Change my mind

Archer research on psychological process of change published in academic journal

Austin Archer’s paper “‘I Don’t See It That Way Anymore’: A Qualitative Study About Significant Changes of Mind” was selected for publication in the April 5, 2021, edition of The Qualitative Report.

In his research, Archer, professor of psychology and education, focused on eight individuals who had experienced major changes within their religious beliefs. He conducted interviews to dig deeper into their thoughts and feelings as they went through these changes.

“For a long time, I have been curious about the whole issue of change, particularly the changes that go on in people’s minds—changes in beliefs, in worldview,” said Archer. “For example, what goes on within a person as they go through a change in political views, religious beliefs, or even beliefs about their self-understanding? Examples may include change from belief to unbelief or from unbelief to belief, changes within a belief system, in political affiliation, or gender identification.”

In the paper, Archer examines the three phases of change: the time before the change, the change itself, and the time after the change. He found that before the change takes place there is emotional comfort and quiescence up until the point that something causes the change to happen. Then, during the phase of change, there is emotional discomfort, and following the change, the subject returns to relative psychological comfort and resilience. 

Archer submitted his research to The Qualitative Report a few years ago and had it accepted immediately pending suggested revisions. After resubmitting with the changes completed, it was scheduled for publication this April. 

To learn more about Archer and the other faculty members of the Department of Education and Psychology, visit wallawalla.edu/ed-psych.

Posted March 2, 2021.

Archer stands in suit against gray background
Archer teaches a variety of classes within the Department of Education and Psychology including Cognitive Psychology, Psychological Testing, and Psychology of Learning & Development.

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