Psychology is flawed because it lacks a social dimension

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posted on May, 16 2009 @ 12:23 PM
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Psychology is ENTIRELY inner-focused, and this is its most fatal flaw. All humans live within themselves and also live "outside" of themselves, as members of a society. To be a truly healthy being, I believe you have to have a balanced grip on BOTH aspects of life.

Perhaps when it "psychology" began to emerge as an actual field, a purely inner focus was necessary, to correct for an excessive focus in intellectual life on the external. But now the pendulum has swung the other way for many.

Go to a psychologist or psychoanalyst, and they will talk endlessly about your childhood, your inner feelings, what you've allegedly repressed, and so on. But the psychological framework isn't set up to question the sickness of SOCIETY. If people are mentally ill, goes the theory, it must be because of something that happened in the past, or something inside their mind, or a chemical imbalance, etc etc. All these are INNER things. They will not be willing to look at the fact we live in a sick society and that that fact itself is making people sick. In other words, what often seems "pathological" to shrinks is actually a very sane response to a world gone mad.

There needs to be more focus on how SOCIETY damages people, and how people can work to change the sicknesses in society, rather than only focusing on navel-gazing and changing themselves. To make an individual accept and be comfortable with a sick society is actually encouraging sickness, not cleaning it up.

As a concrete example, psychology all but ignores the thing that most people spend most of their time doing: Their job. Why isn't there more focus on reforming the work environment to make it more psychologically healthy, rather than just whacking people out on meds so they will be happy little worker drone zombies? (That a rhetorical question that answers itself...). I think that in many cases, people's work lives make them more unhappy than their inner lives, their past lives, their sex lives, their relationships with their parents growing up, etc. Why isn't this addressed more?




posted on May, 16 2009 @ 12:46 PM
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Psychology is a science that relies on the memory of the human race. This memory is the fatal flaw. All the psychiatric problems are due to manipulation of our mind, like education, social values, memory of the race we're living in, and influences from the astral plane...

So, in order to hack the matrix we live in, we need to understand what the manipulation is all about.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 12:47 PM
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I thought sociology was to take up this social aspect of phychology, however they seem to be viewed as mutually exclusive diciplines.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by lagenese
Psychology is a science that relies on the memory of the human race. This memory is the fatal flaw. All the psychiatric problems are due to manipulation of our mind, like education, social values, memory of the race we're living in, and influences from the astral plane...

So, in order to hack the matrix we live in, we need to understand what the manipulation is all about.


Yes... interesting perspective. I know psychology as currently constituted does not "cure" people, nor is it really intended to "cure" people...rather it exists to make them feed the beast...that is to say, to make them fit the pathological society we live in. Its basically a modern-day, mental version of the Procrustean bed, But this is very, very wrong. Which is why I started this thread.


Originally posted by EnlightenUp
I thought sociology was to take up this social aspect of phychology, however they seem to be viewed as mutually exclusive diciplines.


That's exactly what I'm getting at. There needs to be some kind of nexis between the two.

A big difference is that psychology is supposed to "cure" people whereas sociology as currently constituted is more of an abstract, academic exercise of "observation." I think there needs to be a marriage of the two. But contemporary sociology, too, is seriously flawed and needs to be revamped. Both disciplines need to be scuttled, re-built from the ground up, and synthesized.

Its OK to have abstract psychology or abstract sociology that is geared towards analysis and detached observation rather than curing sick people, but we definintely need the latter as well, and we need to approach mental health from both a psychological AND a sociological perspective.

.

[edit on 5/16/09 by silent thunder]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 
I think you are focusing on counseling and cognitive psychology whilst generalizing across the whole field. As early as the 1920s Gustave Le Bon was offering theories of crowd psychology that Hitler arguably adapted to appeal to Germany. The Nuremberg Rallies were firmly grounded in le Bon's theories and observations of crowd and mob behavior.

Educational psychology deals with whole school issues as well as individual learning approaches. Marketing psychology has dictated the layout of supermarkets e.g. food essentials are placed away from doors to encourage browsing. No clocks etc. Social psychology studies the behavior of individuals as parts of larger social groups. Milgram's studies into our relationships with authority can also be extrapolated into social commentaries on a wider scale. Zimbardo's Prison Studybroadly supportive experiment shone a harsh light on what humans are capable of in unusual power relations.

