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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Apr > Apr 19

Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

From: Cathy Reason <Cathym.nul>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 12:58:24 +0100
Archived: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 09:25:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

>From: Eugene Frison <cthulhu_calls.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 12:48:23 -0500
>Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

>The fact that there is such a thing as the DSM IV that is the
>ultimate guide to mental disorders available to all the
>professionals yet we still have the results of those experiments
>shows that the process is breaking down with the psychologists
>and psychiatrists themselves.

Actually the DSM IV is not regarded as the ultimate guide to
mental disorders outside of the United States. In Europe, for
example, clinicians tend to use the International Classification
of Diseases (ICD 10).


>The experimental psychologists (and there have been lots of them
>who were quite competent and who both understood proper
>scientific methodology and applied same) have devised and
>conducted many outstanding experiments and conducted much
>excellent research. A lot of their data has come from
>reproducible experimentation and results are often confirmed by
>more than one completely different type of experiment - each of
>which were designed to test something from different angles.

It's been my experience that the reproducibility of experiments
in psychology is generally rather poor. However I don't have any
figures on this, so if anyone else has any reliable figures it
would be interesting to know what they were.

There are quite a few reasons why I disagree with your
contention that psychology is a science. Here are just a few:

*Psychologists regularly confuse operational notions of
measurement with proxy notions of measurement. An operational
measure should be defined in such a way that the outcome of the
operation of measurement is identical with what is being
measured.  However psychologists routinely start out by defining
some measure as an "operationalization" and then proceed to treat
that measure as a proxy for some other quantity (or assumed
quantity) which cannot be directly measured.

*The statistical methodology used in most psychological research
is such that most psychological hypotheses cannot be falsified
even in priniciple, since all negative results are automatically
deemed to be insignificant.

*Experiments that are published in the academic literature as
"predictive tests" of some theory all too often turn out to be
modifed versions of pilot studies from which the original theory
was derived - in other words, not predictions at all. A clear
giveaway that this is happening is when the theory and the
predictive test are both written up by the same author(s) - and
often in the same paper.

*Most modern psychological research is based on the doctrine of
Cognitivism, which rests on a large number of assumptions. These
assumptions are not generally tested (or even acknowledged) by
psychologists themselves - but research in other disciplines
(such as neuroscience) has tended to undermine many of them
pretty throroughly over the last thirty years or so.

*Many of the findings which are atrributed to psychological
research (such as the notion that human perception is
systematically unreliable) turn out to be identical with
Cognitivist assumptions on which the research was based in the
first place. In other words, garbage in - garbage out.

There's a good few more I could list but that should be enough to
be going on with.


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