My understanding of why psychology is bullshit.

  1. It describe a ought from an is.
  2. It describes a right and wrong without substantiating it’s moral civic determinism.
  3. It is a mass conforming system of complacency utilize by the government.
  4. It describes a right way of living when no such thing exists.

There are many more things I can go on about but I think that I will just stop right there for now.

These all seem like a misunderstanding of the word “normal”. Normal isn’t necessarily prescriptive, but people take the ‘is’ (what’s normal), combine it with an ought they already have (people ought to be normal), and end up trying to emulate the middle of a Bell Curve. In some cases, I’m sure the field has encouraged the sentiment (especially that part of the field that creates neuroactive pharmaceuticals). But I don’t think it warrants dismissing everything that it’s produced.

I sort of agree.

First, I don’t entirely agree with your phrase “psychology is bullshit” for the same reason I would disagree with the phrase “science is bullshit”. However, I think I understand what you mean–one practicing psychology tends to put labels on people based on how the perception integrates in a certain culture, and I’m sure we can agree on the (often)(unethical) flaws of (some) social norms.

One of the DSM IV’s main factors in determining whether or not someone is “mentally ill” is if their “problem” is leading to conflict in their work and relationships with friends and family. Of course, who is to say that the work and/or friends/family/society is something one can healthily integrate into without conflict? Isn’t it possible that certain cultural and familial expectations may be unrealistic and “mentally ill” in themselves?

Interestingly, another thing the DSM IV emphasizes is not judging one’s behavior based on culture (the psychologist needs to take into account whether or not a person’s strange behavior may be the norm in another’s culture).

This side of psychology is bullshit indeed, as it clearly labels “crazy” onto those that refuse to fall in line to a system that, outside the context of that culture, may be completely unnecessary or even unethical/psychologically damaging.

On that point I agree with you; medical/clinical/practiced psychology is very often just an “authority figure” who has accepted certain norms and is good as spotting those that are in conflict with it, and then attempt to mold them into a piece that fits.

My disagreement is based on differing definitions of psychology: as a science of the mind it often just provides data, facts, which require a cultured mind to interpret to make it bullshit, and of course there is another common definition of “psychology” that simply refers to one’s perceptions and mental states, which can be used with out regards to any comment on the quality of one’s subjective experiences and/or objective behavior.

Could we meet somewhere in the middle and just say that psychology is crap? That’s not as bad as bullshit, but still sort of covers what I think he meant.

I am under the opinion that all of it’s productions is prescribing a ought from an is.

If you have somthing of the psychological nature in comparison that is completely different than by all means share it as I would like to hear such an example.

It really was a colorful metaphor on my part of labeling somthing I hold in complete distaste with.


One can even take this into account of feminism since it assumes the sexes in conflict is a bad thing yet never reaffirming of what the term bad is. ( Different subject of course.)


If we accept individuality in it’s full existance is there truely any way we can make a unifying procedure or comparison of whole groups of people?

At what point does mental studies become factual in interpretation?

Emphasizing a materialism of the mind seems completely self defeating on the scope of individuality in the first place.

Well we could call it bullshit with a hint of grey. :laughing:

Or shit with a few hard factual peanuts.

I think you’re being a bit harsh on psychology, Joker. I agree with you that some middle to upper class clinical psychologists sitting behind their desks are throwing labels around to justify what is deemed normal and abnormal behaviour, but it is a fascinating study to try and get some kind of understanding of the mind.

I believe Freud is spot on in regards to the causes of melancholia, (or what we today call depression), neurosis, and the concept sublimation. It becomes troublesome when these states of mind become politicized and used to claim what is to be regarded as normal and what is not. The media, and some political and social commentators, in all their shallow fast-food type journalism, throw these labels around as if they represent absolute reality. And, because the herd is dumb as dog sh*t, they believe it without questioning their validity, thus they become instantiated as truths in our culture.

What is facts? :smiley:

In psychology facts are:
Recognized correlations between neural states and exhibited behavior throughout a large group of people who we all assume are telling us the truth about how they feel.

Please do, and include more detail. Make the conversation lively with some arguments!

There is only interpretations to me in life.

Even though the speaker we assume are telling us the truth about how they feel we can never completely understand their sentiments or sensations since we are outside of their observation at best we can only give some friendly advice b[/b] for them to either accept or refuse on their own.

It is idiotic I think to create so called factual descriptions of other people’s sensations and sentiments that we ourselves can never expirience for our existance lies as outside observers.

If psychology was a art of interpretations and understandings I would respect it but since it calls itself a systems of facts in knowing what is right or wrong for people I denounce it.

Alright. I’ll do so when I get more free time.

Freud rarely, if ever, stated that his findings were ‘facts’, he always posed hypotheses.

Empiricism itself does not being with than ought as it’s center, empiricism itself is the active understanding of what it through cognition of the senses. As for metaphysics itself, the ought only occurs is Humean understandings of matters of facts; the nature of metaphysics itself is to uncover the univeral nature of reality: the is is the goal of metaphysics.

The norm I speak of it what has been determined as psychologically standard within society. The norm is defined more in terms of a lack of criteria, whereas the criteria for being out of the norm are criteria for the various psychological conditions.

As for your relationship the whole argument is moot as the point was there is no moral judgement in psychology (only in those who practice it) and it is not defined within a religious context. The field of psychology itself is traditionally devoid of religion and is properly devoid of moral dichotomy. Psychology does not use the terms right and wrong, it only makes morality in regards to conduct of patient care and research.

In which way? In that it describes how people ‘ought’ to be, psychologically? Or is it avoidant of this argument because it describes how people are, and more importantly how they are not within the described normal?

As well, the movement towards health may very well be a descriptivly moral condition, as even Hume has identified with. It has been very well argued that the need for increase in health is a description, and not a prescription.

This is merely a observation. There is much work in psychology that occurs outside of the government’s control. Much of society is not monopolized by the government. I am not sure where the bitterness of this statement is coming from, but certainly seems unfounded.

But you did not make such an argument, not in any way discuss how the reverse may be true. You merely stated a belief, which is in no way commonly accepted.

Also, this response is very hard to understand. Can you clarify it please, I am having trouble understanding it to make an adequate response.

It does not make moral decision, just mere categorizations that are not morally influenced. Psychology does not state that a phobia of snakes is a moral wrong, just merely that it is not a common state shared by the analyzed portion of society. There is a difference between saying something is either moral or not and saying it is not common.

No, it merely states that something is not productive. If you have a conception of productive then counterproductive is something merely contrary to that.

The issue here seems merely to be the problem of ought as a definition for psychology in general, for you. Although this is wrought with issues I would like to present how Daniel Dennett attempts to reconcile how ought can be derived from an is, thus granting credence to the ought. (yes, I found it on wiki)

Also, I am not sure why I did not post this at first but all of your criteria are applicable to all forms of medicine. There is no distinction necessary between psychology and medicine at this point in the argument because none of the criteria are specific to psychology. So if your arguments do hold personal sway then medicine in general may be suspect.

How about psychology is a philosophy? Like any philosophy it has followers. Sometimes those followers use their philosophy to make people miserable and that’s gay.

I make people miserable?

Freud and Carl Jung are one of the view people in the psychological field I can respect somewhat largely because in their time it was a new field of mental understanding where today it has become a mass institution.