The Jedi and Psychology

I enjoy writing about different aspects of the Jedi that are less talked about but could be so beneficial.  Psychology is one of those things that could really help you understand and learn much about the ways of the Jedi.  It is our duty to help others in any situation.  Many times you might come across two people in a verbal argument.  Knowing how and why people think a certain way and then being able to identify how they are thinking you can apply your knowledge of psychology to help out in the situation and can help settle the dispute or at least diffuse the situation enough so it doesn’t go any farther as in getting physical.  If someone comes to you for advice and after they run their situation having an understanding of psychology you can aide you in offering advice because you have an extra insight of their whole personality and just who they are from your understanding of psychology.  Having that extra insight in addition to their situation will open up a whole new set of possibilities of advice you can give them.  Many times people will offer their advice on something that worked or helped them but will have no clue why it worked or helped.  If you don’t understand why some advice worked for you all you can do is tell them your experience.  If you understand why what you did worked you can explain to the individual(s) on a detailed level why it helped you.  Instead of giving surface advice you can really offer some great insight.  There are also many other benefits of having at least a basic understanding of psychology and those listed above are just a few.  Listed below is just an additional list in ways psychology can help:

-It will help you understand why you do certain things and think the way you do.
-If you understand why someone is thinking the way they are you can tailor your help or response in a more efficient manner so they will understand you much easier
-If you understand how humans think and remember you can work on ways to increase your memory and thinking processes.
-It teaches you how people learn which will help you become a better guide/teacher/aide or whatever you do when sharing or teaching information
-Having empathy is important for a Jedi.  Understanding why certain people think and do one way instead of another will greatly increase your ability to understand why they might think something is right and you think it is wrong.  That is not all there is to empathy but psychology in general will aide you in so many different ways with empathy.
-It help you understand why people respond to certain situations the way they do and if you can learn to predict those responses you can better prepare for them.

Again, that is just another small list as many more things can be included depending on what area of psychology you study or research.  This is going to be a two part lesson but I plan on making this a continual lesson after this month.  This first lesson is just like the introduction and some basics of psychology.  The next lesson I will be selecting a couple of broad concepts and discussing what they are, how they work, and how can it help us as Jedi.  So as I said I will talk about some basics below and I will also give a couple of links to some good sites that have information about psychology.

Psychology is a huge area of knowledge with many different fields within it.  I am not telling everyone to go out and become psychology experts and major in it.  Now if that’s what you want to do, great, it’s a really interesting and fun field.  I loved all of my educational psychology classes and plan on doing a ton more reading in addition to what I have already done.  I just plan on talking and suggest everyone to learn the basics.  Everyone when studying psychology starts with the fundamentals and learns the same thing, that’s what I plan on doing in these first two lessons.  

So what is psychology?  Psychology is the study of the human mind and human behavior.  That can open up to larger realm of questions and definitions.  Just look at that basic definition though and think what it means to be a Jedi.  Just imagine in doing some basic studying of psychology what it could help you do on your path to becoming a Jedi.  A Jedi is about helping others and learning how the human mind and human behavior works would aide you in so many different ways to help.  This can also increase your ability to read peoples emotions and thoughts in more ways then one.  

Just to get an idea let’s take the line Obi-Wan used saying how you look at something depends on your certain point of view.  A great way to illustrate this is by colors.  Remember, there is no such thing as colors.  It is just light waves of different length.  Interpretation of colors is very subjective as our eyes are only perceiving those wave lengths and then assigning a name to that wave length that we see.  Let’s take your typical color blue.  Now let’s say you get 100 people together and say 99 of them said yup, that’s blue but one person said no, that yellow.  They were raised by assigning the word yellow to that perception of wave lengths so that is the color yellow and not blue.  Those 99 people could not say that one person was wrong because we are only assigning names to those wave lengths.  There is no set rule to assigning names to those wave lengths.  Yes, a majority of people agree that color is blue because of how they were raised and taught but that doesn’t make the person saying it’s yellow wrong.  Many of our views and perceptions are based off what we were taught in life.  Most people when being told by someone the color they see that is blue is being seen as yellow would say that person is wrong.  As Jedi we need to learn to look at this differently.  They are not wrong but looking at those wave lengths and just assigning a different name to those wave lengths.  Think back to some different situations when you were told you were wrong or told someone yourself they were wrong.  Were they truly wrong in their answer or view or were they wrong because they weren’t seeing it the same as you?  So who does that make wrong or right, is there even a wrong or right?  

A really interesting site to check out to get you going on some psychology information would be http://psychology.about.com/ .  They have a lot of great overview information on the many different areas of psychology and some great sources of information.  If you are interested in learning more about psychology as you can see from visiting the site above or other websites you find there are many different areas.  I have 4 areas I would suggest looking into just to get some basic foundational knowledge.  I will list them below.  I would start with the first three as that will give you plenty of information to chew on for a while but the last one, educational psychology will help you in understanding how to teach/guide better along with how people learn which could help you or your students/peers.  

1.)    Cognitive Psychology which is the study of the mental processes that underlie behavior.  This includes memory, attention, perception, knowledge representation, reasoning, creativity and problem solving.

2.)    Developmental Psychology which is the study of changes in human behavior and thought throughout the life cycle.

3.)    Social psychology which is the study of the nature and causes of human social behavior, with an emphasis on how people think towards each other and how they relate to each other.

4.)    Educational Psychology which is the study of how children and adults learn.

In my next lecture I will take a couple different examples from all four of these different areas listed above and talk about some things within each area that are very beneficial to the Jedi.  So as you can see psychology is a great tool to utilize for a Jedi.  It can help us in so many ways and the list of what it can help us do that I made is just the tip of the iceberg.