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Seven Biggest Pseudo-psychology Myths

Myths in “psychology” that have become common sayings but just aren’t true.

  1. Subliminal messages

    In television ads will make you buy things you don’t want. This false assumption was made all the way from the late 1950’s when a man named Vicary did a study on whether putting in a frame of the words, buy coke or buy popcorn, and found that coke or popcorn sales increased by a significant amount. This caused panic and eventually a law that was passed to prevent the use of subliminal messages due to widespread panic and mistrust of the television. However this study could not be replicated and Vicary himself said that his study was published prematurely and not enough testing was done for such a conclusive statement should be made.

  2. We only use 10% of our brain

    No. While we may meet people who we suspect of using only 10% of their brain, there is no way we can function as humans if we only used 10% of our brains. This belief comes from the fact that cerebrum is not necessary for survival and the only necessary parts of the brain take up far less space. (still not 10%) However, if we did only use the necessary parts, all we’d be able to do is lay in place and stay living, with no muscle response or much, if any, conscious thought.

  3. I’m mostly left-brained or right-brained

    There are differences between the two hemispheres of the brain and each side has different functions, but the creativity and art versus logic and language control do not distinguish so exactly into the left and right. People who are good at art do not have a deficient right hemisphere and still relies on complex communication between the two in order to be creative and artistic.

  4. Human lie detectors

    Can tell whenever someone is lying. This is mostly true, for intuition alone and recognizing signs such as staring one in the eyes, or fidgeting does not predict when someone is lying. In fact, if you only looked for these signs and tried to guess whether someone is lying or not you may as well toss a coin for the same results. While there are people who can recognize signs of lying, it is usually in the study of testimony rather than physical signs, and even then, it’s a much more sophisticated science than some are lead to believe. This is of course not true for people close to each other who will recognize patterns of behavior for lies and thus spouses can often predict with much higher success rate.. So next time you lie, just remember, they can’t tell the difference.

  5. Horoscopes

    Will determine how your life turns out. There have been numerous articles about how Horoscopes do predict the behavior of people, and are thus accurate. However, many of these studies revolved around self-fulfilling prophecies done on subjects that are very aware of their astrological signs, and acts accordingly. Horoscopes are designed to be vague and mostly favorable; therefore people want to follow these signs so their future does not seem so uncertain. Unfortunately, the same studies with groups of people that do not follow their horoscopes results in no specific correlation between horoscopes and actions and personalities.

  6. Safety in numbers

    Is a concept often used in movies, especially the horror genre. Unfortunately, this does not apply to real life. If you need aid, it is better to be in a secluded area than a crowded one because of the theory of mob psychology. It is extremely likely that everyone in the crowded area will defer responsibility if you are in need of help and no one will come to help you. However, if you are in a secluded area and one or two people who seem you and believes that their help will make a difference and no one else can do it, it is much more likely you will get help. This is why robbers get away with purses or smash the windows of cars in broad daylight and are able to escape, no one wants to take responsibility because they believe the next person will do it for them.

  7. Dr. Phil

    Is a good psychologist and what he does on his show is what real psychoanalysis is. Self-explanatory.

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User Comments
  1. dom

    On September 25, 2008 at 11:04 am


  2. domisajerk

    On September 25, 2008 at 12:42 pm


  3. Dr Phil

    On September 25, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Dr phil made me lol

  4. .

    On September 26, 2008 at 1:05 am

    obvious troll is obvious

  5. go fuck yoursefl

    On September 16, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Wtf is the Dr. Phil thing? That\’s ridiculous.
    Dr. Phil, does not have a degree, nor is he a real psychologist, he\’s a glorified talk show host, and does not do what a real psychologist does. He is not even licensed. He gives crazy subjective answers to people\’s problems, and doesn\’t really understand the brain functions or behaviors behind them.
    He is… an idiot.
    Also, wtf are horoscopes on here for??
    There is absolutely nothing about horoscopes in any psychology book I have looked through… Unless they\’re talking about how we as people like to believe in the obscure, and that is an obscure thing. Horoscopes is not a psychological thing at all, it\’s a pseudo-psychology at best.

  6. Freud

    On October 22, 2009 at 5:11 am

    this site is psuedo

  7. StupidFags

    On September 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

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