What is folk psychology and how does it deal with the issues of everyday life?

Psychology Before Psychology Read more from
Chapter Introducing the Basics

It was not only the philosophers who grappled with the questions of psychology. As the issues of psychology are so relevant to everyday life, we would expect many people to come up with ideas about psychological principles. Folk psychology, often expressed in aphorisms or proverbs, captures some of these ideas as they were passed down through the generations. Below are just some of the common sense sayings that people have used over the years to communicate the wisdom of folk psychology.

  • Let sleeping dogs lie
  • Old dogs can’t learn new tricks
  • Look before you leap
  • A stitch in time saves nine
  • A penny saved is a penny earned
  • Penny wise, pound foolish
  • A fool and his money are soon parted
  • Spare the rod, spoil the child
  • When the cat’s away, the mice will play
  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
  • If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
  • Pride goeth before a fall
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained
  • Shallow brooks are noisy
  • Loose lips sink ships
  • If you love someone, set them free
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • Hunger is the best sauce
  • Out of sight, out of mind
  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Three’s a crowd
  • Never go to bed mad
  • He who laughs last, laughs best
  • One man’s meat is another man’s poison
  • God helps those who help themselves


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