The Anti-Psychology, Psychology Movement.
When I first studied psychology, twenty years ago, statistics and math featured high in the curriculum, and it still does because research is how we learn and progress. Today, however, scholars are finally digging into the complexities of human nature and recognizing that no one fits in the ‘average’ person box.
Many people enter psychology believing they’ll learn about therapy, but there is much more to it, and because psychology draws from many disciplines, you gain knowledge on a broad range of subjects.
Why we act the way we do, what thoughts and feelings led to such behaviour, where those thoughts and feelings come from, and who we are really, are only some of the questions theorists from multiple disciplines have offered to psychology.
Psychology, through its Western-laden methodologies, has been so focused on the individual that it forgot the role of the collective; even the most hermatized of us struggle to avoid the structures and institutions that govern our existence.
Community psychology resists the individualistic mindset of our governing institutions by challenging:
- The psychological research that’s considered valid and reliable despite the lack of representation of people who aren’t W.E.I.R.D (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic).
- The creation of policies and institutions which meet the needs of a select group of people and do not include people with disabilities, people of colour, people in poverty, and all the marginalized people who now make up the majority.
- Inaccurate and biased media portrayal of marginalized communities.
- Dominant narratives that are perpetuated in media.
Anthropologist, Joseph Henrich, contributed to evolutionary and community psychology through his work on social and cultural learning and the collective brain.
Henrich’s book, “The weirdest people in the world”, discusses how our thinking and behaviours have evolved through the influence of W.E.I.R.D religions and politics, and how that has affected our human biology and culture.
I write about personality disorders, though there’s always been this question about whether or not pathologising our emotional health was causing more harm than good.
A Blood Test For Mental Illness.
Biomarkers and their potential to diagnose mental illnesses.
The next time you’re reading research, check that participants aren’t all university students or whether similar, more universal, studies have also been conducted.
Never be afraid to question the experts, they’re not even sure they know what they’re doing anymore!
Thanks for reading❤