Selection of public presentations available in English, German or Hungarian


 

 

Looking for the ideal partner – dating, seducing, falling in love

What makes a person of the opposite sex attractive or congenial?

Until recently empirical science knew a lot more about bonding between chemical elements than between humans. Based on a philosophy of "all men are equal" it was considered anti­democratic, that because of their good looks certain individuals had better chances to be fallen in love with than others. Taking the results of the latest research into consideration, today's presentation will focus on questions like:

The results are stunning: Even in today's mass society in a subconscious way cognitive mechanisms are still at work that have developed in an earlier phase of human evolution our ancestors lived in for possibly a 100.000 generations.

 

Crash ... The general psychology of falling in love

As is well known, it is the task of general psychology to investigate aspects of human behaviour and experience beyond different types of personality, social groups and cultures that may be considered general to all humankind. This presentation focuses on the classical sub-disciplines of general psychology applied to the behaviour and experience of falling in love. What are the psychological processes involved in this „critical life event“?

Come and discuss with Prof. Hejj the provoking results of his studies: Even modern-day lovers are guided by their stone-age soul: by those subconsciously active cognitive adaptations that have spread during the roughly 100.000 generations our ancestors spent in their archaic environment.

 

First date

What "timetables" do young men and women have in their minds about what to expect during a first date?

What makes a person of the opposite sex attractive or congenial?

Until recently empirical science knew a lot more about bonding between chemical elements than between humans. Based on a philosophy of "all men are equal" it was considered anti­democratic, that because of their sex or their looks certain individuals had better chances to be fallen in love with than others. Of course we are not helplessly determined by our stone-age inheritage. Yet there is much to be won through better understanding those adapted cognitive mechanisms to effectively facilitate a constructive cooperation of man and women.

As an adaptation to their stone-age environment in a hundred thousand generations men and women have developed subconscious cognitive mechanisms to arouse a keen emotional interest for a possible partner suitable for passing on one's own genetic information in an optimal way. How individuals of both sexes want to present themselves in the most attractive way, so that on their first date they will emphasize those very features relevant for the reproductive success of their partner, will be demonstrated from antique literature across modern guide-books up to Hejj's investigation of 136 heterosexual daters. Women's scripts of a first date are compared with those where men are asked to give the scripts they thought women had, and vice versa. This cross-validation brings further evidence: Investigations conducted at the most diverse points of time throughout the history of mankind find the same "stone-age" behavioural patterns that speak for self-advertisement as related to reproductory success. Discuss the provoking findings of his study with Prof. Hejj.

 

Young, single, seeking? - The world of singles

The number of single-households is rapidly increasing - but also that of partner-advertisements! The question mark in the title will draw attention to the following aspect: Do singles really wish to change their status by seeking an adequate partner, or are they just fed up with the traditional expectations of their social environment? What are their ideas on bonding and being faithful, about cheating on the partner and about their future? Are they egoistic? How and why will a single become a permanent single? How is the life of those singles who were forced into this way of life? What differences do we find in the heads of singles and the married? Discuss the surprising results of his study with Prof. Hejj.

 

Is our love going to last? On the durability of romantic relationships

The presentation will set out to examine - partly psychodynamic - examples of partnership, as to how valid sayings like "birds of a feather" and "opposites attract" are. After an overview of the existing (pre-) scientific attempts to fit a possible partner to those who seek one, the central importance of similarity in attitudes for happiness with the relationship will be demonstrated. Come and discuss the durability cues Prof. Hejj found in his study, surprisingly NOT by comparing the attitudes of the two partners.

 

Impression – Seduction – Exaggeration: The Psychology of Fashion
Year after year people in the USA spend more money for optimizing their personal appearance than for education and social welfare taken together. The same phenomenon is also in progress in Europe. But don't we hear people ever so often stress, it is the character of a person that counts? On the other hand the decisive first impression is often by sight and in this unrepeatable moment aided by fashion design, make-up and accessories people like to present themselves in the best possible light, expressing in a non-verbal way who they are. How can this apparent contradiction be dissolved? How do subconscious cognitive mechanisms help us "know" people better?

