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I hate psychology

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by cleanbluesky, 2 Jun 2006.

  1. cleanbluesky

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4773021.stm

    Perfect example of how my favourite subject is being flushed down the pan... this is a useless construction, an attempt to make an academic area with no practical purpose yet full of elitist constructions...

    I say we need to go back to the good old days of psychology, with experiments on people - fear, loathing, joy and everything else you can squeeze out of your subjects under experimental conditions... look back at psychology's golden moments and 50% of research and experiment would never happen today due to 'ethical' constraints - both university research constrainst and the general idea amongst professionals that they need to be soft... instead, psychology is filling the gap with useless pieces of pointless construction like the above...
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2006
  2. Mulder

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    I wouldn't say it was a useless construction. It's an attempt, in layman's terms, to put together the most important factors that researchers perceive make people happy. It's simple, not useless. I also don't see why it is "full of elitist constructions...".
     
  3. cleanbluesky

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    1) 'Positive psychology' is a constructed perspective, an attempt to construct a group with specific rules of membership so that discourse and opinion within that field can be controlled. It serves no purpose other than this.

    2) Use of abstract language such as "flow", attempting to define and describe human processes - although not arbitrary processes... they add constructions and conditions until there is a complex model that doesn't neccessarily have any solid association with how the mind works...

    3) Do you really want to offer authority on what 'happiness' is to academics? Are you not capable of knowing what makes you happy and understanding happiness without a series of fancy words and a 'school' of psychology?
     
  4. bam0

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    "Psychologists have now come up with a formula for happiness.

    Pleasure + engagement + meaning = happiness."

    Wowsers :) That's like those focus/advertising groups who get paid a fortune to come up with a crap name for a company.

    "However, this simple formula hides a number of important issues."
    "The formula is not exhaustive or comprehensive."
    "the formula fails to take account of contentment"

    So then actually it's pretty much useless.
     
  5. Mulder

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    So that discourse and opinion within that field can be controlled? Why do discourse and opinion matter? Positive psychology is, as you say, an attempt to describe what, in a majority of cases, makes people happy.

    Spare me the sanctimony's, that doesn't mean anything.

    Many people have no idea how they can be happy. Some people think money will make them happy, then they get money and realise it doesn't. Others believe material possesions will make them happy, they acquire them and become no happier. I praise work such as this, where researchers offer an empirical, psychological basis to happiness.
     
  6. cleanbluesky

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    And we need a 'school' for that? The problem with 'schools' is that they encourage certain lines of though i.e. evolutionary psychology can describe the same thing as cognitive psychology in completely different terms, which would be great except for the fact that researchers dont tend to mix disciplines - which is why trying to construct it as a 'school' would likely limit any conclusions of theorists working in the field to very narrow ideas...

    So what have you learned about your happiness then, since you regard this information so highly?
     
  7. Mulder

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    It's all a question of degree. I don't think school's of psychology should be scrapped just because they encourage certain "lines" of thought and occasionally "mix" dicciplines. School's of anything are there to research their particular subject, as they have done. Obviously the equation is vastly over-simplified as no mathematical entity could descibe the extraordinarily complex nature of human happiness. It does provide a framework however, and that is why I am arguing for it.


    I haven't learnt anything, but that doesn't mean I can't broadly agree with the formula. I believe we all need a meaning to life, otherwise why live? Engaging in pleasure makes everyone feel happy, as does being engrossed in something you enjoy. A broad representation of the main facotrs that contribute to happiness, not a thesis on how to be happy.
     
  8. cleanbluesky

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    And I don't think 'schools' exist... thought needs no framework, it only serves to limit conclusions and perspectives...

    So, this 'research' is of no heuristic benefit? Then why do it? It is counter-productive to use formulas, names and to try and construct beliefs and claim intellectual authority on something that we already know...
     
  9. anarchist

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    I would say that applies to most people. Strange isn't it - anybody would think that the capitalist society that we live in was promoting that message for it's own benefit... ;)

    Having said that, whether these pointless formulas created at great expense are any use at all is another matter. I suspect not. And also I suspect that much of the advice on how to make yourself happier can't really work, isn't practical or is too general. Everyone knows that having good family and friends makes you happy for example, so what's the advice "get good friends and family"... Doesn't really work does it?
     
  10. starscream

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    I'd be willing to bet before the research that the psychologists had it in the back of their mind that they wanted a short snappy formula to be able to explain "happiness".