If the OP had been posted some years ago, I'd be able to offer a more cogent challenge. Psychology is always misunderstood by people that haven't studied any of it. I no longer study psychology and have just realized how much has faded from memory
I'm quite saddened and may have to dig out the old Gleitman and R. Gross books from the attic to refresh my knowledge...



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 01:00 PM
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Yep, you take all the words ending in path, and you can describe anyones actions to a point. Who is sain, in this society.

Psychology, and shrinks are there for control of people that society for what ever reason, want to take apart.

Like the rubbish of how the drug addicts and drug abusers. There are 100 millions of people in this world that have or are abusing drugsthat are illegal. But if society see you as a problem for no reason, they can use this to real go after your life, while there are 100's of millions of people doing the same thing.

So tell me whats the point of these actions, against a few, and why psychology and shrinks play there part to police people that ahve not commited any crime and never will, other than doing what other people do.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 01:20 PM
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You're definitely only talking about clinical psychology, the field of psychology that is used to stereotype psychology as a whole in movies, sitcoms, cartoons, etcetera - including the incredibly numerous references to Freud, for example in a show like Frasier.

Fact is that Freud has been outdated for half a century, that clinical psychology has seem some very thorough changes in the last decades, and that it shares the discipline of psychology with other fields like social psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, organizational psychology, psychometric psychology, etc.

If you want more information on the real field of psychology, here's the first result to a search on "fields of psychology": maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu...

May I ask you, what is the origin of your current ideas of psychology?

Edit to add: you seem to be interested in social psychology; as Kandinsky pointed out in his excellent post, some very interesting studies have been conducted in that field (which happens to be what I'm studying at uni).


[edit on 16-5-2009 by scraze]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 09:43 PM
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It's not a science.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:44 PM
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Jungian psychology integrates the "internal" and "external," because your subconscious in Jungian terms includes the entire external physical universe, as well as the chemical and hormonal functions of your body, and the lower "unconscious" parts of your brain. So technically anything that isn't a part of your conscious awareness is something that belongs to your subconscious. And interaction with your subconscious, learning what it has to show you through dreams, etc., is what Jungian psychology is all about.

So I think the idea that psychology is only an "inner" science is a misrepresentation of all the different theories that fall within the science.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:10 AM
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Psychoanalysts aren't that common now a days from what I know...so people don't get asked about repressed feelings and all the other wonderful aspects of psychoanalysis.


It really depends on the psychologist. I had a medical condition in High School that had a side effect of anxiety. The psychologist hardly even cared that the anxiety was caused from another condition. I also was incredibly sleep deprived, but no psychologist cared. So to some extent, they can forget about environment at times.

I remember my mom and I asked him to help me with school, by trying to talk with the teachers or whatever, and he said "I can't help you by doing anything to change school, but I can help you deal with it better". At that point, I stopped seeing him. I was like, so you're going to help me tolerate my sleep deprivation better (and what amounted to as abuse from my teachers, a nonprofit group offered to sue them, but thats another story lol). I was like ...right, someone is a moron here and if I stay it will be me.

But I wouldn't say all psychologists are like that. PTSD by definition really is caused or triggered by the environment, although there is suseptiblity through genetics.

To address societal topics as a psychologist is sort of impossible in the context of helping a patient. It's something that we all should be working on. One thing that I wanted and still want to do is make school a little better for those that are having a hard time with it, sort of a goal. The extent that some students don't get help from adults is astounding. Parents, teachers, school officials ect. all can be oblivious to what some are going through.

Any good psychologist will look at the environment though, there's no way to get around that really.

[edit on 17-5-2009 by ghaleon12]



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 02:13 AM
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Originally posted by silent thunder
Psychology is ENTIRELY inner-focused, and this is its most fatal flaw.

Exactly how much do you know about psychology??
As for being flawed, all of science is flawed. No theory is complete or has been perfected thus far. There is abundant room for improvement, not just within psychology.
Moreover, psychology employs a broad system of theoretical assumptions that are based in philosophy, physics and biology, which in turn have spawned the sub-disciplines of psychology. To say that it is "entirely inner-focused" is wrong and shows to me that your general knowledge of this subject is limited.



