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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Apr > Apr 23

Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

From: Cathy Reason <Cathym.nul>
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 19:51:24 +0100
Archived: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 07:11:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

>From: Eugene Frison <cthulhu_calls.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 13:07:01 -0500
>Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary


>>But what psychologists are actually doing when they claim to be
>>using operational definitions is both confused and self-
>>contradictory. In psychology an "operational " definition is a
>>proxy for some other quantity which cannot be directly measured
>>and which has no rigorously defined relationship to the proxy.
 >>This is absolutely not what Bridgman meant by an operational

>This may or not be a valid point. Or it may be valid only in
>some circumstances. I seriously doubt it has the far-reaching
>implications you are alleging. Even if you are one hundred
>percent correct on this in that it applies everywhere and all
>the time in psychology and it totally messes up the research
>(and I am saying you are not correct here) then it is still not
>defining the big picture of psychological research.

Here's why this is such a big deal: Operationalism is supposed
to be a way of putting all your measurements and observations on
a sound empirical basis without recourse to spooky metaphysical
entities that can't be observed. So anything required by theory
but which can't be observed - such as quarks - has to be linked
to what can be observed by a rigorous process of logic.

But if your supposedly "operational" measure is simply a proxy
for something completely different which not only can't be
measured or observed, but whose relationship to the proxy is
impossible even to define, then the whole basis of your claim to
empirical rigor is a mirage. Your supposedly objective
measurements and observations are all hopelessly contaminated by
arbitrary subjective considerations. You might as well be gazing
into a crystal ball.


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