A multi-level perspective integrating different levels’ analisys in “The International Journal of Psychosocial and Cultural Genomics: Health & Consciousness Research”
This editorial starts from the consideration that in many cases the different levels of our functioning have been distant or totally separated one from the other. This happens because the have been often the result of methodological and/or epistemological limits which have led the disciplines and/or the different approaches in those ones to develop languages and practices based on a mono-logic approach. Basically this way of proceeding in knowledge offered a great specialization in the different fields of knowledge but sometimes it overlooked the complexity of difficult subject of research such as human functioning.
An evidence of this is certainly the omission of the body actualized by a certain part of psychology as well as the symmetrical amnesia realized by medical science regarding the existence of Mind. Each of these aspects has always been so reluctant to understand and use the perspective of the other in order to heal this fracture. However, today the limits of an increasingly compartmentalized perspective based on the absence of dialogue among models, approaches and methods, in addition to the crisis of replication in psychology, are leading us toward a new concept of research and intervention in psychology. So we need a new look in psychology founded on a multi-level perspective (Kandel, 1998, Rossi et al. 2006). The advent of new extraordinary technologies in the various fields of knowledge is able to create a more concrete meeting among the different ways of doing research. In this context of change, new ways of reading and interpreting the functioning of both human beings and groups are also becoming evident. For the first time psychology, medicine, as well as the world of education, social issues and culture can take into account as central issue the complexity of human beings with its numerous variables and multiple levels of analysis. In this new scientific phase, psychology can play a role of great importance, especially if it leaves out the tendency of defending the status quo and proceeds toward a scientific disciplinary evolution more suitable to the complexity of its purpose of study). After having acquired the constitutive limit of a merely cognitive-behavioral approach and recognized the inestimable value of a sociocultural perspective with regard both to the epistemology and to the intervention, psychology is getting ready for a possible integration among models and levels of functioning.
The purpose is not to conform or deny the differences among approaches, models and languages but rather to try and hold this epistemological and operational complexity together. During other moments of its history, Psychology has already offered a unitary reading of the different levels of analysis (Lewin, Bronfenbrenner, Doise, etc.) in relation to our behavior and development. But it was a theoretical elaboration which did not find an active methodological implementation based on clear, direct and experimental evidences that could highlight the points of convergence among the different levels of our functioning. Only now for the first time, thanks to methodologies such as the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and methods such as the DNA microarrays, we are able to imagine a relation between Mind and Body in its deepest meaning, see gene expression and protein synthesis. This new scientific approach (from Mind to Gene and vice versa) allows us to identify in an objective and functional way the influences that certain levels of functioning can have in real time between one and another in relation to the processes of memorization, learning, making sense and construction of knowledge, with reference to the world of education. While extraordinary scenarios are appearing also in health research, consider the relevance this approach can have in the world of clinical psychology and mind-body therapies. This new perspective in psychology is supported by evidences and tangible results which give it a value of great relevance especially for the future. Our journal’s project aims to highlight that on a both epistemological and methodological level it is possible not only to imagine a psychology which takes into account different levels of analysis, but also that this would allow our discipline to overcome the inferiority complex about other sciences or approaches considered more exact, without imitating something that does not belong to us and that would misrepresent out story and our identity.
This new approach in psychology can be well represented by Psychosocial and Cultural Genomics (Rossi, 2002, Rossi et al. 2006; Cozzolino et al. 2015).
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The International Journal of Psychosocial and Cultural Genomics, Consciousness & Health Research / Vol. 2, Issue I, February 2016