Questionable behaviour: psychology's undermining of personal responsibility

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The idea of personal responsibility has not fared well in psychology. Freud, Jung, Maslow, Eysenck, Skinner and other unfluential psychologists have denied or minimised the importance of personal responsibility and human freedom. They believe that human behaviour is determined by internal and external forces that control them and have laboured to absorb the idea of the free and responsible individual into a pseudo-scientific framework that denies moral agency. To remove moral agency from people is to render them incapable of recognising notions of right and wrong. In their pursuit of a 'therapeutic state', psychologists have medicalised morality by developing powerful myths which replace 'right' and 'wrong' with 'healthy' and 'sick'. The dominant myth is that psychology is a science while other myths include the unconscious mind, the collective unconsciousness, motive-forces, personality traits, conditioning and mental illness. The pernicious myth of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has resulted in drugging more than 20 million children worldwide. In Professor Robert Spillane's provocative new book, QUESTIONABLE BEHAVIOUR, he deplores the fact that many children who misbehave today may end up in a psychiatrist's rooms, be labelled 'mentally disordered' and drugged accordingly. In his controversial chapter on ADHD he challenges the diagnosis of a syndrome which is considered to be highly suspect in certain quarters. It is estimated that 20 million children worldwide are being drugged for something considered a 'myth'. No one has any idea of the long term effects of these drugs on children.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSouth Yarra, Vic.
PublisherMichelle Anderson Publishing
ISBN (Print)9780855723910
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Psychology
  • Decision making--Moral and ethical aspects
  • Choice (Psychology)


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