Why Concepts Creep to the Left
Psychological Inquiry, Forthcoming
9 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2015
Date Written: October 30, 2015
Nick Haslam's forthcoming paper, titled "Concept Creep" (available on SSRN) shows that many concepts in psychology have changed over time (e.g., bullying, trauma, addiction). Meanings shift so that these concepts apply to more phenomena and smaller phenomena. In this paper I extend Haslam’s analysis to explain why they change in one direction only: they "creep to the left." As psychology has become politically purified, its concepts have morphed to make them more useful to social justice advocates trying to prosecute and convict their opponents. This political shift poses a grave danger to the credibility of psychology.
Keywords: psychology, concepts, political correctness
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation