Psychologist concerned that younger students may not fully understand politics

PHOTO: AP/Sakchai Lalit

A leading Thai psychologist warns that younger students who lack sufficient understanding of political matters may be more easily manipulated into following others. The director of the Rajanagarindra Institute of Child Development, Dusadee Juengsirakulwit, says those taking part in student protests are younger than ever and may not have the necessary knowledge to fully understand the situation. She says access to the internet means more young people are being drawn to political protest before their critical thinking ability has been fully developed.

Since mid-July, anti-government protests have been taking place around the country, primarily consisting of younger activists and university students. However, more recently, students from a number of schools around the country showed their solidarity with the older activists by using the daily flag-raising ceremony to display the three-fingered salute used by protesters.

Dusadee has noticed a trend of females outnumbering males in such activities, pointing out that as girls tend to be better at expressing their emotions, they’re more likely to get involved in movements that facilitate this. She adds, however, that the young age of some of the protesters may mean they are more easily persuaded to join in with such activities. She says that while it’s right to encourage young students to express their views, they should also be armed with sufficient knowledge to process information critically and clearly.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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