Okay, the official movie — featuring full slides and audio — has been made…
As a reminder, the audience was a national conference of early career psychology graduates, the conference theme concerned the place of psychology in society, and the abstract I set for myself was as follows:
The Point of Psychology (and How it Gets Missed)
The point of psychology is, and always has been, to use scientific methods to resolve uncertainties in our understanding of the human condition. Nonetheless, many audiences seek to imbue psychology with some kind of mission to “improve people’s well-being” (whatever that means), to “encourage positive behaviours” (whatever they are), or to cure mental ill-health by means of laying-on-of-hands.
In addition, psychology often projects itself as a politically liberal (as opposed to conservative) discipline, despite being an overwhelmingly white, middle class, middle-aged, male academic field shaped by a century of Euro-American hegemony.
This talk will examine these themes, and include at least one joke.
To be fair, people did laugh at the joke.
Brian Hughes is an academic psychologist and university professor in Galway, Ireland, specialising in stress, health, and the application of psychology to social issues. He writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, medicine, and politics.