Richard Dean Rosen
If we ever do end up acting just like rats or Pavlovís dogs, it will be largely because behaviorism has conditioned us to do so.
Confession, alas, is the new handshake.
Itís apparent that we canít proceed any further without a name for this institutionalized garrulousness, this psychological patter, this need to catalogue the egoís condition. Letís call it psychobabble, this spirit which now tyrannizes conversation in the seventies.
Psychobabble is . . . a set of repetitive verbal formalities that kills off the very spontaneity, candor, and understanding it pretends to promote. Itís an idiom that reduces psychological insight to a collection of standardized observations, that provides a frozen lexicon to deal with an infinite variety of problems.
The more the development of late capitalism renders obsolete or at least suspect the real possibilities of self, self-fulfillment and actualization, the more they are emphasized as if they could spring to life through an act of will alone.
If anything characterizes the cultural life of the seventies in America, it is an insistence on preventing failures of communication.
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