Psychology Led Astray: Cargo Cult in Science and Therapy


This is a title of my new book which was accepted for the publication by Brown Walker Press – American publisher specialized in non fiction.

The book shows how scientific and psychotherapeutic practices changes into worthless rituals called by famous physicist, Richard Feynman, cargo cult. It consists of three main parts:

The first part is devoted to the problems of academic psychology. In Chapter 1 I describe briefly the phenomenon of cargo cult and its way to social sciences. Chapter 2 asks questions about utility of the concept of stress. Chapter 3 reports the history of the shift from psychology as a science of behaviour to the science of self-reports of non representative population of Westerners. Chapter 3 shows perils of null hypothesis testing in psychology. Chapter 5 shows how far is marketing image of neuroscience from its real value. Last chapter in this part analyses the causes of the transformation of science into cargo cult rituals. 

The second part is concerned with problems derived from psychotherapeutic practice. It describes several pseudoscientific practices, and its harmful effects. Three chapters are devoted to: therapy focused on Adult Children of Alcoholics, Simontons Cancer Healing and Psychological Debriefing. Last chapter of this part tries to help people to protect themselves from these and similar pseudotherapies. 

The third part describes child pseudotherapies: Doman-Delacato therapy, Educational Kinsesiology, Attachment Therapies, Dolphin Assisted Therapy and in less exhausiting manner some others. The reasons of the popularity of these therapies are analyzed in chapter 16. Last chapter (17) explains how to protect children from charlatans working in the area of child therapy. 

Last short part of the book entitled “Dear Richard” is written in the form of the letter to Richard Feynman in which I try to convince him, that despite of all this bad practices in psychology it is still a science which brings us valuable discoveries and could be helpful for people. This part contains several examples of good practices in psychology. 

It is must read for everybody who is interested in psychology, who is studying or intend to study it but also for present and potential clients of psychotherapists and parents of mentally disabled children. By reading it they will learn which parts of psychology and therapy are cargo cult like and which are reliable. This book is the second part of trilogy devoted to dark sides of psychology. The first part was published under the title Psychology Gone Wrong. The Dark Sides of Science and Therapy.



4 responses to “Psychology Led Astray: Cargo Cult in Science and Therapy

  1. Pingback: Cargo Cult Psychology | Boomer Health Report·

  2. Pingback: Recenzja „Psychology Led Astray” w Science-Based Medicine | W obronie rozumu·

  3. Pingback: Cargo Cult Psychology – About Your Body·

  4. I wouldnt have ever noticed you basically never tried look and research. Superb and excellent and aim delighted I first viewed it. Now we all know a few things i have to do. Thanks much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s