Monday, August 18, 2008

Of Psychology and the Nation

I've always believed (well, from the time i began to see psych in a deeper level) that psychology has a role in nation building. Just a while ago, as i was reading an article for my upcoming exam in kas 112 (contemporary philippines), i came across a short paragpraph about a psychological warfare office under ramon magsaysay in the 50s. and then,boom!

You know that rush of blood, that palpitation, that sudden impulse when a flash of insight or thought comes to mind? that's how i felt. i don't know how to solve it yet, though. but a big question crystallized:

How can Filipino psychologists help protect the nation from psychological

Also, this somehow strengthened my desire to take graduate units in psychology. four of the areas i'm most interested in are Sikolohiyang Pilipino, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I [rhea]lized that if i am serious about my desire to really incorporate my background in psychology to law and to the laws i plan to make, then my bachelor degree would not suffice. i would want great filipino psychologists for my mentors, such as the great dr. elizabeth de castro for SP (who also happens to be an psychsoc alumna), the beautiful ma'am cherry joy billedo for social psych, the ever-witty prof. cecilia gastardo-conaco for cognitive psych (another psychsoc alumna), and the very diverse dr. mendoza (who was once a psychsoc adviser :) ).

I believe psychology should not be belittled when people are talking about the nation. for surely, change implies action, and actions are but behavioral manifestations of schemas formed inside the mind. we have often been told that it's the "system." true that. but are we to be like seligman's dogs in his experiments from which he derived the concept of learned helplessness?

During one of my conversations with my dad, i told him that i no longer want to be just a lawyer. I said, "dad, i want to be more than just that. i want to be a law maker." He told me, "but we have enough laws, the problem in in the implementation." I replied, "dad, i know. and i know too that a lot of people draft good bills. the problem lies when a bill is filtered way too much by the congress and/or the senate for the interests of the rent-seeking rich." Then he said, in an unbelieving tone, "so why bother?"

In my heart, i knew the answer. at the moment, i couldn't articulate it well enough, though. i think it's not really a matter of idealism; rather it's a matter of a refusal to passive acceptance.

Sometimes, too, i feel like i'm putting too much pressure on myself. the mere public declaration of my desire to be a law maker makes that desire more like something that i would then have to prove. numerous studies have concluded that public declaration of a certain view strengthens that person's view. so i guess to prevent any cognitive dissonance in the future arising from failing to fulfill the dreams of my present self, i guess it's worthy to note that, in the words of our guest speaker in my i/o psych class last summer, "the missions (of an organization) may change, but the vision cannot." In other words, how i plan to be a "nation-builder" may differ from time to time, perhaps partly due to influx of different influences, but my main vision of doing something for the love of this country won't.

And with that, i'll leave you with an edited picture of my creative shot. (The actual one from the studio is yet to come, so forgive the not-so-good editing and the grainy quality of the photo---> haha priming :P )

No comments: