Blog
About

5
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
1 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      The Possible as a Field of Inquiry

      * , a

      Europe's Journal of Psychology

      PsychOpen

      possible, imagination, creativity, counterfactuals, anticipation, sociocultural psychology

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisherPMC
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          In this editorial I introduce the possible as an emerging field of inquiry in psychology and related disciplines. Over the past decades, significant advances have been made in connected areas – counterfactual thinking, anticipation, prospection, imagination and creativity, etc. – and several calls have been formulated in the social sciences to study human beings and societies as systems that are open to possibility and to the future. However, engaging with the possible, in the sense of both becoming aware of it and actively exploring it, represents a subject in need of further theoretical elaboration. In this paper, I review several existing approaches to the possible before briefly outlining a new, sociocultural account. While the former are focused on cognitive processes and uphold the old dichotomy between the possible and the actual or real, the latter grows out of a social ontology grounded in notions of difference, positions, perspectives, reflexivity, and dialogue. In the end, I argue that a better understanding of the possible can help us cultivate it in both mind and society.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 12

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          Possible selves.

            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            The Mental Simulation of Better and Worse Possible Worlds

              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Navigating Into the Future or Driven by the Past.

              Prospection (Gilbert & Wilson, 2007), the representation of possible futures, is a ubiquitous feature of the human mind. Much psychological theory and practice, in contrast, has understood human action as determined by the past and viewed any such teleology (selection of action in light of goals) as a violation of natural law because the future cannot act on the present. Prospection involves no backward causation; rather, it is guidance not by the future itself but by present, evaluative representations of possible future states. These representations can be understood minimally as "If X, then Y" conditionals, and the process of prospection can be understood as the generation and evaluation of these conditionals. We review the history of the attempt to cast teleology out of science, culminating in the failures of behaviorism and psychoanalysis to account adequately for action without teleology. A wide range of evidence suggests that prospection is a central organizing feature of perception, cognition, affect, memory, motivation, and action. The authors speculate that prospection casts new light on why subjectivity is part of consciousness, what is "free" and "willing" in "free will," and on mental disorders and their treatment. Viewing behavior as driven by the past was a powerful framework that helped create scientific psychology, but accumulating evidence in a wide range of areas of research suggests a shift in framework, in which navigation into the future is seen as a core organizing principle of animal and human behavior.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                Eur J Psychol
                Eur J Psychol
                EJOP
                Europe's Journal of Psychology
                PsychOpen
                1841-0413
                August 2018
                31 August 2018
                : 14
                : 3
                : 519-530
                Affiliations
                [a ]Department of Psychology, Webster University Geneva , Geneva, Switzerland
                Author notes
                [* ]Webster University Geneva, 15 Route de Collex, 1293 Bellevue, Switzerland. glaveanu@ 123456webster.ch
                Article
                ejop.v14i3.1725
                10.5964/ejop.v14i3.1725
                6143987

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Editorial

                Comments

                Comment on this article