Psychologists, says the old joke, know everything there is to know about the college sophomore and the white rat. But what about the rest of us, older than the former, bigger than the latter, with lives more labyrinthine than either? In this ambitious book, Karl E. Scheibe aims to take psychology out of its rut and bring it into contact with the complex lives that most people quietly live.
Drama, Scheibe reminds us, is no more confined to the theater than religion is to the church or education to the schoolroom. Accordingly, he brings to his reflection on psychology the drama of literature, poetry, philosophy, history, music, and theater. The essence of drama is transformation: the transformation of the quotidian world into something that commands interest and stimulates conversation. It is this dramatic transformation that Scheibe seeks in psychology as he pursues a series of suggestive questions, such as: Why is boredom the central motivational issue of our time? Why are eating and sex the biological foundations of all human dramas? Why is indifference a natural condition, caring a dramatic achievement? Why is schizophrenia disappearing? Why does gambling have cosmic significance?
Writing with elegance and passion, Scheibe asks us to take note of the self-representation, performance, and scripts of the drama that is our everyday life. In doing so, he challenges our dispirited senses and awakens psychology to a new realm of dramatic possibility.