Psychic Terrors – Mirrors of Psychological Errors

Social IssuesCulture

  • Author Randy Gonzalez
  • Published October 3, 2020
  • Word count 2,501

The word psychic has several applications depending on the nature of the particular discourse. From cognitive and mental capacities to emotional reactivity and supernatural eccentricities, the inference can be diversely applicable in a number of encounters. In reference to early seers and fortunetellers, “psychic”, and by inclusion, “psyche”, refers matter of the “mind”. Both references culminate into the philosophical expression of “psychology”, or the “study of the mind”.

In this episode, “psychic terrors” and “psychological mirrors” culminate in an expression to suggest confusion, misunderstanding and misdirection in human behavioral studies. As to the essential reliability of various inquiries, particularly associated with the various schools of thought, scientific validity is called into question. Of the value for the greater good, serious concerns arise with regard to overall credibility of conjecture, claims and commentary.

In reference to “scientific validity”, a foundation should be prepared at the outset to delineate terms and applications. From this, it is meant that claims of cause-effect reality ought to meet the standards of real hardcore science, as well as admissibility in a court of law. Once again, one might ask what a science is. Here that reference is made toward those fields such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, forensic pathology, etc. Or, evidence to prove organic existence.

A distinction often made between what some call a “hard science” and a “soft science” is that with a hard science, such as physics, a researcher attempts to disprove or disconfirm his or her hypothesis. Rigorous analysis, testing data, examining the evidence, and so, are submitted to critical analysis from a number of perspectives and subsequent actions. More often than not, the inquisitor strives to ensure control over preconceived notions that might interfere.

On the other hand, various philosophical schools of thought, like the three more traditional attempts at scientific inquiry, criminology, psychology and sociology, tend to focus on theoretical construct affirmation. Typically, this apparent standard mode of inquiry becomes a matter of subjective validation in the quest to ensure an entitled perspective of theoretical sufficiency. For the sake of preconceived notions, specious conjecture and observational bias, the reflection of subjectivity makes prejudicial the hastily drawn conclusions.

Whereas anecdote is not evidence, and correlation is not causation, the nebulous nature of the simplistic inference comes close to the edge of trickery. If that’s too strong a word, maybe deception is more acceptable, or perhaps sleight hand as in magic.

Then again, myth, magic and metaphor often translate into reality for a lot people. Emotional reactivity replaced logical analysis. Fiction overrides facts on many occasions in social discourse. Social media and infotainment disguised as news, have become gossipy, rumor oriented grapevines of disinformation. Ignorance runs rampant from classrooms to workplaces, as I.Q. levels continue a downward trend. Not only that, but the debate about the philosophies of pseudoscience, and which one is more fraudulent than the other, is more entertaining than actual problem solving. It’s too late to change the course human devolution. Fallacies of inference that devolve to hasty and inadequate generalizations fill the mainstream every day.

While no one knows what anyone thinks, or is thinking at any given moment, many think we can think about what another person is thinking. Some even go into think tanks to think about what another might be thinking. To perpetrate the metaphorical inadequacy of understanding human ideations, fortune telling applications conjure something called the “mind”. Of such, and barely a means of definitive explanation or specificity of human brain activity, the figurative illusion is a simplistic representation. Yet, many a pretentious and arrogant adherent of cannon, doctrine or ideology will invectively argue in opposition regardless of the evidence.

Images flash in the mirrors of daily reflections in contemplating the echoes of hidden meanings for devious leanings. Cognitive bias insists upon proving the conjecture in spite of probable evidence to counter the observer’s observation of that which is observed. Bias always arrives without invitation but by instigation to the scene of the incident to be explained. To see what one wants to see reflects the deception of intentional provocations for erroneous perceptions. Continued perpetration of subjective validation sometimes produces disastrous consequences. Nearly an entire society enamored by each one’s own self-interests competes for notice, attention, and validation in an ever-spiraling descent from anything imitating perfection.

In wiser discretions, by humble contemplation, what manner of divisiveness is claimed from the posture of a preconceived notion? Outside hard-core scientific validation, no one can say for certain exactly and comprehensively what a person is thinking and why he or she does certain things. As to human behavior in general, there are no specific delineations. For the disciplined and well-principled adherent to one philosophy or the other, the act of humility is in the preface that says one does not have all the answers. In addition, rigorous analysis, applying at least in theory a working utilization of scientific methodology, strives for consistency of valid replication in every possible instance. Scientific validity finds provability in the crime lab.

