Wednesday, May 05, 2010

50 Myths about Psychology

Taken from: 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions About Human Behavior (Paperback)

Introduction: The Wide World of Psychomythology

1 Most People Use Only 10% of Their Brain Power
2 Some People Are Left–Brained, Others Are Right–Brained
3 Extrasensory Perception Is a Well–Established Scientific Phenomenon
4 Visual Perceptions Are Accompanied by Tiny Emissions from the Eyes
5 Subliminal Messages Can Persuade People to Purchase Products
6 Playing Mozart’s Music to Infants Boosts Their Intelligence
7 Adolescence Is Inevitably a Time of Psychological Turmoil
8 Most People Experience a Midlife Crisis in Their 40s or Early 50s
9 Old Age Is Typically Associated with increased dissatisfaction and Senility
10 When Dying, People Pass through a Universal Series of Psychological Stages
11 Human Memory Works like a Tape Recorder or Video Camera, and Accurately Records the
Events we have Experienced.
12 Hypnosis is Useful for Retrieving Memories of Forgotten Events
13 Individuals Commonly Repress the Memories of Traumatic Experiences
14 Most People with Amnesia Forget All Details of Their Earlier Lives
15 Intelligence Tests Are Biased against Certain Groups of People
16 If You’re Unsure of Your Answer When Taking a Test, It’s Best to Stick with Your Initial Hunch
17 The Defining Feature of Dyslexia Is Reversing Letters
18 Students Learn Best When Teaching Styles Are Matched to Their Learning Styles
19 Hypnosis Is a Unique "Trance" State that Differs in Kind from Wakefulness
20 Researchers Have Demonstrated that Dreams Possess Symbolic Meaning
21 Individuals Can Learn Information, like New Languages, while Asleep
22 During "Out–of–Body" Experiences, People’s Consciousness Leaves Their Bodies
23 The Polygraph ("Lie Detector") Test Is an Accurate Means of Detecting Dishonesty
24 Happiness Is Determined Mostly by Our External Circumstances
25 Ulcers Are Caused Primarily or Entirely by Stress
26 A Positive Attitude Can Stave off Cancer
27 Opposites Attract: We Are Most Romantically Attracted to People Who Differ from Us
28 There’s Safety in Numbers: The More People Present at an Emergency, the Greater the
29 Men and Women Communicate in Completely Different Ways
30 It’s Better to Express Anger Openly to Others than to Hold It in
31 Raising Children Similarly Leads to Similarities in Their Adult Personalities
32 The Fact that a Trait Is Heritable Means We Can’t Change It
33 Low Self–Esteem Is a Major Cause of Psychological Problems
34 Most People Who Were Sexually Abused in Childhood Develop Severe Personality Disturbances in Adulthood
35 People’s Responses to Inkblots Tell Us a Great Deal about Their Personalities
36 Our Handwriting Reveals Our Personality Traits
37 Psychiatric Labels Cause Harm by Stigmatizing People
38 Only Deeply Depressed People Commit Suicide
39 People with Schizophrenia Have Multiple Personalities
40 Adult Children of Alcoholics Display a Distinct Profile of Symptoms
41 There’s Recently Been a Massive Epidemic of Infantile Autism
42 Psychiatric Hospital Admissions and Crimes Increase during Full Moons
43 Most Mentally Ill People Are Violent
44 Criminal Profiling Is Helpful in Solving Cases
45 A Large Proportion Of Criminals Successfully Use the Insanity Defense
46 Virtually All People Who Confess to a Crime Are Guilty of It
47 Expert Judgment and Intuition Are the Best Means of Making Clinical Decisions
48 Abstinence Is the Only Realistic Treatment Goal for Alcoholics
49 All Effective Psychotherapies Force People to Confront the "Root" Causes of Their Problems in Childhood
50 Electroconvulsive ("Shock" Therapy Is a Physically Dangerous and Brutal Treatment

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