All humans live within themselves and also live "outside" of themselves

I understand what you mean, but it is your mental functioning that controls what you do, despite the stimulus of outside factors.



Go to a psychologist or psychoanalyst, and they will talk endlessly about your childhood, your inner feelings, what you've allegedly repressed, and so on.

Psychoanalysis is but one branch of psychology, which deals particularly with the theory of the 'unconscious', as well as inherited biological instincts and drives that, theoretically, clash with cultural and societal expectations and demands to curb desire and act appropriately.
Many psychological theories involve analysis of experiences lived within your childhood because extensive study within the field has found that there is a strong link between childhood experiences and future behaviour.
And childhood is where learning begins, no?

Behaviourism, on the other hand, is the psychological approach of seeking to explain behaviour only in terms of environmental 'stimuli' and behavioural 'responses'. It does not deal with what is going on within the organism. Behaviourism assumes that behaviour is virtually wholly determined by environmental conditions. Most of what people are is determined by nurture not nature.



But the psychological framework isn't set up to question the sickness of SOCIETY.

I believe this privelage is reserved for sociologists.
But then, one might be of the opinion that the 'sickness' of society has everything to do with the cognitive thought processes and subjective experiences of individuals, in its primal stages.
And that's where psychology comes in.



If people are mentally ill, goes the theory, it must be because of something that happened in the past, or something inside their mind, or a chemical imbalance, etc etc.

As I've mentioned, not all of psychology deals with mental illness or cognitive processes in this way. In the psychological sub-discipline of behaviourism, all but observable, measurable behaviour is eliminated from study.



They will not be willing to look at the fact we live in a sick society and that that fact itself is making people sick.

Psychologists are willing to look at anything which might enable a better understanding of people and their place in the world.
An eclectic definition of psychology could be as follows:

Psychology is the systematic study of individuals, including their thoughts and mental processes, behaviours, psychophysiological processes, and subjective experiences.



As a body of work, psychology represents all the combined insight, knowledge and wisdom that has accrued over at least three millennia of self-reflection and social inquiry.



There needs to be more focus on how SOCIETY damages people, and how people can work to change the sicknesses in society, rather than only focusing on navel-gazing and changing themselves.

Well, if I agreed with you I might be able to give you a more definitive answer.
But I believe that there are other issues that need to be taken into account when addressing the societal problems imposed upon people. For example, while behaviorism does look at the assumption that all behaviour is determined wholly by environmental conditions, it does not rule out the fact that there is some cognitive thought process involved. Behaviourism doesn't study this side of the coin, but just because it doesn't, doesn't mean it's not there and that it has influence. So while people might react to the madness of the world in the same way, this doesn't mean that they haven't thought about it just because we haven't observed it.

So, it is in my opinion that the problems that need to be addressed are subjective and related to how and what people are thinking, so that when they are faced with a situation they know that they have power over choice and they can choose to react positively.

So that, when someone grows up as an abused and victimised child, they can ultimately choose what to do with that experience. So they know that they can choose to turn their life around at some point and decide to stop the vicious cycle that is abuse.
Societies 'problems' didn't just come from no where. They come from the act of responding positively or negatively to a situation.



To make an individual accept and be comfortable with a sick society is actually encouraging sickness, not cleaning it up.

Gee, tell us how you really feel why doncha!
I THINK, you should re-evaluate what your opinion of psychology.



As a concrete example, psychology all but ignores the thing that most people spend most of their time doing: Their job.

Occupational therapy.



Why isn't there more focus on reforming the work environment to make it more psychologically healthy, rather than just whacking people out on meds so they will be happy little worker drone zombies? (That a rhetorical question that answers itself...).

It's obvious that you already hold preconceived notions about the nature of psychology..



I think that in many cases, people's work lives make them more unhappy than their inner lives, their past lives, their sex lives, their relationships with their parents growing up, etc.

It's all about perspective.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 09:01 AM
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There is a difference between sociology and social psychology, mainly being that sociology focuses on communities and cultures in an anthropological manner while social psychology usually focuses more on social dynamics (processes) in a psychometric manner. There's a lot of overlap, though.

Forgot an obvious link: en.wikipedia.org...
which leads to another list of subfields: en.wikipedia.org...
and a special cookie for you: en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 17-5-2009 by scraze]





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