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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > May > May 8

Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

From: Cathy Reason <Cathym.nul>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 13:00:49 +0100
Archived: Tue, 08 May 2012 10:09:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

>From: Eugene Frison <cthulhu_calls.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Mon, 7 May 2012 16:33:15 -0500
>Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary


>I already explained it, Cathy. If you had read and understood
>the explanation in my previous post concerning this, you would
>not be asking these questions.

Or it could be, of course, that I'm asking these questions
because I find your previous answers to be incoherent,
disingenuous and self-contradictory.

>I explained that I was interchanging the word "operationalism"
>(the name of the doctrine) with the word "operationalization"
>(operationalized measure). Explained that it was an improper use
>of these terms.

It seems crystal clear to me that your were also claiming there
is no such doctrine as operationalism:

"Without this addition, the sentence implies an 'ism' such as
Functionalism, Cognitivism, Behaviouralism, etc. which is not
what an operationalism is."

- But I'm not surprised you are now trying to spin it otherwise.

>No. That is not what I am saying.

Ok, let's see if we can work out what you actually are saying.

>I am saying that psychology
>uses empirical experimentation and has obtained a fair amount of
>empirical data. This is a solid base. Even if everytime
>psychological research used an operationalized measure it
>confused operational notions of things with proxy notions of
>things when extrapolating from this solid base - and these
>extrapolations were flawed and needed to be discarded (as they
>should be) - the solid base still exists. I am saying that
>psychological research has come up with some good data since its
>inception, and it will always have this - even when the flawed
>extrapolations have been recognized and discarded.

Well, you have previously acknowledged that pretty much the
whole of modern psychology relies on operationalized measures.
You are also claiming that, even so, psychology has a solid
empirical basis.

Now see below.

>>Once again this is a most bizarre claim. Here's what I said
>>about this in a post dated 22 April:

>>"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
>>byarbitrary subjective considerations. You might as well be
>>gazing into a crystal ball."

> Except that I'm not disagreeing with what you have written.

That's interesting. So you are claiming:

1) That pretty much all modern psychology depends on
operationalized measures;

2) That if these supposedly operational measures are really just
proxy measures, then this fatally undermines the empirical basis
for psychology. (This is my proposition above, which you now say
you are "not disagreeing with".)

3) That even if every measure in psychology is really just a
proxy measure, it is still the case that psychology has a solid
empirical basis.

Eugene, just re-read those three statements and just see if you
can understand why they are completely inconsistent. Do you now
understand why I find your reasoning to be incoherent,
disingenuous and self-contradictory?

>words above were written in regard to the use of the words
>"modern psychology" which, it is my understanding, are referring
>to the doctrine of Cognitivism.

Ah, I take it you are now going to claim that only Cognitivism
depends on operationalized measures. Well that is simply false.

>>>Since the 1990's, post-cognitivist
>>>ideas such as 'embodied cognition', 'embodied embedded
>>>cognition', 'situated cognition', 'ecological psychology',
>>>are starting to take psychology past Cognitivism.

>>No, they don't. They are all entirely dependent on Cognitivist
>>etc. assumptions.

>The above listed are post-cognitivist propositions. Post-
>cognitivist psychology is that which goes beyond or opposes the
>ideas of Cognitivism.

"Ecological Psychology" is Gibson's theory from which his ideas
on perception were derived, so that example doesn't count. (I'd
asked you for examples _other_ than Gibson, if you remember).

The others are all Gibsonian-inspired; but Cognitivist
assumptions are so deeply embedded in modern psychology that
even these have evolved to become merely extensions of cognitive
psychology. The Cognitivist practice of trying to explain any
experimental result by invoking a computational module to
produce it, is endemic. Sometimes it acquires a character of the
manifestly absurd - one computational model had additional
modules bolted on purely to increase the error rate.


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