Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

Popular Psychology

What is the history of popular psychology?

While the term “pop psychology” is relatively new, the concept is certainly not. As long as there have been human beings, there has been interest in human behavior. Along with this comes a pervasive desire to obtain advice from those who seem to know more about life’s challenges than the ordinary person. In ancient Greece, people consulted oracles for such advice. For many centuries, religious figures filled this function, although soothsayers, fortune-tellers and other occult figures also came into play. In more recent times, advice columnists have made use of the mass media to provide advice to the lovelorn, the depressed, or people who are otherwise troubled. Since the rise of the professional mental health fields, speakers with academic or medical credentials have gained in popularity. Unfortunately not all people in the popular psychology industry who present with medical or academic credentials actually have training related to the topic they are discussing.


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