The problem for good psychologists however is that because they come up with hypotheses that are testable, their fame can be a very tenuous thing. That is, if you make a grand prediction that doesn't test out, your accomplishment can be as fleeting as a soap bubble. As an example, consider the hypothesis of the somatic marker. As a pivotal hypothesis that defines the neuropsychologist Antonio Damasio's claim to fame, the somatic marker hypothesis derives from the salient and well accepted idea that behavior is 'embodied', or in other words is directed as much as by how we feel as how we think. The concept of the somatic marker is simple, namely that changes in the peripheral nervous system and the autonomic arousal that is stimulated by those changes constitutes a 'gut' feeling that helps you make correct choices prior to thinking about that choice. That is, the somatic marker helps you decide upon what course of action to take before you rationally consider what actions to indeed take. On the surface, the concept makes sense, however the problem with this hypothesis is that Damasio implicitly equates a rational consideration of response options with their conscious consideration. This is because non-conscious information processing (which is species of cognition or thinking too) was never considered or controlled for in Damasio's work. But as with all good scientific hypotheses, other folks such as Tiago Maia did just that, and proved Damasio wrong. Indeed, one can act rationally without being at all aware of the logical reasons for behavior, and non-conscious information not only precedes the somatic marker, it appears to do so in every case. Indeed, most arousal occurs when we already know what's happening, as when we become aware of bad turns of events, such a when the stock market falls or when we end up in the slowest line at the food store. Finally, if you cut off the physiological input from the peripheral nervous system, and decision making goes on merrily unimpaired. Thus the somatic marker is not only unnecessary but un-useful as an aid in decision making.
Naturally, Damasio is quite defensive about this, which of course will serve him naught if he is indeed wrong. And he is. Which brings me to the moral that all good psychologists must follow, since they can't rest on their laurels by claiming they are right just because they say so, like Dr. Phil (or Humpty Dumpty for that matter). The moral is: DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB. Since Antonio has remained a neuro-psychologist and has not quit to proselytize his wisdom on the lecture circuit and on Oprah, his future is secure regardless of the future of the somatic marker hypothesis. That's my gut feeling anyway.
For much more on the somatic marker, take a look at my new e-book on the psychology of the internet: