This is going to be a super-hasty post. I am still reeling (and glowing a bit) after giving the British Academy Shakespeare Lecture last week. This happens at a brilliant venue, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe Theatre in London. I gave a paper that would never have happened without this blog, and the way it has kept me thinking about emerging ideas in cognitive science. It was all about mind-wandering, a favourite topic for posts, and fairly soon there’ll be an audio version available online.
Meanwhile, I read an article entitled ‘The Ultimate Psychology Reading List’. You can read it here, in the online version of The Psychologist. (I was led to it by a Tweet from Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (from UCL) so it has some decent endorsement.)
Over the last eight years or so, nearly 100 prominent people in the field were asked: which is the one book any psychologist should read? Needless to say I was thinking: do they think literature knows anything about their brains? Here are the results, organised by rough and ready categories:
Recent Psychology: 24
Classic Psychology: 17
Other Non-Fiction: 25
Don’t Know: 2
Now I was pretty sketchy in deciding what was ‘Recent’ and what was ‘Classic’, and what counted as ‘Other Non-Fiction’ and not part of ‘Psychology’. The proportion that interested me was the proportion of fiction, which seems to me decently high, not particularly discouraging.
I couldn’t help noticing that the proportion of fiction shot up after 2015. It’s not for me to say that this was the influence of this very blog percolating into the psychology world. One reason for me not saying that is that it definitely is not the case. Nonetheless, an OK result with an interesting uptick, well, I can milk some optimistic from that.