College majors with the highest unemployment [CBS News 11/16/11]
Clinical psychology 19.5%
Educational psychology 10.9%
Organizational psychology 10.4%
Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%
Social psychology 8.8%
“Five of the college majors with the worst job prospects on this list are related to psychology. Ironically, psychology is the fifth most popular college degree.”
One of the essential problems with psychology is its reliance upon psychiatric or biological behavioral models â€” a far cry from its foundations. Psychology once followed early philosophy and initially meant the study of the soul â€” psyche (soul) and ology (study of). The general thought was that the mind and body were separate entities. Thus, each man and woman was regarded as a composite of soul, mind and matter.
In 1829, Webster’s International Dictionary of the English Language defined “psychology” as “a discourse or treatise on the human soul; the doctrine of the nature and properties of the soul.” In 1892, Webster’s High School Dictionary said “psychology” related to “the powers and function of the soul.”
However, all this changed in the late 1800s when German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt established the first “experimental psychology” laboratory in Leipzig University, officially rejecting the existence of the soul and declaringâ€”without a shred of evidenceâ€”that man was merely a product of his genes. In his words, “If one assumes that there is nothing there to begin with but a body, a brain and a nervous system, then one must try to educate by inducing sensations in that nervous system.” In a Wundt textbook, translated into English in 1911, Wundt declared, “The…soul can no longer exist in the face of our present day physiological knowledge.”
By 1961, Merriam Webster’s 3rd International Dictionary defined “psychology” as “the science of mind or mental phenomena or activities; the study of biological organism (as man) and the physical and social environment.”
With the soul eliminated, psychologists set about manipulating behavior and “training” an individual much like one would train a bear, a dog or any other animal.
Although this man-is-an-animal theory is easily debunked (dogs do not drive cars, horses will never paint masterpieces and concertos have yet to be performed by an orchestra of monkeys), psychology drew heavily on Wundt’s theories and declared Man a victim of his environment.
In placing man as the direct and unknowing effect of an authoritarian and soulless philosophy, those psychologists supporting this view are promoting the idea that one’s mental health depends upon an adjustment to the world rather than its conquest. This presumes that man cannot, therefore, effect positive change on the world around him but must submit to its random will. Implicit also is the belief that he cannot even be responsible for his own mental healing, as his behaviors are entirely the product of the functions or malfunctions of the brain. In other words, that like dogs, men are basically stimulus response mechanisms.
While Man is capable of great evil, there is an inherent decency in us all that makes us want happiness for ourselves, those we hold dear, and even those we hardly know. The good is there to be cultivated. It cannot be nurtured in a world where psychological and psychiatric doctrine and thought permeate our culture with the philosophy that we are mere animals who have no hope of finding happiness outside of a medicine cabinet.