Social psychologist Dr. Robert V. Levine, author of “Stranger in the Mirror: The Scientific Search for the Self,” will give a lecture, titled “The Voices in our Heads,” as part of the spring programming for Fresno State’s Center for Creativity and the Arts.
Levine’s latest book, which is the basis for his lecture, is published by The Press at California State University, Fresno. The lecture is scheduled for 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday, March 22, in the Alice Peters Auditorium.
Dr. Cindy Urrutia, director of the Center for Creativity and the Arts, explained how Levine’s lecture ties in with this year’s theme:
“Throughout the 2017-2018 year, the theme ‘Voice and Silence’ has explored the ways in which voiceless or silent groups express themselves in various fields, as well as in social settings. Dr. Levine’s ‘Voices in our Heads’ is a provocative exploration of the idea of expression through the stories and narratives we create internally.”
A professor emeritus from the Department of Psychology at Fresno State, Levine has won national and international awards for his research, teaching and writing. He served as a visiting professor at Universidade Federal Fluminense in Niteroi, Brazil; Sapporo Medical University in Japan; Stockholm University in Sweden; and, most recently, as a fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University in the United Kingdom.
“To understand the voices in our heads is to understand the minds we inhabit,” Levine said. “The voices can be frightening, as in the uncontrollable hallucinations sometimes experienced during mental illness. But inner voices aren’t confined to the mentally ill. They are as normal as thinking, for better and for worse and in a symphony of forms. They may be experienced as silent or aloud, as friend or foe, sometimes helpful and other times annoying. But, one thing is certain: If your brain is wired normally, there are going to be voices yammering through your mind from beginning to end. And we couldn’t survive without them.”
Levine is also the author of “A Geography of Time” (1998) and “The Power of Persuasion: How We’re Bought and Sold” (2006). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, American Scientist and Discover, and he has appeared on “ABC Prime Time” and WNYC’s “RadioLab.”
Levine is the outgoing president of the Western Psychological Association and a fellow in the American Psychological Association. He has earned a number of awards for his teaching and research including earned Fresno State’s top honor, the Excellence in Teaching Award, in 2007.
“Stranger in the Mirror” is $16 and can be purchased on The Press website and on Amazon.
Levine is available for interviews about the book. Additional information can also be found at this Q&A with the author.