Ben R. Slugoski on why he became a psychologist


When the desire to study psychology began:

“If my developmental psychology colleagues are right, I began formulating conceptions of human psychological states and processes at about the age of three.”

On the shift of study emphasis from English to Psychology:

“… there was no antidote to a few hours deconstructing Coleridge or Blake like working out the expected mean squares for a tricky experimental design (a rakish sex-life not otherwise being in the cards!). […]

“[…] Erudite though my English professorss were, they were only vessels for conveying the brilliance of the ‘Greats’ and as such were never particularly good models for an aspiring player. What ultimately determined my allegiance to psychology was the brilliance personified in my psychology lecturers […] the late Kenneth Burstein, old school rat-runner, unabashed liberal, and the person whom you would least want as a relationship counsellor […]”

Teaching styles:

“It is probably worthy of note in these days of multimedia, dot point-driven instruction that my beacons were invariably Socratic minimalists for whom the take-home message was quite subsidiary to the intellectual journey (seemingly) constructed in situ. Thus, I recall Burstein leading us from eye-blink conditioning with rabbits to human divorce statistics via a little sociobiology, Koopman had the class reinvent the correlation coefficient, and Marcia … well, Marcia had us ruminating about the conditions and consequences of sleeping with ones’ clients.”

(From over here.)


One thought on “Ben R. Slugoski on why he became a psychologist”

  1. In addition to being one of the biggest assholes it was ever my misfortune to work with, Ken Burstein was an academic incompetent who routinely took credit for his students’ work.

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