Outside the practices and principles of hard science investigative processes, absent the physical evidence, most iterations descend to an opinion-based framework. As such, challenges can be countered as to the authenticity of the claim. And with that, the follow up should consistently be that which emphasizes the viability of continual uncertainty. That is, there are always exceptions, and disagreement as to cause and effect hinges on evidentiary artifacts.

An advocate for a school of thought may insist that his or her perspective is authoritative. In the fields of criminology, sociology and psychology such is not the case. These are philosophical points of view driven by a self-serving state of “mind” that is subjective. Warnings are constant whenever a particular viewpoint asserts the “evidence shows”, or “it turns out that”, and so on, where a rebuttal can be mounted contrary to the alleged claim.

Such admonitions, especially when a perspective is purely from an academic point of view, versus a practitioner’s experienced perspective, regress to adverse consequences. In the disciplined life of the career investigator, one who has ventured into realms both fearful and debasing, a practical inference regards suspiciously any broad generalizations. In pseudoscience, that is to say, those areas outside the hard sciences such as physics or chemistry, subjective validation in perpetration of cognitive bias, foments a kind of intellectual heresy that is dangerous.

Making claims that result in egregious consequences, not based on biological evidence, organic disease or physiological deterioration, are a form of “psychic terror”. Added to the complexity is the public, politicians and journalists who have limited understanding of the controversial implications. In the fallout and fallacies of imperfect theoretical provocations, dangerous afflictions perpetrate infringement on personal freedoms. Overall, little is accomplished to enhance greater understanding of human behavior and hastens social deterioration. By perpetration of pseudoscientific standpoints, with easy acceptance by a gullible and misinformed public, deceptions continue from one generation to the next.

For the sake of argument, “pseudoscience” should not be offensive to any particular segment of the non-scientific community. On the contrary, the conception ought to be embraced, as a bold act of honesty, and a spirit of brave humility in that one does not have all the answers regarding the nature of human behavior. Yet apparently, especially in the halls of academia, the word “pseudoscience” is scary. Even though adherents to one school of philosophy or another might be prone to overreact, such terminology should not cause fainting spells. Particularly, some will babble about how the field of psychology uses something called the “scientific method”.

Okay, and so what? Regardless though, pseudoscience is a vast realm of inquiry that delves into the mysteriousness of human being. From beliefs to practices, there is a mystical notion about cause and effect that remain inconclusive. To chase ghosts, goblins and gremlins for the self-satiation of carnal proclivity speaks loudly of hidden selfishness for cognitive assurances. For the astutely trained perspective, the never-ending pursuit of rationality, gifted by the logic of investigative skepticism, the quietness, in the tranquility of detached intuitiveness inspires ascended creativity. Of that, rather than the smug piety of self-importance in the redundancy of anecdotal conformity, the cynical skepticism of serene introspection needs the consistent practice of meditative exploration. There is a universe of ideations to be considered.

For the academic, non-practitioner, and domain biased viewpoint, the human species argues by its very nature from its evolutionary nurture the opposition to a precise equation. No singular scheme or lone precursor gives way to the consummate definition of deterministic or predictive evidentiary sufficiency. To suspend cognitive bias for the quest of higher meaning and ascendancy to enlightened prospects, requires the maturity of uninhibited and open-minded self-liberation. Selflessness in humble credibility and intellectual authenticity suffers the onslaught of serious personal introspection. However, most fear the folly of their perceptions.

Unfortunately, advocates, adherents, gurus and proselytes of one philosophy versus another, clamor the superficial efficacy of their hallowed ground. To the contrary of proof beyond doubt by scientific validation, the terror of inconsistency and simplicity clouds the reality. As a result, specious conjecture quickly masquerades as “scientific”, and spreads psychic terrors that hide in the reflections of psychological mirrors. Such arrogance of narcissistic infantile constructs, bear no more than the weightlessness of mere opinion, yet rely on gullibility of a dominion. So well contrived and infused with societal acquiescence, not much can be done to change things.

Ideological fallacies pervade the spheres of academia, as well as ecclesiastic and other institutional enclaves. Likewise, oligarchic political bastions collude wherever possible to safeguard their sense of entitled entrenchment. To look into the reflective imagery of shimmering pools with bottomless inconsistency, and insufficient proofs, invites the collusion for the fallacies to be covered up and hidden. Freethinking individuality is the line of defense against such tyrannies of thought and subsequent oppressions of conformity. Psychic security countermeasures against the ambush of deadly oppositions to personal differentiation includes vigilance for bias and prejudice, selfishness of self-validation. Of this, immaturity reinforces foolishness.

