A Radical Psychologist understands that words are more than mere symbols to communicate concepts. That is the old view of reality. The 2D view of a world inhabited by rational-linear beings computing and outputting on simple A-B scale.
A 3D, view of the world sees words as behaviours. Stimuli that act on the world and alter the environment of those around the speaker and beyond. A word can arouse passion, anger, love, understanding. Words can also change our behaviours in a very real way.
We are not linear A-B beings. We think in three dimensions and our thoughts are driven by more than the words we ascribe to them. A Radical Psychologist understands and uses this knowledge to affect change on the world around them.
Consider; I tell you that I am extremely busy, that I am snowed under, that not the hounds of Hades himself could drag me from my work, but for you I will do as you ask and do you a favour.
How does this make you feel? What if I am sat watching tv, munching on chocolate, exuding boredom and inactivity, when you ask me to help I sigh, “I suppose”, I mumble, “I have nothing better to do”.
How does this make you feel? The outcome – the manifestation of my response – that I ultimately help you is the same. Yet the first example makes you feel in my debt, as though I am doing you a great favour and it is exacting a huge price on me, the second that I am merely doing it for he same of having something to do.
Here is a truth; both examples lead to the same outcome. I help you. To the 2D thinker they are the same thing merely different on a purely aesthetic spectrum. To the Radical Psychologist – the 3D thinker – there is all the difference in the world.
Consider another example; lets go back thirty years. We work together in a busy office environment that only has one photocopier. As per usual there is a queue for the photocopier. Harried officer-workers line up to get their photocopies done but your boss has just demanded some photocopies for an important meeting – and he wants them now.
You rush to the photocopier, blindly you push to the front of the queue muttering apologies, people moan and grumble, you get evil looks from others. You slink away, your social position damaged, you feel guilty, but hey ho. At least you got the photocopies. You sit back next to me and shrug, “he wanted them now” you offer, by way of explanation.
“Let me show you something” I say, smiling. I get up, grab something to photocopy. I stand at the back of the queue and say, quietly, “Excuse me, I really need the photocopier now because I need to make some photocopies”. You laugh at the insanity of it but the laugh dies on your tongue because like magic people let me pass, I get the copies and people smile, glad to have helped me out. I return to my desk grinning. You just stare, flabbergasted.
At least, you would do if you were a 2D thinker.
A Radical Psychologist however would not be surprised. This study demonstrates exactly what I described above.
We think our actions are conscious and wilful. Actually we behave largely non-consciously. Simply responding to stimuli that present themselves to us. Robert Cialdini, in his book “Influence” (which every Radical Psychologist needs to read), calls this the click, whirr response.
Remember it. Use it. Radical Psychologists harness this automaticity to great affect.