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Chapter Twelve.docx

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University of Waterloo
John Holmes

[ CHAPTER TWELVE ] – THE RODNEY DANGERFIELD OF THE SCIENCES  As mass media becomes more & more influential in dtrmn’g public perceptions, ignoring psych’s image problem threatens to make it worse Psychology’s Image Problem Psychology and Parapsychology  Works of real worth in psych often shelved in sci &/or bio sections - thus associated w/ bio, neurophysio, or CS rather than psych  Presence of great body of parapsych instead contribute to widespread misconception  Statement tht psych dN consider ESP viable research area upsets believers - often provokes charges tht psychologists are dogmatic in banishing certain topics from discipline  Natural selection of ideas & methods is what leads sci closer to truth (TF) since ESP has not proved fruitful, not viable topic in contemporary psych  Irony: psych, discipline contributed most to accurate assessment of ESP claims, is field tht is most closely associated w pseudosci’s in public mind - psych suffers greatly from guilt-by-association The Self-Help Literature  Too few authored by responsible psychologists writing for general public  Present many bogus “therapies” tht are rarely based on any type of ctrl’d expmtal investigation  Misrep’n of psychologists dealing w/ general human wants (money, weight, sexuality) contributes to public’s view tht most psychologists engaged in or trtmt of abnormal psych only - not the case: most psych research actually directed at nonpathological beh’ typical of all humans Recipe Knowledge  Self-help lit implies tht psych researchers seek recipe knowledge—knowledge of how to use sth w/o knowledge of fundamental principles tht govern its f’ng  Many legitimate psychotherapies also provide RK, but problem when ppl mistakenly view RK as ultimate goal of all psych research - thus, basic research tht psychologists conduct appears strange Psychology and Other Disciplines  Many sci contributions by psychologists ignored, min’d, or partially attributed to other disciplines i.e. 1 mj survey of evidence on TV’s effect on children’s beh’ (violence) credited to American Medical Assocation (AMA)  Another reason: word “psychologist” has become ambiguous - label themselves physiological psychologists, cog psychologists, etc. - use label tht dN contain derivative of word at all i.e. neuroscientist, artificial intelligence specialist, etc. Our Own Worst Enemies  Psychologists themselves contributed to confusion - few rewards for those who try to communicate actual psych to public (TF) most dN  Antisci attitudes w/in parts of psych presents serious threat to integrity of psychotherapy - failure to use falsification strategy prevents sci progress  APA fostered ethos surrounding clinical psych tht suggests psychologists can be trained to acq’ “intuitive insight” into beh’ of indvdl p
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