#158 – Psychology, Economics, and Learning Communities


Arthur Warmoth, Ph.D. is professor of psychology at Sonoma State University in Northern California, where he has taught since 1969. He has served three terms as department chair and is currently chair of the Academic Planning Committee. He is also past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) and has served as a member of Division 32, Humanistic Psychology, of the American Psychological Association (APA). He currently teaches Community Psychology and is involved in community projects related to sustainability, including complementary currencies and the economics of the commons.

Dr. Warmoth has been involved in humanistic psychology since 1959, when he went to Brandeis University to pursue doctoral studies with Abraham H. Maslow. This was the period just following the publication of Maslow’s ground-breaking Motivation and Personality. At that time the use of the terms “humanistic” and “existential” were still being debated, and the idea of the “Third Force,” which Maslow introduced in his 1962 book, Toward a Psychology of Being, was still being formed.

While at Sonoma State, he was co-founder, with Dr. Eleanor Criswell, of the Humanistic Psychology Institute (now Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco). He also served as founding consultant to the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. He has taught and consulted in Mexico with the Universidad Autónoma de La Laguna in Torreón, Coahuila.

Dr. Warmoth has published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, the AHP Perspective, the Sonoma Management Review, The Humanistic Psychologist, and Humanity and Society, among others.

(Psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.)


One Comment

  1. Suzy
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this interview, it was the first time I started to understand the concept of “money”, Dr Warmoth explained this very abstract concept so clearly. I was even more interested because this last Christmas one of my parents friends who is a retired sociology professor was having an in depth conversation with me at the dinner table about the concept of wealth and how wealth is created. In essence there are only two ways to create “real” wealth the first being a countries raw materials which they can sell, or they can take can take the raw material and turn into something else that has greater value than the raw material ( i.e work). The professor was explaining to me that America was in real trouble because they were not creating real wealth, while China is flourishing because of the labour they provide.

    As I was listening to the interview I was thinking to myself about how Dr Warmoth represented to be what a true academic is. Someone with vision who studies all sorts of different ideas with a genuine curiosity. I have become quite disgusted with academics myself and can’t wait for the day when I can be done with research. Initially I was really excited by research but I have not had very much success and I find ( at least in applied sciences) everything must have a financial motivation behind the research. The amount of people claiming their research will be able to have some application towards cancer or diabetes is astonishing. I find this all amusing too because history has shown us that almost all the big breakthroughs happen serendipitously. Sorry I digresss, but it was rather refreshing to listen to someone llike Dr Warmoth (and yourself) and I hope they are not a dying breed.

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