A short rant on why I hate Humanist Psychology- to the Humanists out there

You are about as scientific as banging your head against a cheese grater

Last time I read an article concerned with Humanism it was literally just a bubbling, excited Da Vinci Codin’, Tin Hat wearin’, George Lucas praisin’-like passage about how Maslow, before the fella died, was coming up with a new layer of his pyramid of needs- Self Actualisation. Because he didn’t put a book out on it, it’s not very popular. If the merits of your lord and master are simply whether he published an idea or not, as opposed to you know, scrutiny and peer-review, then you got something to worry about. Self Actualisation? What is this, the Buddha speaking here? What’s the deal with the pyramid thing anyway? In fact…

What is the deal with the pyramid of needs anyway?

You know what other things have pyramids? The Ancient Egyptians (dead) and Amway.

You hijacked the “Psychology” section at bookstores

Namby pamby self-help, and tapes about what a great guy you are ARE NOT psychology. Save the token appearance of Freud looking sad on a cover (and his thing was psychoanalysis, not psychology), it’s all a bunch of organisational wank and how to use hypnotism and mental diversionary tactics for a whole range of issues, like losing weight, having better sex and being more organised. Come to think of it, don’t late night informercials have that sector covered?

You fill non-Psychological areas with the most poorly constructed tests in the world

Outside the worthwhile areas, such as seeing whether you have a mental disorder, or what your IQ is, or how you stack up on the introverted/extroverted scale, Humanist psychology has managed to make the wankiest little grid pattern, progressive matrices, quesstionnaire bullshit ever devised. I have never, EVER seen ANYONE do what the Myers-Briggs test reckoned they were going to do. My brother, working at uni in architecture, gave me a bunch of tests they made him do. As a psychologist I could literally not read them without taking a break every five minutes to appreciate what a total waste of time they are. According to this test, my brother is a “mercantilist”, “industrialist” and “businessman”. Apparently he has “great people skills” and “good at making things work”. You’re kidding right, someone who applied to do arhitecture is good at making things work? That leads me to my next point.

You are so happy and unbigoted

Gardener’s multiple intelligence theory posits that everyone has degrees of intelligence in different areas- you know, street smarts, maths, creativity and so on. A popular game for kindergardeners with this sort of concept is to make them cut out a circle (helping the retarded ones) and then have them draw up a pie chart with percentiles of what they think they are good at. What’s so great about this is that it always adds up to 100%, so everyone is a winner! Yay!

Babies, as if you didn’t know, are egocentric because they haven’t organised feelings for others yet. “Hang on” I said, plaintively in a developmental course “does this mean that they have no empathy?” “Of course not!” the lecturer happily informed me. “They’re babies, they’re egocentric. It’s different.”

While humanists probably have the developmental sector nailed like a reindeer head to the wall of their hunting lodge due to parents wanting to read up on the inherent beautiful goodness of their children, I can scarcely feel comfortable in informing them that these ideas have no grounding whatsoever. Humanists like to make people progressive, happy and always improving. Erik Erikksson talks about “challenges” that when beaten give you “qualities” like you life is some sort of platform adventure game upgrade thing. Life is great, la la la. Shame is, that life is hard, difficult, painful, cruel and not everyone is as equal, or nice, or progressive as you would like to think it is. People die, are dumb, are born unequal. Saying everyone is gonna be happy isn’t going to change this- actual work with the real world however, will.

You make stuff up as you go along

Another happy go lucky concept. I forget her name but she’s fairly recent. Anyway this one came up with the idea that there are men characteristics and female characteristics. The chick then suggested, the best sort of person is one that has a lot of both types of characteristics. What would one call a person who has many of both characteristics? Androgynous. No I’m not kidding. Here’s me thinking androgyny was someone who has no characteristics, and that people who had many male and female characteristics were called something else.

They make crap up as they go along.

