Introduction to Amateur Psychology and Armchair Diagnosis
How often have you wanted to know what’s going on in someone else’s head? You can ask them, of course, but you might not get the full truth (or they might just flat-out lie). Another way to get inside the mind of another person would be to ask their doctor, but most people don’t have access to one 24/7. So what are your options?
What is amateur psychology?
Amateur psychology is the practice of diagnosing and treating mental illness without the formal training of a licensed psychologist. This type of psychology is often referred to as armchair psychology or armchair diagnosis. While amateur psychology can be helpful in some cases, it can also be dangerous.
Untrained individuals may not be able to correctly identify mental illness, which can lead to wrong or harmful treatment. In some cases, armchair psychologists may even make things worse.
Amateurs have time to think
Amateur psychology is the layperson’s armchair diagnosis of someone else’s psychological condition. It’s often done without any formal training in psychology and based solely on observation.
They don’t have to spend time on credentials
We’ve all done it before. You hear about someone’s behavior and you start to piece together why they act the way they do. It’s what I like to call armchair psychology. And while it can be fun to play amateur psychologist, there are some dangers to this Amateur psychology diagnosis.
Their sense of responsibility makes them take things more seriously
We all have that one friend who seems to think they know everything about psychology. They’ll diagnose you with every mental disorder under the sun, and give you some advice that’s really just a regurgitation of what they read in a book once. This is what we like to call armchair psychology.
They are their own experiment
We’ve all done it. We see someone behaving in a certain way and we think to ourselves, Oh, they must be going through something. We assign motives to their actions without any real knowledge of what’s going on in their lives. This is amateur psychology.
Sometimes amateur just means a lover
When it comes to psychology, the word amateur often gets a bad rap. But what does it really mean to be an amateur psychologist? It means that you are someone who has a sincere interest in and knowledge of human behaviour and mental processes.
It means that you have the ability to take observations about your own life and extrapolate them into more general conclusions about how people behave in different situations and contexts. Amateur psychologists use their personal experiences as evidence for why people behave in certain ways.
Success depends on the sensitivity of their instruments
Sensitivity refers to the ability of a measuring instrument to produce results that are close to the actual value of what is being measured. If an instrument is not sensitive, it will not be able to accurately measure the variable it is supposed to be measuring. This can lead to errors in data collection and analysis.
Amateur Psychologists do not always look at visible behavior
Behavior is only one part of the human experience, and therefore, not always the best indicator of what is going on inside someone’s head. Oftentimes, we armchair psychologists will base our theories off of secondhand accounts or events that we have seen unfold.
We may also forget that people are capable of growth and change; just because someone behaves a certain way now does not mean they will continue to do so in the future. Our analyses may be further complicated by personal biases or blind spots.
Differences between amateurs and professionals
When it comes to psychology, there is a big difference between amateurs and professionals. Amateur psychology is often based on personal opinion and observation, while professional psychology is backed by years of research and training. Professionals are also more likely to be objective and unbiased in their assessments.
If you’ve ever found yourself analyzing your friends’ and family members’ behavior, you may be an amateur psychologist. Also known as an armchair therapist, amateur psychologists are people who often attempt to diagnose others without any formal training in psychology.
While there’s nothing wrong with being interested in psychology, it’s important to remember that armchair therapists aren’t professionals. This means that their diagnoses are usually based on personal opinions and aren’t supported by scientific research.