Putting the neuroscience revolution into perspective

My favourite neuroscience/psychology blog Mind Hacks ran a wonderful quote by Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert (whose TED talk I linked to earlier). The quote echoes one of the themes of my Ph.D. thesis (trying to account for the effects of emotions on decision making) and illustrates what has always drawn me to social psychology: Its balanced all-around view incorporating cognition, emotion, neurobiology and social influences.

So here goes:

Psychologists have a penchant for irrational exuberances, and whenever we discover something new we feel the need to discard everything old. Social psychology is the exception. We kept cognition alive during the behaviourist revolution that denied it, we kept emotion alive during the cognitive revolution that ignored it, and today we are keeping behaviour alive as the neuroscience revolution steams on and threatens to make it irrelevant. But psychological revolutions inevitably collapse under their own weight and psychologists start hunting for all the babies they tossed out with the bathwater. Social psychology is where they typically go to find them. So the challenge for social psychologists watching yet another revolution that promises to leave them in the dustbin of history is to remember that we’ve outlived every revolutionary who has ever pronounced us obsolete.

Amen, brother! Via Mind Hacks.