Ordinary magic: What Descriptive Psychology is, and why it matters

Putman, A.O. / Published 2010 / Article

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Citation: Putman, A.O. (2010). Ordinary magic: What Descriptive Psychology is, and why it matters. In K. E. Davis, F. Lubuguin, & W. Schwartz (Eds.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology: Vol.9 (pp. 9-39). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.

Abstract: Human competence exercised at its highest levels can look a lot like magic. A person’s core competence—the competence at being a person in a world of persons and their ways—is, like competence in one’s native language, developed naturally in the course of growing from infant to adult. While its exercise is ordinarily adequate in adults, this core competence is essentially “invisible” and taken for granted. Increasing this competence to high levels is greatly facilitated by using the practical and intellectual discipline of Descriptive Psychology to make the “invisible” competence visible, thus describable and open to development. Examples of this “ordinary magic” in performance, relationships and living are given using some conceptual tools of Descriptive Psychology.