I have been involved in the psychology field for 35 years. Here’s what I see as the central problem with that field. It mostly boils down to answering the question: “Why do rational people act irrationally?”
The question cannot be answered. There’s no RATIONAL EXPLANATION for why people don’t act rationally. When people act irrationally, it’s because of something SUBconscious; it does not make sense to them because it’s not in the realm of conscious, common sense. It’s in the realm of NON-reason.
Let’s be clear: Man is a being with the potential to think, and to act rationally — or not. Acting rationally presupposes that you think. You don’t HAVE to think. If you DO choose to think, you might be rational, but still make an honest error.
But if you make an honest error, you’ll gladly and eagerly correct it once you know it.
Think of a pilot flying a plane. Most of the time, pilots don’t make errors. When they do, many of those errors are not fatal, nor even serious. If a pilot makes a potentially fatal error, and is able to correct it in time, he will eagerly and gladly correct it. His passengers will call him a hero for it.
If the pilot made an error and willfully chose NOT to correct it (even if the correction were pointed out to him before crashing), we’d call him irrational. If we asked WHY he’s irrational — we’d be stuck.
When people ask, “Why does someone do something irrational?” they want to know of a RATIONAL, understandable REASON why the person did something irrational.
Years of talking to people has taught me that nearly everyone wants to understand the rational nature of what they see as others’ irrational behaviors.
I am here to tell you: It can’t be done. If you’re looking to psychology — or any other science — to explain FOR WHAT REASON people do the self-evidently unreasonable, you’ll be searching for eternity.
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