Psychology 101: You Don't Know Anything

In this day and age, it feels like everyone is an “armchair psychologist.” One mention of psychology, and “theories” are discussed throughout dinner. Freudian slips, repressed memories, and supposed psychological “breakthroughs” abound in dinner conversation. Even senile Grandma Tilda seems to have something to add.

Others seem to think that psychology isn’t a science, but is “innate.” When confronted with a new concept, the public is unfazed and thinks that it was “obvious.” The reason for this is something called “hindsight bias.” When shown new information, people seem to think they’ve known it the whole time.

While a flattering belief in their own psychological knowledge doesn't seem nefarious, it can be very detrimental to society as a whole. For example, the belief that memory acts as a videotape leads courts to stake too much on eyewitness reports. Similarly, never believe it when the news says that there is a “breakthrough” in psychology. Any science, but specifically psychology, is made up of many studies and experiments that are conglomerated and rationalized into a theory.

Taking the above facts into consideration, it then becomes easier to debunk several other myths within popular psychology. The following are five common psychology myths that are 100% not true. 

  1. We use only 10% of our brains.

  2. Playing Mozart to babies makes them smarter.

  3. People are either "left-brained" or "right-brained." 

  4. Opposites attract. 

  5. People with Schizophrenia have multiple personalities.

 

So, next time you’re faced with pop culture screaming claims of new psychological theories, take the time to research them, first. You don't want to be the person a psychology major rolls their eyes at!