chapter  11
18 Pages

Towards Romanticism in psychology

Although aesthetic preference and creativity constitute a complex aspect of cognition and conscious behaviour, it has not received much attention in psychology. According to Hillman (1996), this neglect can be attributed to the general lack of aesthetic sensitivity in psychology. ‘Neither social psychology, experimental psychology, nor therapeutic psychology find a place for the aesthetic appreciation of a life story’ (p. 35). Contemporary psychology ‘tends to narrow understanding of complex phenomena to single-meaning definitions’ (p. 10). The paradigms of the discipline simply do not account for the longing of the human heart for beauty, ‘or engage with, and therefore ignore, the sense of calling, that essential mystery at the heart of human life’ (p. 6).