Mudcat Café message #3489945 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149881   Message #3489945
Posted By: GUEST,Mrr
13-Mar-13 - 10:39 AM
Thread Name: BS: Psychobabble!
Subject: RE: BS: Psychobabble!
There was an article in Slate recently about things that amateurs do/say that bother experts in various fields. I didn't even know where to start, as a psychologist...

*Schizophrenia, no matter what the roots of the word are, is not split personality.

*Reinforcement is anything that makes a behavior more likely. The behavior is reinforced, not the person being (in their mind) rewarded by said reinforcement. I see this in textbooks all the time.

*Correlation not only isn't causation, it only describes a linear relationship between increases in one continuous variable and in another. You can't correlate to discrete variables at all, so nothing can correlate, for instance, with gender. And, if a relationship exists but isn't linear, it still isn't a correlation. You can mess with the data to make it linear, like using logarithmic transformations, and then talk about correlations, though.

*Any Freudian term at all is almost bound to be misused. Stars in this category are the terms id, ego, denial, repression, neurosis, fixation, and anal or oral when referring to fixations or repressions. Oh, yeah, and passive-aggressive. Also regression, which bugs me when misused as a statistical term too.

*Theory / Evolution: I get this with the creationists all the time (remember, I teach in the Southern US). Evolution is no more theoretical than gravity.

I think I'll stop now before by blood pressure goes up any more...