PSYC Semineri: “Theory Crisis within Psychological Science, Gestalt Theory, and a Current Climate of Promising New/Renewed Theoretical Frameworks”, Esra Mungan, 12:30 19 Ekim (EN)

Please join Bilkent University’s Psychology Department on Thursday for the visit of Assoc. Prof. Esra Mungan.

Speaker: Esra Mungan. Boğaziçi University

“Theory Crisis within Psychological Science, Gestalt Theory, and a Current Climate of Promising New/Renewed Theoretical Frameworks”

Date: Thursday, 19 October 2023
Time: 12:30
Room: C Blok Amphitheatre

In my talk I will address the theory crisis and deep fragmentation in psychology and discuss whether there are chances for a paradigm shift in the psychological sciences, i.e., a shift away from the (almost without much thought) taken-for-granted sequential, from piece-to-whole mainstream understanding of the now almost 70-year old information processing perspective to a perspective that takes as its starting point the whole, and hence meaning. The whole may stand for an object as embedded in its immediately salient or inconspicuous environment, where parts cannot be made sense of unless we understand their roles in the larger configurations. It may stand for an organism or an organismic collectivity as embedded in its environment, a person or a collectivity of people in their embedded immediate and phenomenal field, who we may not understand unless we understand their larger environmental, societal and cultural embeddedness. This perspective was the very one that Gestalt theory at the turn of the preceding century had proposed but was either dismissed, seen as too challenging or be utterly mistaken for a theory about “laws of perceptual organization” only. I will finish with a glimpse into current promising approaches that might constitute strong alternatives to the information-processing paradigm.

About the speaker:
Esra Mungan received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Boğaziçi University in 1990. She undertook further studies at American University (Washington, D.C.) where she was admitted with a Dean’s Honor dual scholarship to the Ph.D. program in Experimental Psychology. During her PhD work, Mungan was invited by the Boğaziçi University Psychology Department to teach as a part-time faculty member from 1994 to 1996. After that she quit the PhD program at American University and started to work full time elsewhere. She returned to Boğaziçi University as a full-time instructor in 2002 and re-entered the PhD program in Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience at American University in 2005, where she received her PhD degree in January 2007. Mungan’s current research interests revolve around music cognition with special focus on music segmentation, Gestalt principles in music perception, rhythm perception and interfaces of language, poetry, and music. Among her other interests are conceptualizations of evolutionary theory as well as cognitive science related subjects, and since 2020 Gestalt theory. (