In the horror story of shallow biased commentary, where ideological demonic possession demands an intellectually honest exorcism, most will prefer the demons. In the pseudosciences, the divisive admonitions are relentless with ruthless condescension to dissenting viewpoints. Once again, the global perspective regarding pseudoscience, inferring open mindedness here, concerns claims and conjectures regarding statements or beliefs that claim scientific factually provable authenticity. However, this suggests the assertion that such positions can meet the test of scientific validation, as in a court of law, beyond any reasonable doubt and to the exclusion of other proofs to the contrary. Psychic/Psychological opinions cannot stand up to real science.

Any pretense to science by a pseudoscience, or fortune telling or paranormal investigations, arguably invites skepticism. Every attempt to prove an initial hypothesis wrong, faulty or inauthentic is essential based on compelling evidence. In the hard sciences, the investigator tests the limitations of the physical universe by way of the scientific instrumentation of the laboratory. In the criminal justice field, hard-core science is found in the crime lab or the medical examiner’s office. In academia, among the “social studies”, anything can be called scientific.

Regardless, vigorous intensive investigative capacity is essential to safeguard the efficacy of provable solvability for every proposition. From a practitioner’s perspective, logical deduction of well-reasoned analysis insists upon the application of reliable replication in any setting or environment. The proof comes in the evidentiary artifacts that eventually substantiate the truth of any assertion. Whereas therapeutic intervention involving “talking cure” antics is one thing, or drug pacifications for mental health “diagnoses” is another, predictability of future criminality, or cause-effect mitigations, remain specious speculations. Yet, hope springs eternal, as correlation often becomes causation for the erroneous satiation of subjective validation.

Of recent lament for the practitioner, at least three generations have allowed themselves to be influenced by the “sacred holiness” of theoretical conjecture unsubstantiated by scientific validation. For the non-practitioner post-graduate theoretician, dutifully regurgitating the replication of previous research on human behavior, the redundancy safeguards the particular philosophical viewpoint. For the pseudoscience “psychic”, fearful and even terrified of opposing viewpoints, much effort is undertaken to ensure opinion becomes fact.

In reality, pseudoscience is best considered a work in progress and not scientific confirmation as to any semblance of predictability concerning human behavior. Broad sweeping generalizations are counterproductive where exaggerated claims attempt to define every human being.

While pseudoscience often represents commentary, belief systems and practices not necessarily in keeping with the scientific community, anyone can proclaim anything. That is the wonderful attribute of living in a democratic republic that espouses the precepts of inalienable rights. Likewise, the First Amendment is critical in reinforcing the inherent constitutional safeguards. Beliefs in such things as astrology, ufology, crop circles, creationism, faces on Mars, and so on, concern a range of viewpoints. For many people, these are very serious issues. Of these, all manner of subjective claims cover the gamut of earth sciences, energy, physics, medicine, etc.

In the realm of the social studies, or so-called “social sciences”, there should be no embarrassment, resentment, territorial protectionism, fearful defensiveness, jealousy or animosity to admit that criminology, psychology and sociology fall into the same categories. These associated pseudosciences are connected to the non-scientific realm of assorted ideologies. They are philosophies that remain a work in progress over time, yet lack the rigorous authenticity of the hard sciences. Each shares its complicity by way of unsubstantiated evidentiary proofs that are countered by opposing points of view. Characterized by conflicting claims, oppositional counter-arguments, confirmation prejudice and subjective validation, claims are inconclusive.

In addition, there is nothing lost in accepting the reality that, when it comes to human thinking, human nature, or getting “inside the mind”, there are no absolute and no final answers. Such things are extraordinarily complex. To take the high road, the mature experienced ascendancy to higher level of self-evolution and enlightenment, requires exceptional personal transformation. Unfortunately, few are willing to rise above the mundane stifling of the status quo. At the end of the day, it is all a matter of opinion. Regardless, adherents will react viciously, for example in the field of psychology, to challenges that question the validity of a particular perspective.

For self-serving validation, personal self-interests, and related egoistic fears, maintaining the status quo of persistent ideological regurgitations, is the path of least resistance. At the same time, protecting mainstream consensus ensures the simplicity and security of cognitive bias. For these reasons and more, so many in the social studies environment want to be viewed as scientists. With that, there is a sense of solving the mysteries of the “mind” and attaching some type of “laboratory experimentation” of some sort. But, the crime lab, the physics lab and the morgue, are places where real science tests the serious applications of scientific validity. Unfortunately, for the PhD in the “social sciences”, there is not a lot of science. Outside to the surreal world of academia, the “soft scientist” pretends to be a “scientist” by way of wishful thinking.

Dr. Randy Gonzalez is a college professor of criminology. He is also a 35 year veteran of the law enforcement community.

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