I will never apologize for railing against the non-science of social science; and it is because of statements (and the beliefs behind those statements) like this, from Joel Stein’s piece on the me me me generation in this week’s Time (about which I will almost certainly write more upon later) (emphasis mine):
“It was an honest mistake,” say Roy Baumeister, a psychology professor at Florida State University and the editor of Self-Esteem: The Puzzle of Low Self-Regard. “The early findings showed that, indeed, kids with high self-esteem did better in school and were less likely to be in various kinds of trouble. It’s just that we’ve learned later that self-esteem is a result, not a cause.”
I actually fell out of my chair when I read that emboldened sentence. What!?!?!? Who would possibly think that self-esteem is a cause? You’d have to be…I won’t even say it. It’s just utterly absurd. And apparently this was news to an entire field of “respectable” study.
Ethan Fisher and Chuck Silberman are rolling on the floor laughing and I doubt they’ll get up for quite a long time.