Before examining the intriguing world of psychology I had a term titled "excuses." Psychology makes an art form of dissecting this into more understandable parts. The one I'd like to examine in this post is externalizing. An explanation of this is given as follows _
By shifting the blame for your offending behavior on to some one else, you avoid responsibility for the offense. It is often common to externalize blame prior to a court appearance. Examples include: “She came on to me, it was her idea”; “My wife said I should teach her daughter about sex; “My uncle did it to me - it's in our family”
Externalizing can cross over into some of the other areas of excuses that can be given. So the lines aren't always clear. Yet by keeping the focus on the name we can get the idea.
As the example given above is set at sex-offenders only, I'd like to look at some other areas.
We can attempt to externalize shop-lifting by saying things such as, "my brother dared me," "my mother wanted the item," "they rip people off with their prices, so its only fair they get ripped off."
We can attempt to justify violence against another by saying that he asked for it by some statement or action.
Understanding that these types of excuses do not excuse the action or lack thereof, is very important. However on the other side this has created an atmosphere where Psychology has been turned into a science rather than a collection of good philosophies.
The other side of the examples above is that some may actually believe them deep down. And they may be accurate in some instances. Most psychologists just hear something that fits under an excuse type and then label it with that excuse.
Qualifying Actions VS Externalizing:
A lady comes up to you and asks you to help her put some items in her car. You begin to help and out comes a store detective to arrest you both for theft as she had not paid for the items.
When in jail you face the (mostly) dreaded prison psychologist. You inform them that you only did it because she asked. They inform you that you are externalizing the blame. So what happened to qualifying actions? Where does that fit in their science?
What has started as a good philosophy has now become a science of keeping the innocent in jail and releasing the guilty. Here we are talking about real people like you and I. Kept in jail by another one of man's non-sciences.