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Podcast: The Failures Of ‘Fad Psychology’

“You can sort of ‘prove’ anything if you really want to,” author Jesse Singal said on the Federalist Radio Hour.


On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Jesse Singal, author of “The Quick Fix: Why Fad Psychology Can’t Cure Our Social Ills” and host of the “Blocked and Reported” podcast, joins Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech to discuss why “fad” psychology fails society.

“The way science works and the way statistics works, you can sort of ‘prove’ anything if you really want to. And there’s now a lot of incentive to ‘prove’ a lot of stuff because society is just fascinated by psychology, by this brand of psychology in a way that it hasn’t always been,” Singal said.

Singal said that researchers are drawn to experiments that will secure them a TED Talk or a book deal.

“There’s been this unfortunate bleeding over between legitimate psychology and basically self-help and it hasn’t been good for anyone except for a few TED Talk stars,” he said.

Singal said it’s this type of appeal that contributes to excessive groupthink which many corporate media outlets and progressives are quick to embrace.

“I’ve noticed this terrible trajectory among my fellow progressives … like this real embrace of groupthink where it’s also faddishness … like there were three or four months last summer after George Floyd was killed where suddenly everyone’s talking about police abolition and people are doing these softball interviews treating this as a serious policy idea and then it’s like gone as quick as it arrives and very few people in the mainstream outlets sort of question this,” Singal said.

“I’m lucky to only have one foot in mainstream journalistic institutions … but within these institutions, there is immense groupthink and pressure to conform,” he said.

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