An Abysmal Science?
Of what use is psychology if it does not help to solve the pressing problems of the day at the individual and collective levels? This is no less a pointed question to the reader as it is to the author that sets the stage for an adventurous sharing of ideas. The author shies away from providing ready-made answers but spares no effort in stirring the reader to ponder questions about human nature and behavior. Soon, the reader will react with the exclamation, “Ah, this book is about me, useful to my life!” In this way, the book serves to bridge the gap between academia and the general public.
As the reader may well expect, bold assertions may be found throughout this volume. For instance, Piaget’s stage of formal operations does not represent the final or highest level of cognitive development; rather, dialectical thinking is the apex of human cognition. Viewpoints may be controversial, such as cautioning against importing Confucian education into America; the possibility that madness may enrich your life; raising the question if Trump is immoral, mentally deranged, or both.
The present offering is at once audacious and provocative: Having raised the question about the abysmal status of psychology, the author feels compelled to take on the challenge of rewriting an academic discipline. The reader is invited to consider new visions for psychology’s future development, both scientific and practical. Fresh materials or distinctive features seldom found elsewhere are presented: the author’s “secret thoughts” and self-revelations; a discussion on the birth of evil and reinterpretation of the fall of humankind. All these expand the traditional boundaries of psychology and bring it closer to be a science relevant to the human condition.
WORDS OF PRAISE
David Ho’s book is a long-awaited constructive critique of why psychology has not succeeded in becoming a real science. This book is a must-read for any young aspiring psychology student, East or West.
Jaan Valsiner, Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology, Aalborg University; Foreign Member, Estonian Academy of Sciences.
In his alarming book, David Ho demonstrates vividly and ardently that self-actualization, celebrated in Western psychology, is not more than an opiate of the mind as long as it is disconnected from societal problems and historical change.
Hubert Hermans, Emeritus Professor, Catholic University of Nijmegen; creator of Dialogical Self Theory.
Professor Ho has challenged psychologists to remove themselves from the slumber that has left them unaware of their lack of societal effectiveness.
Duran Bell, Professor Emeritus, Economics and Anthropology, University of California, Irvine.
About the Author
Professor David Y. F. Ho, the pioneer psychologist who introduced clinical psychology into Hong Kong, has held professorial appointments in psychology and humanities in Asia and North America. He has had extensive multicultural experiences as a consultant and clinical practitioner. Professor Ho has authored numerous scholarly contributions in psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and education. He was the first Asian to serve as President of the International Council of Psychologists (1988-1989).