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Issues and Debates – Historical Debates

5. Holistic and Reductionist Theories of Religion

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this lecture, we think about holistic and reductionist theories of religion, focusing in particular on: (i) the subdivision of social psychology as a discipline, one of these being a cognitive viewpoint; (ii) the link found between research on people’s tendency to jump to conclusions and a theory for the development of religion; (iii) the consideration that this theory is reductionist, as it doesn’t consider the processing of information as a group or culture; (iv) wider considerations of social and emotional factors that might be able to explain why someone would join or create a religion.

Course

In this course, Dr Metodi Siromahov (University College London) explores some historic debates in psychology. In the first lecture, we think about the history of the free will versus determinism debate and the origins of psychological theory. In the second lecture, we think about some modern viewpoints on this debate, including drawing similarities between behaviourism with cognitive psychology. In the third lecture, we think about social constructivism and the impact of culture and environment on our thought processes. Next, we think about reductionism versus holism, including a contrast between Freudian theory and humanistic psychology. In the fifth lecture, we think about religion as an example for which holistic and reductionist theories can be applied. In the sixth lecture, we think about the definitions and impacts of nomothetic and idiographic approaches to research. In the seventh lecture, we think further about these research approaches, including some key criticisms and examples. In the eighth and final lecture, we review two studies which approach the topic of nationalism from a nomothetic and idiographic view respectively.

Lecturer

Dr Metodi Siromahov is a lecturer in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at University College London. Dr Siromahov’s research interests are in historical controversies and debates within social psychology, and the application of these to understanding political ideologies. Dr Siromahov’s recent publications include 'Beliefs in national continuity are related to essentialist thinking and to perceptions of the nation as a family' (2020) and 'Mapping visual spatial prototypes: Multiple reference frames shape visual memory' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Siromahov, M. (2022, June 09). Issues and Debates – Historical Debates - Holistic and Reductionist Theories of Religion [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/issues-and-debates-historical-debates/holistic-and-reductionist-theories-of-religion

MLA style

Siromahov, M. "Issues and Debates – Historical Debates – Holistic and Reductionist Theories of Religion." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Jun 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/issues-and-debates-historical-debates/holistic-and-reductionist-theories-of-religion

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