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Psuedoscience in Psychology

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Attachment therapy. Attachment therapy is a controversial category of alternative child mental health interventions intended to treat attachment disorders.[1] The term generally includes accompanying parenting techniques.

Attachment therapy

Other names or particular techniques include "the Evergreen model", "holding time", "rage-reduction", "compression therapy", "rebirthing", "corrective attachment therapy" and Coercive Restraint Therapy.[1] It is found primarily but not exclusively in the United States and much of it is centered in about a dozen clinics in Evergreen, Colorado, where Foster Cline, one of the founders, established his clinic in the 1970s.

This article describes this particular set of interventions although in clinical literature the term "attachment therapy" is sometimes used loosely to mean any intervention based, or claiming to be based, on attachment theory, particularly outside the USA. Treatment characteristics[edit] According to the APSAC Task Force, Conversion therapy. Conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy) is a range of treatments that aim to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.

Conversion therapy

Such treatments have been criticized for being pseudo-scientific.[1][2][3][4][5] Conversion therapy has been a source of controversy in the United States and other countries.[6] The American Psychiatric Association has condemned "psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.

"[7] It states that, "Ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals' sexual orientation. The highest-profile contemporary advocates of conversion therapy tend to be fundamentalist Christian groups and other right-wing religious organizations [9] and the therapy is derided by critics as "pray the gay away".

Graphology. Not to be confused with graphanalysis, the branch of questioned or forensic document examination that deals with handwritten documents.

Graphology

For the linguistic study of writing systems which has sometimes been called graphology, see graphemics. Graphology is the analysis of the physical characteristics and patterns of handwriting purporting to be able to identify the writer, indicating psychological state at the time of writing, or evaluating personality characteristics.[1] It is generally considered a pseudoscience.[2][3][4] The term is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to forensic document examination.

Graphology has been controversial for more than a century. Although supporters point to the anecdotal evidence of positive testimonials as a reason to use it for personality evaluation, most empirical studies fail to show the validity claimed by its supporters.[5][6] Etymology[edit] Hypnosis.

Photographic Studies in Hypnosis, Abnormal Psychology (1938)

Hypnosis

Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy used to create subconscious change in a patient in the form of new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviors or feelings.

Hypnotherapy

Memetics. This article is related to the study of self-replicating units of culture, not to be confused with Mimesis.

Memetics

Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene.[1] Proponents describe memetics as an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. The meme, analogous to a gene, was conceived as a "unit of culture" (an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour, etc.) which is "hosted" in the minds of one or more individuals, and which can reproduce itself, thereby jumping from mind to mind. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen as an idea-replicator reproducing itself in a new host. As with genetics, particularly under a Dawkinsian interpretation, a meme's success may be due to its contribution to the effectiveness of its host.

History[edit] The modern memetics movement dates from the mid-1980s. Mind control. Neuro-linguistic programming. Not to be confused with Natural language processing (also NLP) Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s.

Neuro-linguistic programming

Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic") and behavioral patterns learned through experience ("programming") and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life.[1][2] Parapsychology. American psychologist and philosopher William James (1842–1910) was an early psychical researcher.

Parapsychology

Parapsychology is a field of study concerned with the investigation of paranormal and psychic phenomena. Parapsychologists study telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, reincarnation, apparitional experiences, and other paranormal claims. Parapsychology research is largely conducted by private institutions in several different countries and funded through private donations,[1][2][3][4] and the subject rarely appears in mainstream science journals.

Most papers about parapsychology are published in a small number of niche journals.[5] Most scientists regard parapsychology as pseudoscience.[6] Parapsychology has been criticised for continuing investigation despite being unable to provide convincing evidence for the existence of any psychic phenomena after more than a century of research.[7][8][9][10][11][12] Terminology[edit] History[edit] Rhine era[edit]

Phrenology. Phrenology (from Greek: φρήν, phrēn, "mind"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is a pseudoscience primarily focused on measurements of the human skull, based on the concept that the brain is the organ of the mind, and that certain brain areas have localized, specific functions or modules.[1] Developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall in 1796,[2] the discipline was very popular in the 19th century, especially from about 1810 until 1840.

Phrenology

The principal British centre for phrenology was Edinburgh, where the Edinburgh Phrenological Society was established in 1820. Polygraph. American inventor Leonarde Keeler (1903–1949) testing his lie-detector on Dr.

Polygraph

Kohler, a former witness for the prosecution at the trial of Bruno Hauptmann. The polygraph was invented in 1921 by John Augustus Larson, a medical student at the University of California at Berkeley and a police officer of the Berkeley Police Department in Berkeley, California.[2] The polygraph was on the Encyclopædia Britannica 2003 list of greatest inventions, described as inventions that "have had profound effects on human life for better or worse. Primal therapy. Primal therapy is a trauma-based psychotherapy created by Arthur Janov, who argues that neurosis is caused by the repressed pain of childhood trauma.

Janov argues that repressed pain can be sequentially brought to conscious awareness and resolved through re-experiencing the incident and fully expressing the resulting pain during therapy. Primal therapy was developed as a means of eliciting the repressed pain; the term Pain is capitalized in discussions of primal therapy when referring to any repressed emotional distress and its purported long-lasting psychological effects. Janov criticizes the talking therapies as they deal primarily with the cerebral cortex and higher-reasoning areas and do not access the source of Pain within the more basic parts of the central nervous system. Primal therapy is used to re-experience childhood pain—i.e., felt rather than conceptual memories—in an attempt to resolve the pain through complete processing and integration, becoming "real".

Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a set of psychological and psychotherapeutic theories and associated techniques, originally popularized by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and stemming partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Since then, psychoanalysis has expanded and been revised, reformed and developed in different directions. This was initially by Freud's colleagues and students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung who went on to develop their own ideas independently from Freud.

Later neo-Freudians included Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Harry Stack Sullivan and Jacques Lacan. Subliminal stimuli. Subliminal stimuli (/sʌbˈlɪmɨnəl/; literally "below threshold"), contrary to supraliminal stimuli or "above threshold", are any sensory stimuli below an individual's threshold for conscious perception.[1] A recent review of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies shows that subliminal stimuli activate specific regions of the brain despite participants being unaware.[2] Visual stimuli may be quickly flashed before an individual can process them, or flashed and then masked, thereby interrupting the processing. Audio stimuli may be played below audible volumes or masked by other stimuli. Effectiveness[edit] The effectiveness in subliminal messaging has been demonstrated to prime individual responses and stimulate mild emotional activity.[3][4] Applications, however, often base themselves on the persuasiveness of the message.