“We must flee from generalizations and not be unfair to them”


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most of young people are “quite responsible”, but youth is a stage of life in which there are a ‘perception of lesser danger’, which, combined with the use of certain substances, can lead some groups to have irresponsible behaviors.

This is stated by the professor of Organizational Psychology at the University of Valencia (UV) and president of the International Association of Applied Psychology, Vicente Martínez-Tur, who in an interview with the Efe Agency points out that one should avoid “generalizations” and not be “unfair” with youth, which generally shows a “social commitment.”

Adaptation to changes

Martínez-Tur considers that human beings are characterized by their ability to adapt to changes but, when it comes to restricting individual freedoms, getting used to it is more complicated in countries where these are highly valued. “The ability to adapt does not always go in the same direction or pace in all countries,” he says.

Remember that the latest UN global studies indicate that 90% of people now wash their hands frequently and 70% try to maintain a social distance of two meters.

“The data suggest that what the authorities say is being fulfilled, but there are groups where compliance is more difficult. An adolescent does not have the same perception of danger as an adult, and if you combine it with alcohol consumption, the decrease is greater “, he points out.

He considers that it is also «very complicated» for families to ignore the relationship with the elderly. “On the one hand, you avoid the possible contagion, but, on the other, you stimulate an isolation that can generate problems of frustration or anxiety,” he explains.

Applied psychology

He has recently been appointed president of the International Association of Applied Psychology (Division 1), an entity that this year celebrates its centenary and whose objective is to apply this psychology to the real problems of society, emphasizing the development and dignity of people.

“Starting with the person, we look for environments that promote their dignity and well-being,” he explains, adding that in the last 40 years human development indices have improved a lot at the global level, but “they vary greatly from one country to another” and COVID-19 is going to make them worse.

The association also addresses other challenges such as climate change, and in this sense advocates providing a cross-cutting response, between various disciplines, because it is a “basic for sustainability” issue.

He also considers it necessary to unify criteria and values ​​between countries to achieve global objectives, but considering the local reality, which he qualifies with the term “glo-cal”, and states that in order to fight the pandemic it is important to “generate a feeling of hope” .

Digital divide

In addition, the international entity seeks to comply with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 and, for this, it maintains a close relationship with the United Nations.

According to Martínez-Tur, “inevitably the pandemic monopolizes the attention of governments” and the achievement of these objectives is “slowing down”, something that is “intertwined” with the issue of “inequality”.

In this sense, he affirms that an element that seems “key” is that of the “digital divide”, and those households or societies in which access to digital resources is greater during the pandemic “will suffer much less, the internet can cushion the impact”.

Climate change

According to the professor of Organizational Psychology, with the expansion of the coronavirus “the illusion that humans had about the control of nature is being reduced”, which increases the awareness that “this type of problems can come to us in a way even more serious with a climate crisis. ‘

In his opinion, it is necessary to “anticipate possible crises, even those that may be more difficult to solve” and considers that “there will be no vaccine for a major climate change in the coming decades, for the next generations.”

Although “efforts are being made” and young people “are moving a lot and there is a social movement of some relevance”, this “is not going to be easy, it is going to mean a major cultural and mental change.”

World of work

According to Martínez-Tur, in the world of work we are currently in “full change or transition” and facing “very important challenges such as collaboration with machines or Artificial Intelligence and how to manage the substitution of certain tasks that are already being carried out by companies. machines’.

“The technology is there, it has come to stay, it is going to be developed and there will be many capabilities that we as humans apply and that machines will then do,” he explains.

For this reason, he affirms, it is necessary to look for formulas through which technology and well-being are combined, and in this sense, the participation of people and design considering people “will be fundamental”, because an objective of applied psychology is “putting the person at the center and designing from there.”

He warns that we must not forget that technology “helps us to be more productive”, but people “a priori are free to choose the path that best combines technology with the dignity of the human being.”

He considers that one of the positive aspects that the pandemic has put on the table is the idea that democratizing technology “allows us to maintain a certain dignity, it allows us to mitigate the impact of inequalities.”

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