Elaborate confirmation of banalities

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 15.51.17No doubt, writes Dalrymple,

psychologists perform experiments that are interesting (Milgram’s on obedience to authority come to mind). But the idea that psychology has cast any valuable light on the human condition or has assisted us in understanding ourselves is preposterous, a modern myth.

Of all the subjects of academic study, psychology is

probably the most useless, or at least the most useless by comparison with its pretensions to use. In a century and a half, it has not told us anything of undisputed value. It is subject to absurd fashions, and its published experiments are often either not reproducible or their relevance to life is unclear.

The cultural effect of psychology is

negative, insofar as it tends to alienate people from their direct experience and causes them to speak of themselves as if they were mere objects. They then attribute their actions to forces or things other than their own decisions, one of the popular explanatory forces or things at the moment being neurotransmitters. This is a boon to drug companies.

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