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Misused: Armchair Psychology
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Total posts: [18]

Misused: Armchair Psychology get usage counts

Boiled and Mashed
Armchair Psychology refers specifically to a speech pattern that is overly passive. Many people out there seem to think it applies to attempts at applying psychology without the training to do it properly.

From related links order provided by's list randomizer:

That makes 24 incorrect usages, 16 without context, and 10 that are used correctly. I suggest this get a new title. Possibly Psychology Speak.
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 2 Clarste, Sun, 16th Jun '13 3:06:27 PM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
That's a horribly misleading name.

 3 Septimus Heap, Sun, 16th Jun '13 3:12:10 PM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Yeah, this name is a horrible choice.

 4 Larkmarn, Sun, 16th Jun '13 3:52:01 PM Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Yeah, definitely needs a rename. Passive Tone Of Analysis?

 5 kiukiuclk, Sun, 16th Jun '13 4:25:26 PM from 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693 Relationship Status: My TiMER is ticking
1)Wow is that a terrible name. I mean, wow.

2)After reading that, I have know idea what the trope is about. I think it's supposed to be a Self-Demonstrating Article....but is failing. Also, it seems like the original writer has issues. A clear description of what their talking about would help. It's supposed to be a description of a speech patterned used to convey insincerity, but it's hard to tell exactly what it is from the description.

A better description of what it is would help coming up with a name. Every name I can think of is related to the meaning(False Friendly Speech or something), rather than the actual speech pattern described, so a new name seems prone to misuse in that way.

edited 16th Jun '13 4:29:03 PM by kiukiuclk

 6 Madrugada, Sun, 16th Jun '13 6:00:50 PM Relationship Status: In season
What a horrible misnaming, especially considering that the term Armchair Psychology has a well-established meaning outside this wiki that has nothing to do with the passive questioning-via-comment style the trope is defined as.
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 7 StarSword, Sun, 16th Jun '13 10:28:52 PM from somewhere in deep space Relationship Status: In denial
SF-81A Black Knight
[tup] to rename.

edited 16th Jun '13 10:29:15 PM by StarSword

Definitely not a weirdo
I also support a rename.
 9 Septimus Heap, Mon, 17th Jun '13 2:20:05 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Also, the current description is awful. I chopped at it a bit in Sandbox.Armchair Psychology but it might use further redaction.

 10 Another Duck, Mon, 17th Jun '13 2:59:23 AM from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I'm not exactly familiar with the term, but I've mostly heard "armchair" as a prefix for hobby/non-professional stuff. Is that the commonly used meaning?
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 11 Septimus Heap, Mon, 17th Jun '13 3:01:35 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
To me "armchair X" means "pretending understanding of X without being actually X, often from a safer position than X", as in Armchair Military.

 12 Madrugada, Mon, 17th Jun '13 5:48:19 AM Relationship Status: In season
In my experience, Septimus's definition of "Armchair X" is pretty close to exact. I'd say "claiming expertise" rather than "pretending expertise, " personally, but that's a fairly minor difference. It also has the connotation of "learned everything they know about <X> in an armchair (that is, by reading about it or watching tv), so much of what they know is oversimplified or wrong."

edited 17th Jun '13 5:49:55 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
 13 Clarste, Mon, 17th Jun '13 9:28:00 AM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
I think "claiming expertise" is a bit too strong. It's not like it's fraud or anything. There's no lying involved. It's just talking like you're an expert, and perhaps judging people who are experts, without any practical experience or training yourself.

Like most people on the internet on any topic, basically.

1) Could one argue that the described trope is how armchair psychologists talk, and therefore the name is appropriate? (Not advancing it; just suggesting the only possible argument I can think of for the current name.)

2) Do we want to create a proper armchair psychology (or even more generalized armchair expert) trope, since no one's pointed out one so far in this thread?

 15 Septimus Heap, Mon, 17th Jun '13 11:10:11 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
1) I do not really think so...

2) Only if someone has a completed YKTTW ready, since otherwise we'll stall out forever. And I somewhat doubt the merits of the former.

[up] So what would that answer for #2 mean for all those mistaken wicks? Just deletion?

 17 Septimus Heap, Mon, 17th Jun '13 11:14:35 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
I do not know. What sort of In-Universe examples exist for the misuse?

Yes. This trope has been on my to do list for fixing for over a year.

There's three directions this trope is heading in, and they're only vaguely connected. Probably because of the terribly nonspecific description. (It doesn't count as definition)

Direction 1- Alice tries to get Bob to express his feelings. "And how does that make you feel?". A valid psychology technique, often misused and mocked in fiction.

Direction 2- Alice plays the victim when Bob talks to her, interpreting what he says to be hurtful and untrue. This is like Mother in Tangled, and a bit like Umbridge. A technique of forum "debate" as well.

Direction 3- Alice is really creepy because this is the audio version of Stepford Smiler. This is also Umbridge, where she refuses to teach any actual spells for dark arts, and instead teaches "communication". Most likely direction 2 type.
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Total posts: 18

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