Monday, April 28, 2008

Mezmer's Dictionary of Bad Psychology

Extremely cool, in a geeky kind of way.

The philosopher Voltaire said that if folks just bothered to define their terms, there would not be any need to argue. Unlike definitions of aardvarks, armchairs, and arks that have clear and distinct meanings, meaning for psychologists goes far beyond simple meaning to what you really mean. Unfortunately, this desire to get under the surface appearance of things makes standard dictionary definitions of matters psychological somewhat useless, since everybody in the field has their own separate notions of how to redefine the psychological wheel. (e.g. a definition of the concept of behaviorism is a case in point).

Hence, in order to clarify the deep and dumb meanings of psychology, I, Dr. Mezmer offer my Dictionary of Bad Psychology. My definitions will be prejudiced, mean spirited, inaccurate, and downright wicked. But hey, at least they're not in French! Weekly, I'll be adding more definitions, so stay tuned!

Here are a couple of definitions:

Behaviorism: A psychological movement, now extinct, that is built on the premise that you are what you do, and you do because of what you have done. Replaced by humanistic psychology (you are what you feel), cognitive science (you are what you think), Dr. Atkins (you are what you eat) and modern advertising (you are what we say).

Dr. Phil: (1946-2005) Greatest psychologist that ever was, and an inspiration for an entire nation to shape up, get in ship shape, or otherwise ship out. Author of the '10 life laws', the '15 life strategies', and 'how to earn millions without having to serve 10 to life'. Dr. Phil has revolutionized the intellectual landscape of American as curricula, changed nationwide from philosophy to PHIL-osophy.

Dr. Phil was a graduate of the Academy of Lagado, and winner of several Ponzi awards, the Salieri Prize, the Oprah Legion of Honor, and of late was spiritual adviser to the Republican party.

Tragically, Dr. Phil's life came to an abrupt end when in a household accident, he tripped and was crushed by his own ego.

Steven Pinker (1954- ) Psycholinguist, evolutionary psychologist, and master of the modern intellectual nonsense book. Following the traditions of Dr. Seuss and Dr. Phil in creating wondrous imaginary worlds for simple folk, Pinker has written big, fat, and wordy books based on equally imaginary premises for the faux intellectual in all of us. Of note in his substantial corpus of works are 'How the Mind Works', in which he provides an imaginary account of the mind without mentioning once the brain; 'The Blank Slate', an intriguing rebuttal of the imaginary controversy about whether people are indeed blank slates with nary an instinct in their heads; and 'Phrenology: the Mind's New Old Science', in which our author finds distinct mental modules for hope, fear, stamp collecting, tidiness, and Britney Spears addiction residing in our cranial noggin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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