Popular psychology

July 15, 2016 – 08:43 am
Sigmund Freud

The misuse and overuse of technical psychological terms is called .

Sometimes psychological jargon is used to dress up sales pitches, self-help programs, and New age ideas to lend these endeavors a respectable scientific appearance. Other times, people use psychological terminology to describe everyday, normal experiences in a way that medicalizes a normal behavior, such as feeling sad after a loss, by suggesting that unpleasant emotions are a type of psychopathology, like major depressive disorder. People may use psychobabble because they believe that complex, descriptive or special esoteric terms more clearly or more dramatically communicate their experiences of social and personal situations, or because they believe that it makes them sound more educated.

Some terms that have an origin in psychological terminology and are typically misused include co-dependent, dysfunctional, meaningful relationship, narcissistic, and synergy.

Pop psychologists[edit]

Some figures characterized at varying times as exponents of pop psychology include:


Early movements in the history of American psychology can explain the importance our culture places on the field at large.

Rise of psychology in the United States[edit]

Beginning late in the 19th century, and largely influenced by German scholar Wilhelm Wundt, Americans including James Mckeen Cattell, G. Stanley Hall, William James, and others helped to formalize psychology as an academic discipline in the United States. Popularity in psychology grew as the public became more aware of the field. In 1890, James published, which produced a surge of public interest. In 1892, James wrote Psychology: The Briefer Course as an opportunity for the public to read and understand psychological literature. In a similar attempt in 1895, E. W. Scripture, another American psychologist, published a book, called Thinking, Feeling, Doing, that was adapted for the average reader.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

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