we’re interested in as people, as scientists, but also in our every day lives. And I want to try to persuade you that psychologists have some interesting things to say about them.

Second, together they illustrate the range of approaches that psychologists use. The sort of theories that we construct, the sorts of methods we use when approaching a domain. I want to try to give you a feeling for what psychology looks like when we actually carry it out.

The first case study is compassion. Compassion...

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