Some of you have asked in emails: why, are psychologists, the ‘biggest bullshitters’ in the world. Well.. lets look at all the great marvels that psychology and ONLY psychology has offered the human race. Written here are highlights about those in pop-psychology
1) Psychologists continually rename the wheel.
One thing we can always count on is the continually renewing creativity of psychologists in reinventing, or should I say renaming the wheel. We repackage common sense and publish books, and encourage the worship the 10 habits, 7 steps, and 9 maxims that summarize the rules that presume to allow you to manipulate, (like a little handy man), the human psyche. The wheel however, comes off after a couple of days, leaving you back in the rut that inspired you to buy into that nonsense to begin with.
But there are many other exciting changes afoot which will serve the human race well in its intellectual age. Read on, I know you want to…
2) Evolutionary Psychology will explain why the average human likes Pamela Anderson.
If you understand the logic in saying that ‘cars work because you have to get to work on time’ then evolutionary psychology (lets just say EP) is the science for you! EP doesn't just hold that we do a lot of things because of the influence of instinctive mechanisms of brain and body, but that an inference as to why our ancestors needed to behave tells us how we now behave.
The half-naked cave babes were important for brutish ancestral cave guys to grab, thus improving 'reproductive fitness' (although feminists would have another take on the matter), and if those cave babes looked like and were selected because they looked (and acted) like Pam, you got the fixins' for an EP theory!
EP explains just about everything about human behavior. The EP account of Pam (which obviously cannot be traced to learning or intelligence) will make psychological science complete.
3) Behaviorism gets a kick up the A$$... again.
As a major school of psychology, behaviorism has been challenged more often than evolution. So far by humanistic psychologists, cognitive scientists, and the famous evolutionary psychologists themselves!!! LOL. Other folks have refuted behaviorism too, but this time it’s the Rotarians, Lions, Boy Scouts, and the Girl Guides. Of course no one will actually understand what behaviorism is, but that's a minor point.
4) Hidden research thats available to none.
Academic psychology journals (yess, the ones you get thanks to APA, BPA, etc) will continue to be written in incomprehensible language on trivial topics. Further, it will remain available in the attic of the local state university library, located half way across the world from you OR sold under subscription for a generous amount of money.
Want to find out why Aunt Lina is acting like a nutcase? Unfortunately there's no WebMD for psychology (sorry?). We do of course we have lots of learned academic journals on psychology, and for a little amount of money (a little more than the life savings of an average college kid) they even have a presence on the web. But that presence is more like an upcoming movie teaser page of movies that are not showing yet. Problem is, these are movies you don't understand, don't want to see or pay for, and are playing only at a theater not near you.
So where do we get our wisdom? Where else but pathetic sources like Dr. Phil, who will continue to perversely influence the field until they dominate psychology as we know it.
Consider if the following really means anything.
‘Dimensional Personality Factors’
‘Spacio Temporal Patterns’
Who are these terms made for?
6) 'Half-ass' breakthrough concepts in psychology will continue to be developed, moving the field… nowhere.
Science is ultimately a pragmatic discipline, and if the equations you use to design rockets or electric sockets are too complicated to use or don't work well, you end up with a blown space mission or a blown fuse. Thus, without knowledge of an accurate and working theory of mechanics or electricity, your future as an aeronautical or electrical engineer is to say the least limited.
However, unlike their contraptions that have to work precisely right the first time, humans are far more accepting of imprecision in their lives, when just muddling through is enough (just like how I get though psych school). So we put up systems that are a notch above in sophistication. Where else but in psychology can you find such high falutin' and half digested concepts like flow, intrinsic motivation, self-esteem, co-dependency, etc. that have no more practical or explanatory power than the common sense your grand-mother handed out? Still, it does sell books which gullible people will continue to buy in this century and beyond. To prove that, ask your self when was the last time you got your self a ‘do it your self rocket’ ?
7) Psychology embrace silly syllables!
A whole sets of syllables that bestows the comfortable illusion, that our understanding of the human condition, is actually getting somewhere, when we're actually only renaming things. In the last century we've seen nativism morph into sociobiology and then into evolutionary psychology. Similarly, peak experience became flow, humanistic psychology became 'self-determination theory', and a candid advice from your best buddy became psychotherapy.
In the future, new terms like gamer's block, internet addiction, repititive sex disorder, and surrender to the matrix (requires blue pill, of course) will enter the psychological lexicon. But by that time I would have changed into stone.
Its great to be amoug the elite in the world ;)