Victor Johnston

Psychologist, Person

1943 –


Who is Victor Johnston?

Victor S. Johnston is a prominent Irish-born psychologist whose work emphasis is emotion, and event related potentials. His areas of study include cognitive engineering, biopsychology, and cognitive psychology. His major research interests are evolutionary psychology, electrophysiology and genetic algorithms. Dr. Johnston states, "The human brain did not evolve to accurately represent the world around us; it evolved only to enhance the survival of our genes." According to Johnston, the combination of emotions with symbolic thought produces meaning. But with this capacity comes the ability to develop meanings for things that do not exist. Little girls develop the ability to attach emotional feelings to dolls, and pretend that their toys live. Little boys learn how to pretend to hunt and fight and attach emotions to them. We learn feelings of desire, fear, and wonder by wandering to the limits of our play. Imagination allows us to create technology, mathematics, and art, but with it can also come terrifying thoughts that could cause harm to us. We grow to learn the difference between most of our thoughts and what they represent, but most of us get fooled into believing the reality of some things that don't exist at all.

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May 4, 1943
  • United States of America
  • University of Edinburgh

on July 23, 2013


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