This type of psychology demands that human behavior have explanations rather than reasons. The explanations involve my unconscious fear of new experiences, my unconscious fear of my father, my unconscious homosexual urges, or some other such unconscious prompting. None of these claims has any credible evidence behind them, and they all clash with the evidence of direct introspection–hence the recurring need for “unconscious” qualifiers.
“The unconscious mind” is one of those things that people are afraid to question for fear of being thought “unscientific”; I’m sure I’ll shock some readers with even the basic observation that “unconscious mind” is a contradiction in terms.
Let us take one of the most celebrated claims of psychoanalysis, that I can have “unconscious” sexual desires. What does it even mean to say that I have a sexual desire if I don’t experience it?
..he added that many women were in denial about what they found to be a turn on. ‘The plethysmograph was showing lots of arousal when women were telling Chivers they didn’t feel turned on at all,’
I suppose it just shows I’m a blue-pill prude if I suggest that the simplest explanation is that blood flow to a lady’s private parts just isn’t a reliable measure of whether she’s sexually aroused? But wait, I see from this NYT article (also linked by EW) that Professor Chivers, who actually carried out this experiment, is pretty much on my side. She distinguishes physiological and subjective sexual response and makes no claim that her subjects were lying or “in denial” about the latter. I would add that when most people talk about sexual arousal or desire they are referring to subjective states, not blood flows.
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