Sunday, December 29, 2013

The psychology of Open All Hours

Writing a student blog on the University of Leicester site, Tim Holyoake look at the Christmas reappearance of Open All Hours. (Tim is known to Lib Dems as the author of Just One More Ten Pence Piece....)

He says that in the context of my Occupational Psychology masters degree, a few things about this special episode struck him as interesting.

Among them is:
Granville’s personality appears to have undergone a radical change. He’s taken on the traits (and comically, the appearance) of Arkwright and is no longer the naive dreamer from the original series. While we’re talking fiction of course, I believe that this illustration makes an important point. 
For me, the balance of evidence is that personality is primarily and perhaps even entirely shaped by the situation someone finds themself in, rather than being an inherent and stable characteristic of that individual. In other words, if you peel the layers off the onion of an individual’s personality, you will never reach a central core – the ‘real’ person – because there isn’t one to find.
I think Tim is right here, even though I care about "the individual" as much as any Liberal. The moral is that, if individuals and individuality are to flourish, then we must campaign to bring about the social conditions that make it possible.

And the picture above? It comes from the JR James Archive at the University of Sheffield.

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