Richard Feynman, briefly, on psychology

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Richard Feynman, briefly, on psychology

#1  Postby Stephen » Mar 01, 2010 4:54 am

I read this today in his published lecture series from 1969 at the University of Washington in Seattle, The Meaning of It All. I am inclined to think there is some value in what he's saying here, but of course I'm no expert and neither is he, he would've surely admitted. I've read a bit online and there is a story that the entire psych dept stood and left when he said this. Anyway, just wanted to see what you all thought. I couldn't find the full text online so I printscreened it from google books.

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Re: Richard Feynman, briefly, on psychology

#2  Postby MolotovNomNom » Mar 01, 2010 5:11 am

Just from reading the excerpt, I think he's referring to psychoanalytical approaches of Freud and Jung and criticizing specifically those two. I don't think he was referring to behavioral and cognitive psych, which have more evidence and science behind them. While Freud and the such pretty much started therapy, it wasn't really based on anything concrete. Psychoanalysis may still be used but I think it's safe to say it is not used as much anymore. :ask:
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Re: Richard Feynman, briefly, on psychology

#3  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 01, 2010 6:56 am

MolotovNomNom wrote:Just from reading the excerpt, I think he's referring to psychoanalytical approaches of Freud and Jung and criticizing specifically those two. I don't think he was referring to behavioral and cognitive psych, which have more evidence and science behind them. While Freud and the such pretty much started therapy, it wasn't really based on anything concrete. Psychoanalysis may still be used but I think it's safe to say it is not used as much anymore. :ask:


This pretty much sums it up.

Feynman here has an issue with psychoanalysis, which was/is/and always will be bullshit, so he is right to do so. It should be noted that psychoanalysis is not psychology, it is not a science and fortunately it is slowly decreasing in popularity - but as physicists will always be plagued with crackpots and their perpetual energy machines, psychologists will always be plagued by the crackpots who think everything can be explained by people being attracted to their mothers.
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Re: Richard Feynman, briefly, on psychology

#4  Postby Lazar » Mar 01, 2010 7:16 am

:lol: I think this comes from six easy pieces right?

Anyway when I read it I thought it was fantastic.
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Re: Richard Feynman, briefly, on psychology

#5  Postby Stephen » Mar 01, 2010 5:28 pm

I admit, I have a passing interest in true scientific psychology but I have never bothered to educate myself as to what of the salient theories have been dismissed and which are still regarded with gravitas. I don't know the first thing about psych in other words, even so, it may surprise some to hear that I only had a moderate suspicion of psychoanalysis being garbage, and then only by the snarky jokes I see people make, and the offense which people seem to take at suggestions with a psychoanalytic tone, all of this online really.

Anyway, thanks for getting rudimentary for me. :tongue:
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