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What are examples of pseudo psychology?

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Quick Answer

Some examples of pseudo psychology are astrology, palmistry, graphology and phrenology. Pseudo psychology is sometimes associated with fraudulent practices, but by definition, pseudo psychology is simply an approach to psychology that does not follow the scientific method.

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Full Answer

Because psychology is the science of the mind and behavior, it makes logical sense that psychological methods lacking scientific evidence would be disregarded. The best-known pseudo psychologies all make the unfounded suggestion that various external events or characteristics can affect or determine personality. Astrology, for example, maintains that the planetary alignment at the moment of birth has an effect on a person's unique mindset and behavior. Similarly, palmistry, graphology and phrenology suggest that external traits, such as lines on the palm of the hand, handwriting and shape of the skull, can accurately reflect internal personality.

Over time, modern science has disproved many of the claims made by pseudo psychologists, but some practices, such as astrology, remain popular. This is largely due to confirmation bias, wherein people tend to selectively search for and remember information that agrees with their original expectations, while contradictory data is forgotten. As long as pseudo psychologists provide some information that applies to all types of people in every horoscope or reading, it is easy for individuals to attribute the expected information to themselves, while ignoring the rest.

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