A Shotter Cut To Psychology or Prof's Dillema
There's an ivy covered building to the north of the Admin
There's a stuffy little office on the square,
Where a broken down professor dreams of things that should have been
And the psychologists who should have passed through there.
Oh bright-eyed shallow youths the Prof had often seen,
They went seeking their salvation on the dole.
But they were few and far between when the bright-eyes had a gleam
And the word "Psychology" was written on their soul.
Yes, it really was upsetting that the tutors that they hired
Were the type of dons that liked to play with stats.
And the only claim to fame the department had acquired
Was it used a thousand different strains of rats.
One day while reading letters sent (post-humorously) from Burt,
(naughty Burt and the 3 point correlation)
And toying with an effigy of Freud.
A shade approached his desk, dressed in jeans and dirty shirt,
A student from the unwashed unemployed
(The Prof observes the figure)
He was tall and lean and weird with a little goatee beard,
His eyes were so close set they saw as one.
His shirt was coffee stained and the ink thickly ingrained
In the claw that he offered to the don.
Ever open minded the professor took the hand
And asked if he had come to join the course.
The shade just groaned and stared as if he didn't understand
But when he spoke his voice was low and hoarse.
I'm a hundred years old and I've passed through here before;
I'm the nightmare Freud once tried to diagnose;
I'm the MYTH of EARLY LEARNING, I'm the TIE you get in TAU;
I'm the left-hand path that most psychologists chose.
(The Prof becomes frightened)
Terror gripped the Prof as he heard the spectre speak.
He recalled the ghost of Marley from his youth.
Was his reckoning at hand? His brain and knees grew weak.
Did the figure stood before him tell the truth?
(The spectre speaks ...extending the compulsory index and little finger
in a pointing gesture ala Ghost of Christmas future)
I've been up on yonder moor consulting with the dead
And the spirits of the greats who went before.
"How's Burt?" the Prof inquired. "He's dead " the spectre said.
But frankly all your findings made him sore.
Though I didn't come to chat, I came to give you some advice,
The same I gave Brentano, James and Freud.
When you call psychology a science, it isn't really nice,
And a lot of decent spirits get annoyed.
I don't think I need to show you the shape of things to be
If your BEHAVIOURAL science starts to grow.
You'll have cybernauts for people the machines will think they're free,
And computers will try and run the show.
Now I'm giving you a warning so don't say you didn't hear,
One day things will be completely out of hand.
The I.Q. distribution will get flatter every year,
And supplies of rats won't meet with your demands.
Dust will settle on the T-scopes, the physiologists will leave
And as they go they'll rob you of their tools.
Then you'll start to live in fear of that friendly engineer
Who thinks that human errors made by fools.
And when they too have left they'll take their calculating gifts
Leaving you "Cogito ergo sum"
But you left that in the dust with other philosophic myths
In the laboratory of an experimental hun * (William Wundt)
You'll be standing all alone with the echoes of the past
Remembering when psychology was strong,
Recalling how some fools had said a science wouldn't last,
Trying to find out where you'd gone wrong
But while these things could happen, they do not have to BE,
If you turn away from Compte's evil lies
Even YOU must see some continuity
In the philosophy you left behind to die.
With this the spectre vanished in a cloud of cosmic dust,
The Prof was left a trembling at the knee
He decided then and there that philosophy's a must
For the study of a new psychology.
He threw away his books on the facts about the rat,
Left his stuffy little office on the square.
The last time he was seen he was down in Habitat
Trying to buy a comfortable armchair.