Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Hope none of my psycho friends take exception to this, but...sometimes psychology really boils down to just psychobabble.  It's just...bizarre.  Strange stuff.  And, when you read between the lines, it more often than not says "we don't know."  But that's just my somewhat amateur and very jaded perception.

Yes, I'm doing research.  Remember how glowingly I talked of researching when I was writing the fiction book?  That's because I was able to use sites like Wikipedia and Maynotbetrue.com. Heck, I was researching fiction, so as long as I got something that sounded good, it was good.  Now, though, it's researching non-fiction.  Most of the book I'm already pretty knowledgeable in, but there are some aspects of each chapter that I have to look up, if for no other reason than to make sure I'm presenting reasonably current stuff.

Compared to a dissertation, it's not all that rigorous.  Compared to fiction research, it's quite tedious.

Take, for example, the current chapter on figuring out what you want to do with your life.  Every success book has one of those.  I know where I want to take the chapter, but I need to discuss the concept of Interest Inventories.  I mean, they're sort of kind of useful as long as you don't take them too seriously.  At least, the one I took back in high school was useful, in a "I probably should have paid attention back then" sort of way.  It told me I should become a teacher or a writer, after all.  Granted, I was taking it as part of the West Point admissions process, and so I made sure to keep re-rolling till I rolled a 20 on my Disbelieve check (ask a Dungeons and Dragons player if you don't get that).  What good would it have been to tell my West Point Liaison officer that I needed to become a teacher or a writer, two fields that really aren't big for Army officers?  Instead, I became an Infantry Officer, and sucked at it.  Then I became an Engineer Officer, and sucked at that.  Then I became a product engineer, and by that point I'd figured out how to make lemonade out of lemons, so I was...well, I was OK.  Then I became an electrical engineering grad student and flunked right out.  After a few more years of trying various other career paths, I settled into...teacher.

Don't get too excited, though.  There's plenty of research that says the career inventory stuff is psychobabble.  I know; I'm looking at it right now.  Granted, they don't say that; nobody would use the word "psychobabble" in a peer-reviewed publication.  Instead, they say things like, "It appears that getting exact three-letter RIASEC profile matches on even two inventories may be an infrequent occurrence" (Savickas & Taber, pg. 203).  In other words, had I taken another format of assessment, it may have told me to become, say, a stockbroker.  That still would've been rather useless, with me going into the Army come Hell or high water, but it's a far cry from teacher.  That, to me, is psychobabble.

Ah, well.  It's actually a little fun, after straying away from the scholarly type of "stuff," to get back into real research.  It's fun, anyway, to a point...and after that point, I want to get back to writing.

Speaking of writing...I have a few hundred words still to commit to the book tonight, so now is a good time to wish you good night.  Good night!

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