Saturday, July 21, 2018

Psychology discredited again and again

The NY Times reports:
In recent months, researchers and some journalists have strung cables around the necks of at least three monuments of the modern psychological canon:

The famous Stanford Prison Experiment, which found that people playacting as guards quickly exhibited uncharacteristic cruelty.

The landmark marshmallow test, which found that young children who could delay gratification showed greater educational achievement years later than those who could not.

And the lesser known but influential concept of ego depletion — the idea that willpower is like a muscle that can be built up but also tires.

The assaults on these studies aren’t all new. Each is a story in its own right, involving debates over methodology and statistical bias that have surfaced before in some form.

But since 2011, the psychology field has been giving itself an intensive background check, redoing more than 100 well-known studies. Often the original results cannot be reproduced, and the entire contentious process has been colored, inevitably, by generational change and charges of patriarchy.
Isn't Psychology just some goofy field that Jews believe in?

There are some scientific reproducible research results in psychology, but the entire field has been dominated by quacks ever since Freud. Much of what they say has negative value. That is, listening to their advice makes you worse off.


MD Cory said...

Freud was a genius thinker that gave us a whole set of abstractions and vocabulary to describe human behavior. There's an incredible amount of misunderstanding of much of what he had written but many would say he imported too much classical culture into his ideas. The Oedipus complex turns out to actually be about the extended maturation of the human animal, where one finds an attendant fear and hatred of dependence. This relates to primary narcissism and the "death instinct," which is completely obvious all over Eastern religion. A death instinct is not a desire to die but a blissful unawareness of the reality of death. It's an urge for a womb-like "oceanic oneness" with the universe beyond the “pleasure principle.” Primary narcissism is not an obsession with the self but an inability to understand the boundaries of the self. It's a dissolving of the self, while secondary narcissism involves an overbearing self. They both represent attempts to transcend the limits of the self, in order to regain a sense of lost omnipotence. This is actually a deep explanation of human motivations and in no way should be called science. People encounter to defense mechanisms all day long. Who would deny them? The idea that an observant and self-reflecting novelist is not reporting true knowledge of the human condition is arrogant and insane but it's even crazier to say that science should claim to understand brain states without an explanation of neurology. Psychology in this sense is a total fraud. However, people who dismiss psychoanalytic insights are just raving fundamentalists who would deny the reality of love if it wasn't something they could measure with a single variable. Science is extremely limited, as a mere 100 quantum particles in a supercomputer will testify. Don't get cocky and think science can ever hope to answer most of the interesting problems humans pose about the world. Raw empiricism is a fundamentalist religion for unimaginative people. They can't understand depth or metaphor! They just swim in the shallow end and say the deep end doesn't exist. Sure, whatever... It's why the present age of science has produced such incredibly dull and unimpressive thinkers, like a Hawking or Tao. These people are as far from genius as one can get. They bring nothing new to the table. Accountants have more creativity.

MD Cory said...

I would like to reverse the following sentence: “if the computer age does not produce a Michelangelo and a Goethe, it is perhaps less likely to produce a Hitler or even a Napoleon.”

If the computer age does not produce a Hitler or even a Napoleon, it is perhaps less likely to produce a Michelangelo and a Goethe.