Sunday, September 16, 2018

5 Myths about Psychology

The human being is what he is because he is conscious. There are several myths and beliefs about psychologists and psychology , ranging from the most skeptical positions of those who say they do not believe in this science or do not trust psychologists, because they think that by simply talking about their problems with a professional, these will solve themselves.
The industry of popular psychology has been responsible for spreading the most varied beliefs about the functioning of the human mind. The belief in psychomitologies has indirect damages. For example, believing that with only subliminal self-help recordings is enough to lose weight, will make those who believe in it invest time, money and effort in a useless treatment, instead of striving for the exercise route.
"If we do not distinguish between myth and reality in a field of scientific knowledge - as in Psychology - we could also easily stop doing it in other important areas of modern society , " Carl Sagan, astronomer.

Myth Busters

We should not feel ashamed if we have ever believed in some myth of this type; there are even professional psychologists who, because they are not up-to-date, believe in some of them. The American doctors Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven jay Lynn and John Ruscio have dedicated themselves to "hunt" this type of ill-founded ideas and among them stand out:

The lyrics reveal our personality

It has been shown that graphology or the analysis of calligraphy is based on a very old pseudo-scientific practice, known as "character reading" . Although calligraphy can link some aspects of temperament, it does not always mean that people are as marked by their writing.
For this reason, it is false to say that since writing is individual and personality is unique, one is the reflection of the other. The fact that two attributes are distinctive is not a reason to conclude that they have a specific relationship.

Psychologists are able to read our minds
The psychologist is a qualified professional to analyze and evaluate our problems. Before starting a psychological treatment it is necessary to carry out an evaluation process in which the psychologist analyzes the problems we have, their characteristics and the way they affect us.
This process is normally carried out through an interview and, additionally, other procedures such as questionnaires can be used. They do not read our thoughts , we provide the information to be evaluated.

The lie detector is effective

The polygraph records the psychological activity, such as skin conductivity, blood pressure and respiration, and draws a graph that must be interpreted. This activity is what is associated with the anxiety of the interrogated . However, the physiology of people is not the same and a sincere person who sweats a lot can be accused of being dishonest.
A liar who does not sweat can pass for an honest person. In addition, the attitude of the questions, or the own nervousness when receiving false or unjust accusations, can cause contradictory effects. An analysis of the effectiveness of this method found that 40% of honest questions seemed guilty, so this method is not reliable.

The inkblot test says a lot about our personality

Most of the results of the so-called "Rorschach test" have no relation to personality traits, nor is it useful as a means of offering a diagnosis. Their results offer no evidence to detect clinical depression, anxiety disorders or antisocial personality disorder.
However, it is useful for detecting mental disturbances , such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, because of the truly strange responses to inkblots. The test badly applied by a poorly prepared psychologist can attribute wrong disorders to a person.

Human memory accurately records the events that we live

Memory is imperfect and unreliable ; our memories are far from being exact replicas of past events. The emotive facts that we usually remember do not have the quality of an immaculate image. It has been shown that not only do some moments fade over time , but they are also exposed to distortions.
Memory is not productive, it does not exactly duplicate what we experience, but it is "reconstructive": what we remember is often a confusing mixture of clear memories and our beliefs, needs, emotions and hunches.


TITLE: Very Interesting Magazine Mexico. May, 2018, no. 5

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