What is it about?

This article challenges psychology to take art and imagination more seriously. It shows how the use of imagination through art can help people to deal with transformative experiences. It illustrates these arguments through an analysis of a movie: Christopher Nolan's Inception.

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Why is it important?

This research poses a challenge to one of the basic ways of thinking 'psychologically' today. It challenges the tendency assume a basic distinction between objective fact and subjective fancy. In fact, as artistic productions like Inception clearly show, art works dynamically within experience by drawing upon tensions between fact and fiction. These tensions are particularly relevant during 'liminal experiences' of transition.


Doing this research and writing this article with Professor Tania Zittoun was a very enriching experience. To me it confirmed how very similar theoretical insights can be expressed in theoretical terms that can superficially appear very different.

Paul Stenner
Open University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: On taking a leap of faith: Art, imagination, and liminal experiences., Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, November 2020, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/teo0000148.
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