Psychologist says

I’ve discovered that if you search for “says psychologist” on Google, you get a giant avalanche of wtf. I encourage you to try it for yourself, but here are a few of the highlights, all taken from headlines of news stories.

Twitter makes you dumb, says psychologist
Boys have it worse, says psychologist
Faith schools breed terrorism, says psychologist
Change is possible for gays, says psychologist
Music tugs at monkeys’ hearts, says psychologist
Pakistan no longer fear failure, says psychologist
Killer of 4 feared loss of love, says psychologist
Britney has lost control and needs help, says psychologist

You get the idea. There are plenty more where they came from.

As has been noted by Dr Petra for a while now, you can get virtually anything, and anyone, into the media just by describing them as a psychologist, even when they aren’t.

We are at a point in history where there is a huge popular interest in the mind and brain and so psychological sounding explanations are given huge weight and plenty of airtime.

If you have a look at the stories brought up by the “says psychologist” search you’ll notice that they range from charlatans giving their opinion on celebrities they’ve never met to the results of research published in the scientific literature, and everything in between.

But no matter, because it can all be condensed into the handy format of “…says psychologist”. This seems to be such a pervasive format that even the American Psychological Association use it for press releases.

Actually, I’ve just discovered that if you search Google Images for the same you get a stream of random images with “says psychologist” underneath. It’s kind of poetic in a surreal sort of way.

Link to “says psychologist” search.

5 thoughts on “Psychologist says”

  1. Yes, well, we can be an opinionated and wordy bunch (at least those of us who speak to the media instead of sheltering in our soundproof offices). No wonder others want to hop on the bandwagon.

  2. Works nice for “says philosopher” as well. 🙂 I haven’t put in “scientist” or “physicist” yet. Maybe I should also try “Creationist”. 🙂

  3. I think this is inevitable. Psychologists are supposed to know things about human behaviour that other people don’t. So whenever a “psychologist says” something and that makes the news, it’s because they’re saying something implausible.

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