According to A.Word.A.Day
and the Columbia World of Quotations, the word "psychobabble" was coined in 1977
Richard Dean Rosen. He was originally referring to the way people in the San Francisco
Bay Area spoke, using words from psychology
without really getting their meanings straight, but later expanded the term.
Here is how Rosen describes the term in his book "Psychobabble: Fast Talk and Quick Cure in the Era of Feeling":
"Psychobabble is ... a set of repetitive verbal formalities that kills off the very spontaneity, candor, and understanding it pretends to promote. It's an idiom that reduces psychological insight to a collection of standardized observations, that provides a frozen lexicon to deal with an infinite variety of problems."
It's apparently also the name of a web game available at http://www.popcap.com/multiplayer.php?theGame=psychobabble, described as "like magnetic poetry
, only with up to 11 other players. Hilarious sentence-scrambling fun for everyone!"
Sources: A.Word.A.Day 31 January 2002 and