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Ineffective in modern world: 6 outdated psychological theories

Ineffective in modern world: 6 outdated psychological theories Psychological theories that no longer work (photo: Freepik)

In the modern world of psychology, there are theories that have long ceased to be relevant and simply do not work, according to the psychological portal Meclee on Instagram.

Four temperament types

One of the most well-known and ancient theories describing human personality originated in Ancient Greece. It was actively studied by physiologists, neurologists, and psychologists until the 20th century. However, conclusive evidence confirming the existence of four distinct temperament types has never been found.

Therefore, today this theory can be considered outdated. There is information that certain personality traits may be determined genetically, such as the level of extraversion/introversion. However, too many factors influence their development to consider this an expression of temperament.

Influence of birth order on personality

There is a widespread myth that firstborns supposedly have more pronounced leadership qualities and are more responsible, middle children in a family are more social, and younger children are more self-centered. Alfred Adler was the first to make this assumption, and since then this idea has been replicated in books and the media.

However, studies have not shown a causal relationship between birth order and child personality traits. The overall family situation, the relationship with parents, and their emotional availability to the child have a much greater impact.

Theory of dominant brain hemisphere

It emerged in the 1960s due to the incorrect interpretation of studies on the processes associated with the right and left hemispheres of the brain. "Right-brained" individuals were attributed creativity and emotionality, while "left-brained" individuals were associated with logical thinking and methodicalness. Brain processes are often divided by hemispheres: supposedly when we think or speak, only the left hemisphere works, and when we experience emotions, it's the right.

However, these claims do not correspond to reality. Although certain functions in the brain are indeed lateralized, the brain always functions as a unified mechanism. Only the simultaneous work of both hemispheres can ensure human thinking and consciousness.

Karpman drama triangle

A widely known theory about three roles that a person can play in unhealthy relationships: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer. It gained popularity due to its simplicity, but there is no evidence that these roles actually exist and influence people's behavior in relationships.

This triangle can be considered more of a metaphor that helps describe a situation rather than a serious theory to rely on in psychological work.

5 stages of grief

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—these are the stages of grief formulated by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross when studying people's reactions to the news of a terminal diagnosis. This theory was widely publicized and applied to any unpleasant life events.

However, there is no reliable evidence that these stages are universal for all people, that they necessarily follow a specific order, or even exist at all. Grieving is a complex and prolonged process that cannot always be neatly divided into phases, and sometimes it doesn't conclude entirely. Understanding grief in this way allows experiencing it without expectations or constraints.

Theory of psychosexual development

Sigmund Freud attributed the causes of his patients' psychological problems to the repression of sexual desires. He divided the development into stages, during which sexuality supposedly fixates on certain body areas, ultimately focusing on the genitals. If development goes awry, fixation persists, and the person does not become a mature individual.

The theory of psychosexual development is not supported by research and is criticized as sexist, as it considers male sexuality and personality as the standard, while female sexuality and personality are seen as secondary.

Earlier, we told you how many times you should hug during the day and how it affects your health.

Also, read our material on the psychology of money and how it affects our lives.