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Integr Psychol Behav Sci. 2016 Mar;50(1):1-13. doi: 10.1007/s12124-015-9321-7.

Something Blossoms in Between: Silence-Phenomena as a Bordering Notions in Psychology.

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Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway.


Mysterious yet unavoidable, silence-phenomena appear to us in inherent ambiguity. In its plurality of meanings, phenomena related to silence are often perceived as overwhelming because they transcend the communicative capacity of language making it a challenge for cultural psychology to understand its involvement in our processes of making sense of experience and existence. Human growth and development involve processes where presence, void and content, voice, sound and noise, motion, transition and stillness, have dialectic interactions. In this article I discuss silence-phenomena as a bordering notion in terms of its discursive quality, the silent quality of speech, and the awareness of the ineffable. In addition, I highlight the possible implications of such notion in the understanding of affect from the perspective of Semiotic Cultural Psychology. I also emphasize the importance of considering psychological borders as multi-dimensional, taking the phenomenological experience of temporality as an illustration, which is also related to high emotional involvement of attention.


Affect; Border; Boundary; Emotions; Language; Poetic instant; Sense-making; Silence

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