Thursday, October 19, 2006

Psychobabble


You know, there are a lot of interesting things in the field of psychology, but not a lot of people know about them. When most people think of psychology, they think of Sigmund Freud sitting behind a patient on a couch while they talk about their childhood, while he fills out a prescription for crazy pills. That has very little to do with real psychology.

I think one of the reasons that most people ignore psychology research is that we use stupid jargon for very simple things. This makes us feel smart, but just confuses everyone else.

As an example, here is a line from an article I came across, defining what a "home page" is:
A home page is an entry interface of hyperdocuments for presenting a Website's information to visitors, which is mostly concerned with human perception in terms of users’ comprehension and mental representation.
Seriously. I barely know what it's talkng about. How about this? "A home page is the first thing you see when you visit a web site." Much better.

15 comments:

Tai said...

"Welcome to my entry interface of hyperdocument.

Please. Enter my mental representation of this users' comprehension."

uh...that sucks.

madamerouge said...

psychology = babble
psychiatry = great drugs

am I right?

Phronk said...

That about sums it up.

R2K said...

You can tell a really smart person from the rest by how they can put a complex issue into simple english.

Anonymous said...

Case in point, Richard Dawkins (or is it faux Richard Dawkins? Who knows). Dude, using a single syllable word now and then won't freakin' kill ya.

Anonymous said...

Men. IMHO it's just guys trying to sound all smart and stuff! ;o)

Hyper what? LOL ;o)

That or it could be possible that your hyperdrive has issues w/ it's mother and penis!

LOL ;o)

Anonymous said...

Men. IMHO it's just guys trying to sound all smart and stuff! ;o)

Hyper what? LOL ;o)

That or it could be possible that your hyperdrive has issues w/ it's mother and penis!

LOL ;o)

Jennifer said...

You're not going to make it unless you take a course in preteniousness. I'm pretty sure it's a prerequisite for your doctorate.

Anonymous said...

You should write a "Psychology for Dummies" book.

Anonymous said...

It's language like that that makes reading text books a nightmare.

sarah said...

a homepage is a page we call home.

Jennifer said...

This thing needs either a spell checker or an edit button. Damn.

Anonymous said...

Steven Pinker talked about the same thing, and quoted some great examples (Haig being one I remember). DoDspeak has long been famous for this, as well as NASA.
"Interrogative regarding anomalous absence of TCMSU at location designated LOUNGE"
TCMSU=Toroidal Carbohydrate Module Shipping Unit
"Where's the donuts?"

Phronk said...

Hehe, nice example.

Pinker is also a good example of the opposite. He can put very complicated issues into language that is...well, not EASY to understand, but able to be read without a dictionary.

your judgemental aunt said...

some words is hard to get