    The problem with this is that there are so many exceptions that to a large extent it becomes meaningless. The article touches on engagement, but I think that an excess ammount of any one of the variables would lead to a fall in hapiness rather than a rise.

    It certinainly seems in my opinion to be a case of finding the research to fit your answer rather than drawing conclusions from your research and the forumula is far too simplistic to account enough sections of society to make it truely worthwhile.
     
  11. anarchist

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    And as the article alludes to, one of the problems with any "happiness" formula, if it involves things that you can't actually change, is that anybody reading it and believing it will make themselves less happy because they think they will never be able to meet the magic happiness formula criteria.
     
  12. Dolph

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    To be honest, your complaints are the kind that have been levelled at psychology since it's first real appearance as a specific subject....

    Psychology was (and in some cases still is) regarded as a pseudo-science for a long while precisely because of how flaky and full of 'constructions' it is. Everything is constructed one way or another in the subject.

    It's why I gave up my psychology A level after the first year and did computing instead....
     
  13. cleanbluesky

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    Not at all, I'd say entire branches of it neared complete construction but so much high-quality work has been done in psychology it isn't true.. whats more important is that people such as you and I should be kissing psychology's hairy beanbags if only for the increasing acceptance that its study has afforded to alternative therapies and in turn, many of the esoteric beliefs and knowledge that support that... which is something I hope it will continue to do...
     
  14. phykell

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    rm
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2007
  15. Arcade Fire

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    Your post is a clear case of social conditioning, phykell. Your deep-seated personal insecurites have obviously interacted and interfaced in order to positively reinforce your more transient states of mental dissatisfaction, resulting in a fragile illusory construction in which you see yourself as as a beacon of proto-intelligence in a field otherwise composed of less academically developed world-views and belief systems.
     
  16. jaydee

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    You're onto something here Bluesky me old mate.

    Just checked out that link and a brief read suggests that the feature, far from outing the defining and earth-shattering pinnacle of the source of inner peace, tranquil satisfaction and eternal human happyness, appears to be little more than an excrutiating exercise in stating the bleedin' obvious. As well as another tripey filler-inner for TV Land's insatiable appetite for 'grunge-vision'.

    Hey - there's a psychoanalytical angle up for grabs. How did Grungevision evolve? Led by the media or the masses?

    Come to think of it, how about an in-depth analysis of The Apprentice/Big Brother. Both shows awash with play-acting fake I-wanna-be-on-teevees, most of whom appear to be unemployed/unemployabe, ruthless truthless liars with concocted CVs/life histoires, desperately in search of fame and success despite their invariable dearth of any discernible talent, skill or education!!! The only difference - Big Brutherers are sub-Richter Scale beer-'n-skittler cretins. Sugarettes are generally a little brighter, more polished actors with business plans. The only common factors - none of them want to work for a living, each has a bus-sized ego, they all think they're photogenic, they're all hungry for successless success and most have zits.

    A friend of mine showed me a book on clinical psychology, written in the 40's. By an eminent British authority of his era. In the book he describes how the mentally defective could be easily spotted in a crowd by the shape of their foreheads, etc.

    Chuckling aside, I was flabbergasted to find that such Mengellian experts haven't gone away 60 years on. In a recent new publication exposing the principles of modern clinical psychology by, again, a contemporary British authority in her specialist field, this particular woman suggests that schizophrenics have no comprehension of metaphor.

    I'm sure Freud might have responded with a 'Mein Gott...' at such a revelation. He too, by all accounts, is now largely ignored so maybe he might actually have said 'Jahh... eine nudder definin' moment in das field auf psyko-analitik!!' Until Grungevision serves up yet another truckfull of twaddle for the masses to chew on during fag break at the thick-as-a-brick factory. Dunno whether it's patronising or condescending!!!

    Who knows what's comin' next...

    Scientists discover political gene?

    Education hinders business success?

    Anglers have split personalities?

    Women watch soaps to fill vaccuous relationships?

    Parachutists are simply reliving childbirth??
     
  17. Zinath

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    Bull**** findings in Psychology? Surely not. :o
     
  18. JimmyEatWorms

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    I was under the impression that is all phychology was :p
     
  19. phykell

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    rm
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2007
  20. dirtydog

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    Is this a record for the number of times you've used your favourite word "construction" in a single post? Come to think of it, probably not ;)