After touching on a number of basic topics like

the participants will have a chance to discuss their personal experience with the psychologist Prof. Hejj.

 

What is and why do we need emotional intelligence?

Will emotional intelligence become more import in our mass society than cold cleverness? This much appears obvious: Although the propagation of technical-cognitive intelligence has lead to a great improvement of the quality of life of mankind, we find ever more social tension, aggression, anxiety and other psychological problems, that obviously cannot be reduced using technical intelligence alone. In order to make it clear how and why emotional intelligence could help, Prof. Hejj will treat two readily understandable everyday examples: teaching delinquent youth to become less aggressive and how emotional intelligence can help overcome depression. From the overview:

·     Education of the heart - An introduction to emotion intelligence

·     The hunter society survives - From the stone-age chieftain to modern corporate leadership

·     Before the student strikes 12 - Applying emotional intelligence to aggressive and delinquent youth

 

Towards light - Helping to overcome depression

Are mothers, mass-society or molecules to blame for so many people suffering depression? What explanations for this disease are offered by psychiatry, depth- and social psychology? What are the effects of depression on the person effected and his social environment? What paradigms of therapy have proved to be of effective help? You do not have to endure depression: Get to know the paths that lead from the distressing darkness towards light!

·     The common cold of psychopathology - Symptoms and prevalence of depression

·     About mothers and screws - The explanation of depression in depth psychology

 

Between the automat and autarky - On the various depictions of humankind in psychology

People often speak about "psychology" without realizing, that psychologists belong to extremely different schools of thought, each based on a certain depiction of humankind. This presentation will compare and contrast these competing schools of psychology and illustrate on a number of examples how they relate to each other and how they help to better understand their research-subject: the human.

 

Identity and integration

 

Political psychology and prognosis - Apparent sigs of disintegration expressed by ex and still-Soviet citizens

One of the most important aspects of personal identity is belonging to a broader cultural group, of which the individual sees himself as a member. But what happens if this mighty group, as in the case of the Soviet Union, breaks apart and thus this crucial basis of giving account of oneself and the others is shattered? Social scientists could only speculate about this question as it was impossible to simulate such a major change in the research lab. It was certainly not a group of experimental psychologists, whose "work" unintentionally led to the significant change in the variable "citizenship" for Millions of Soviets  in August 1991 and who thus made it possible to investigate the above effects. The objective change of nationalities, passports, flags, banknotes, stamps and street-names are accompanied by subjective changes as well. The researcher focused on these changes as he experienced the (re-) birth of three European nations in their respective capital cities Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn and using the methods of an experimental social psychologist documented the ideas of these people on their way to their new identity - comparing them to those who were at the time still citizens of the Soviet Union and other republics. The findings were stunning: The data gathered showed clearly the disintegration of the SU long before this actually became political reality.

 

An eyewitness of the new world order travelling in occupied Iraq – A social scientist on mind control and manipulation

The temptation to control crucial figures of history or even to take control of them without their noticing, what is more, to win the hearts of the masses to support one's cause has indeed been around for centuries.  Prof. Hejj's friends and colleagues were quite shocked when he told them he was going to Iraq to see things for himself in the summer of 2003, right after the US war president Bush officially announced that his mission was accomplished, Iraq was "liberated". But Hejj is a social researcher who will accept the challenge to apply his profession to conduct in depth investigation in any segment of the contemporary society he lives in. He pursued his way to and through Iraq and documented his encounters with the occupied and their occupiers on tape and video. The documentary shown in this presentation Liberation the American way. Scenes of the war against Iraq is part of his series A glimpse beyond taboos, in which the author demonstrates the concentration of global power during his travels to over 160 countries. It is his wish to inspire viewers to think about facts and arguments that "public opinion", i.e. the published opinion frowns upon or neglects completely. His film is a contribution for the responsible citizen against war and against manipulation. In order to enable a more founded answer to the question to what extent the vision of a "brave new world" is an adequate description of our near future, Prof. Hejj will present the relevant work in psychology and social science and invites participants for a lively discussion.