Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

Popular Psychology

How do popular psychologists differ from licensed professional psychologists?

No credentials are necessary to become successful within the field of popular psychology. While licensed psychologists need to complete many years of rigorous training before they are legally able to call themselves a psychologist, a talk show host need only master the (admittedly very difficult) art of popular entertainment before giving advice to the general public. Some psychologists or mental health professionals do enter the field of popular psychology, but there is nothing stopping someone with a doctorate in French literature from using the appellation “Dr.” and appearing on a daytime pop psychology television show. Thus, much of popular psychology functions more as entertainment than as scientifically based psychological knowledge.


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