No other scientific field allows for more inaccurate theories than psychology. Perhaps this is due to the fact that psychology is, in a sense, , leading many average Joes to theorize about how and why we do what we do (myself included). Knowing this, Dr. Christian Jarrett, psychologist and creator of , compiled a list of , many of which will surprise you. What follows is a list of his three most enlightening finds:
Just like we tend to latch onto specifics about ourselves—like our or our —humans also have a tendency to pledge allegiance to certain learning styles. In fact, found that roughly 96 percent believed that people learned more quickly when taught in their preferred method. As it turns out, , not the person's individual disposition.
This was by far the most surprising myth on Dr. Jarrett's list. Apparently, there is no ideal or correct balance of brain chemicals—a little known fact that Jarrett claims psychiatrists or neurologists will admit to if they're being completely honest. "Part of the support for the imbalance idea comes from the fact that anti-depressant medication alters levels of neurochemicals in the brain," writes Jarrett. "But of course that doesn't mean that a causes the problems in the first place."
This belief was institutionalized by the infamous . Conducted in 1971, the experiment required students to take on the role of prisoner or guard. The students playing the latter eventually turned violent, leading the researchers to terminate the experiment and claim that, when put in the right situation, even the most kind-hearted of people can turn evil. A lesser-known fact is that the experiment was wildly flawed, and that more recent research has contradicted the conclusions initially drawn in the SPE. Many psychologists now believe that the group dynamic influences a given situation more than anything else.
View Dr. Jarrett's , and if psychology piques your interest as it does ours, pick up one of our favorite books, .