Eugene Subbotsky “Magical thinking: Concept, experiments and applications”

Subbotsky – magical thinking guest lecture

Event Date : 22/04/2021

We are delighted to announce that Dr Eugene Subbotsky will be delivering a 1 hour lecture (via Zoom) on Magical Thinking on Thursday 22nd April at 2pm.

Dr Subbotsky is a world-renowned expert in the area of child development. Specifically, children’s moral development and children’s and adult’s propensity to believe in magical phenomena. With over 240 peer-reviewed publications in this area, plus the authorship of several books, Dr Subbotsky began his academic journey at the Moscow State University, where he worked under the guidance of Alexander Luria. With evident connections to Lev Vygotsky, Dr Subbotsky published many commentaries on Vygotsky’s work and facilitated our understanding of his key theoretical ideas.

In the 1980s Dr Subbotsky joined the team of academics at the University of Lancaster, until his recent retirement. He is now based at Moscow State University and continues to publish his work in the area of Magical Thinking.

In his presentation, Dr Subbotsky will consider the idea that Magical thinking and behaviour have traditionally been viewed as immature, misleading alternatives to scientific thought that in children inevitably diminish with age. In adults, these inclinations have been labelled by psychologists largely as superstitions that feed on frustration, uncertainty, and the unpredictable nature of certain human activities. Dr Subbotsky argues that these ideas should be reconsidered

Rather than an impediment to scientific reasoning or a by product of cognitive development, in children magical thinking is an important and necessary complement to these processes, enhancing creativity at problem-solving and reinforcing coping strategies, among other benefits.

In adults, magical thinking and beliefs perform important functions both for individuals (coping with unsolvable problems and stressful situations) and for society (enabling mass influence and promoting social harmony).

Operating in realms not bound by physical causality, such as emotion, relationships, and suggestion, magical thinking is an ongoing, developing psychological mechanism that, Dr Subbotsky argues, is integral in the contexts of politics, commercial advertising, and psychotherapy, and undergirds our construction and understanding of meaning in both mental and physical worlds. 

The link to the Zoom presentation:

 Join Zoom Meeting Thursday 22nd April 2pm
https://bolton.zoom.us/j/99006262085?pwd=Tmc2TlNITWdxdUNwa1JOSUJNdjV5dz09

Meeting ID: 990 0626 2085
Passcode: 445822

Dr Subbotsky’s homepage: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/subbotsk/

Interesting article in The Psychologist: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/subbotsk/0604subb.pdf

 

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Can’t make an Open Day?

Don’t worry, you can book one of our campus tours instead,
call +44 (0)1204 900 600 or click below.

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