In a recent interview I asked Scott Lilienfeld, the author of 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, about the sources of psychology myths. Here’s what he has to say about where psychology myths come from:
The primary source is the huge, burgeoning pop psychology industry: self-help books, the internet, films, TV shows, magazines, and the like. But many of these myths also spring from the allure of our everyday experience; many of these myths seem persuasive because they accord with our common sense intuitions. But these intuitions are often erroneous. The public can defend themselves against shams by becoming armed with accurate knowledge.
Many other fields — not just psychology — are subject to myths disseminated by the media.
So what are some of the top sources of psychology myths? Here are the top three…