A Eulogy for Professional Psychology
Psychology and the law are two professions that are totally dedicated to the generation of paperwork.
-- Woody Allen, 1993
When a parent brings a child to a psychologist's office for treatment, they generally ask on the first visit why the child does what he or she does. Why does he or she all of a sudden exhibit failing grades? Why does he or she suddenly become oppositional and defiant at home and at school? Why does he or she suddenly become sullen and noncommunicative? The emphasis, and what they want to know, is why.
When a marketer or advertising executive senses a trend among consumers, whether positive or negative, the question asked is usually why such a trend exists and why did it get started. When a manager sees a decrease in productivity among a group of workers in a particular division, or perhaps in only one worker, the natural question asked is why?
Marketers, advertising executives, educators, and even law enforcement personnel look to psychologists in the same way that engineers and architects look to physicists for direction and authority when they are building a bridge or any other structure. But psychologists have not provided that direction. They have not di-