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The Psych-Illogical Dictionary

Because it deserves to be preserved, and I have found it nowhere else online save a strange file archived in the R&D Informer
(Cross-posted to Wordpress 1-26-2013)



After years of hard labor, psychologists William Ickes, Daniel Wegener, and Robin Vallacher have completed their much-awaited masterwork, tentatively titled The Psych-Illogical Dictionary. The following is a sampling from, the opus which will become a regular feature in these pages. Next month: the letter "P."

Backward Conditioning - The application of saliva to a dog's mouth in the attempt to make a bell ring.

Battered Children - Children who have been dipped in egg and flour.

Birth Order - In most cases, head-first, feet-last; but sometimes the other way around.

Blind Spot - What Dick and Jane do to be cruel.

Childhood - The offspring of an encounter between Robin and Maid Marian

Client-Centered Therapy - The form of therapy that, in contrast to weather-centered or furniture-centered therapy, deals with the client.

Critical Period - The one that's late.

Death-Prone Personality Test - A scale designed to identify death-prone personalities (or their remains)

I: The Death-Prone Personality Test
1. Do you look upon your actions as undertakings?
2. Who has more use for your body, you or science?
3. Is your condition grave in more ways than one?
4. Have you ever been the death of a party?
5. Are you easier to jump over than to walk around?
6. Can you wear dress clothing indefinitely without getting, it soiled?
7. Do you have to be seen to be bereaved?

Death Wish - The only wish that always comes true, whether or not one wishes it to.

Dream Interpretation - The art of telling stories better than people who were fast asleep when they thought of them.

Eugenics - The scientific study of persons named Eugene.

Eye Contact - The result off an extremely narrow nose.

Forebrain - What a neurosurgeon calls out before performing a lobotomy with a golf club.

Gross Motor Skill - The ability to suck spark plugs out of an engine.

How Cruel and Unusual Are You Scale - A scale designed to plumb the depths of one's depravity

How Cruel and Unusual Are You?
1. Have you any prior experience setting, orphans on fire?
2. When your puppy goes off in another room, is it because of the explosive charge?
3. Do you agree with this statement? Guns don't kill people, I kill people.
4. Do you understand the difference between a baby seal and a pelt?
5. Do you think of Bambi and Thumper as fair game?
6. Have you ever had carnal knowledge of cold cuts?

Pilot Study - The area in an airplane where the pilot keeps his books and magazines.

Propaganda - What to do with a male goose that's slumped over.

Pupil - A small black hole into which much energy is continually poured without apparent effect.

Subconscious - Preoccupied with a long sandwich.

Transference - Generally regarded as a critical I stage of psychotherapy, it occurs when the client's check clears the bank.

Zen - The complement of now.

From "Psychology Today," December 1982.


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