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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Psychobabble (a portmanteau of "psychology" or "psychoanalysis" and "babble") is a form of speech or writing that uses psychological jargon, buzzwords, and esoteric language to create an impression of truth or plausibility. The term implies that the speaker or writer lacks the experience and understanding necessary for the proper use of psychological terms. Additionally, it may imply that the content of speech deviates markedly from common sense and good judgement.

Some buzzwords that are commonly heard in psychobabble have come into widespread use in business management, motivational seminars, self-help, folk psychology, and popular psychology.

Frequent use of psychobabble can associate a clinical, psychological word with meaningless, or less meaningful, buzzword definitions. Laypersons often use such words when they describe life problems as clinical maladies even though the clinical terms are not meaningful or appropriate.

Most professions develop a unique vocabulary which, with frequent use, may become commonplace buzzwords. Professional psychologists may reject the "psychobabble" label when it is applied to their own special terminology.

The allusions to psychobabble imply that some psychological concepts lack precision and have become meaningless or pseudoscientific. Science demands the testing of ideas in experiments whose results are repeatable. In this context and since the scientific method is generally replaced by inductive reasoning in psychology, it does not qualify as a science.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Psychobabble" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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