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Friday, June 19, 2009

Evolving Complicators and Simplifiers

From the Edge, a talk with John Bargh, professor of social psychology at Yale University and director of the ACME (Automaticity in Cognition, Motivation and Evaluation) Lab.

' ... They say that in science there are complicators and there are simplifiers, which is a good tension to have in any field of ideas or science. I've always been a simplifier — looking for the simple mechanisms that produce complex effect, instead of building a complicated model. Once we find one of these veins — one of these avenues of research — we just go for it and mine it and mine it until we run out of gold.... We discovered a new vein of research — the relation between physical and social or psychological concepts — that we came to by taking evolutionary principles seriously and applying them to psychology ... '

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