You piff-paff good psychology

While I’m sure they are buddy-buddies with the infinitely more powerful (i.e. actually useful) discipline of CBT, anything so much as an idea of an IQ test, or some sort of lab work has them in paroxyms of pseudopostmodernism. “IQ tests don’t test anything apart from western ideals” or “its so unnatural to have experiments carried out in a laborotory” or the ever popular “the human mind is too complex and beautiful a thing to have numbered attached to it”. Let me slap some sense (unfortunately figuratively) into you. Without IQ tests you would not have a job, furthermore they are the most extensively applied, regulated and overarchingly useful tests in predicting life success anywhere in the world. Lab work is inherent and important and we find useful and applicable psych lab-based discoveries every single day and while agree with you that the mind is indeed a complex thing, it doesn’t mean we just stop getting quantitative data from it. Qualitative data is for Current Affair shows and charity adverts, the rest of us will use more useful methods.


EDIT: For some reason, that picture had been taking up a whole heap of views, and given the search engine terms, were unrelated to the topic I was discussing.


~ by freeze43 on April 29, 2010.

3 Responses to “A short rant on why I hate Humanist Psychology- to the Humanists out there”

  1. You’ve proven yourself to be a pretty unintelligent person. I guess its sad people like you who just want a piece of paper with kindergarten words on it explaining life…its ok leave all big words and complicated things to the smart people.

    • I would appreciate some constructive criticism. What exactly do you disagree with, and why do you think my view on this matter was unintelligent?

  2. “the human mind is too complex and beautiful a thing to have numbered attached to it”

    I think this is close to a direct quote from my psychologist. At first he seem cool and easy going.Something that i do realize was good at that time as, ive had two psychologsit, they both quickly conluding i needed pills(ssri) after only a few sessions, one of i told to go fuck them selves, i know what my issues are, but im not gonna spill my guts in fthree session. fuck you.

    Nonetheless this guy was good and listening, shutting up and letting me just talk about the weather when i wanted. But recently i feel like hes not pushing, its the same, but hes very wary of not making me too uncomfertable(something that at earlie stages was a good thing, as if he did i would probalby not come back)

    But now it all about understanding, and “realization” buddist bullshit. Yes i understand how you feel, yes that and yes this. Understands everything, understands nothing. Ive been reading up on psychology lately, and he seems to take a strong dislike to freud and skinner(both of witch ive read alot of books). Not dark, too negative, fuck you sir. My mom is a likely ASPD case, and im supposed to empatize humanitys many aspect(lol, what a fucking joke) fuck you. you obviosuly dont. So just now i decided to read of the humasnist psychology wikipedia page. This is the 5 “basic principles” of humanist psychology with my comments grabbed from wikipedia.

    1 Human beings, as human, supersede the sum of their parts. They cannot be reduced to components.

    …..ok so we start by stating the obvious. The whole is more than the sum of its parts, who said that, dont remember but i think i was a couple a hundred years ago……

    2 Human beings have their existence in a uniquely human context, as well as in a cosmic ecology.

    huh? yes, dogs have their existence in a unquely doggy context…… again obviously.. “Cosmic ecology” ? pretty words…..

    3 Human beings are aware and are aware of being aware – i.e., they are conscious. Human consciousness always includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people.

    OK… highly sceptic too the “aware” part. you coulndt put another “aware” in there just to make it more confusing?

    4Human beings have some choice and, with that, responsibility.
    Human beings are intentional, aim at goals, are aware that they cause future events, and seek meaning, value, and creativity.

    Ok i agree with the last part, “seek meaning, value and creativity”

    I do however stop at the word “some”, as in “some choice”
    I assume that this means some people have a bit more and others a bit less “choice”, but but but!!! NOONE has NO choice or all choice. Its in between “some” and “little” and “alot”, but never all or nothing as the word “some” implies. bs bs bs bs.

    So all in all:

    Fuck you humanist psychology and your lazy ass semantic bullshit.

    “Humanistic psychologists generally do not believe that we will understand human consciousness and behavior through traditional scientific research”(quote wikipedia)

    oh, 50 years, 50 YEARS thats like nothing in a scientific progress perspective,. Its not that i disagree(i actually do agree) but after 50 years you mofos just decide to give up understanding shit… or trying atleas….. ? Lazy….

    so to all you humanist bullshitters, grab a book, and atleast TRY to understand the mind before you send of your patients to some bullshit selfrealazation camp……

    this is my rant.

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