From: Eugene Frison <cthulhu_calls.nul> Date: Mon, 14 May 2012 17:27:35 -0500 Archived: Tue, 15 May 2012 09:07:06 -0400 Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary >From: Cathy Reason <Cathym.nul> >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul> >Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 13:37:16 +0100 >Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary >>From: Eugene Frison <cthulhu_calls.nul> >>To: <post.nul> >>Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 18:33:57 -0500 >>Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary This whole discussion is utterly hopeless. You are never going to get past your tendency to rigidly define words and terms (usually in the context of Cognitivism's meaning of them) and to not grasp the concept that someone else might be using a word or term in a context totally different than you - derailing the discussion as a consequence. Not only this, but it is an undeniable truth that you are the sole person in this thread that has been guilty of using faulty logic. You have been tripped up by the same fallacies from the get-go, yet you continue to allege _my_ logic is poor and the product of a befuddled mind. Since you don't strike me as a stupid person - in fact, you come across as being very sharp, clever, and shrewd - I can only conclude that what you are doing is deliberate. That you are, in fact, intentionally confusing the issues as part of your tactic of using sophism to distract from important issues where you are clearly wrong, and to save face in those instances were it is blatantly obvious you made bad assumptions as to what I was saying or meant. To give some examples, your logic was: all of modern psychology is Cognitivism, Eugene is defending psychology, therefore Eugene is defending Cognitivism. One of the key assumptions of Cognitivism is "representationalism" (indirect or representational realism, a virtual-reality copy of reality created in our brains), Eugene is using the word "representation," therefore Eugene must subscribe to Cognitivism's key assumption of represenationalism with its humunculus fallacy and its problems of infinite regress. This, despite my saying numerous times that you need to get past seeing other people's viewpoints in terms other than that of Cognitivism. My use of the word "representation" had nothing to do with Cognitivism's representationalism. You have continuously been tripped up by this type of faulty logic, derailing this discussion in the process. Your entire approach to this discussion since you became involved is to make it look like I am saying something I am not, that I am blinded by fallacy in my reasoning where there is no fallacy, and that I am changing my position when, indeed, I have been saying the same things over and over since the very beginning - to a point that is ridiculously redundant. I have made only two very basic claims since this discussion started: 1. that psychology is a science, and 2. that its premise that the human perception system is unreliable (though functional) is valid. I maintained these claims all through the discussion and am still maintaining them now. My position has not changed - ever. I maintained (and still do) that there is more to psychology than Cognitivism - from the psychologies of Gurney, Myers, Janet, etc from the 1800s long before Bridgman formulated his ideas of Operationalism in 1914 and Cognitivism started to become dominant in the 1950s, through the systems of Freud and Jung, to the newer psychologies of Groff, Tart, etc. today - and that psychology uses more than confused proxy notions of things when taking measurements. The premise that human perception is flawed is based on evidence from physics, hundreds of empirical experiments and thousands of observations from psychology, and common everyday observation and experience - your accustions of my possessing a "physicists view of reality," "rag bag of perceptual anomalies," and "logic that is based on something found at the bottom of mineshafts and belonging in a hole in the ground" notwithstanding. >>>That's interesting. So you are claiming: I will state, quite matter-of-factly, what I am claiming. To avoid further confusion, and to make sure you can't say that I am changing my views on this, I am going to clarify and qualify my answers as I gave them below. >>>1) That pretty much all modern psychology depends on >>>operationalized measures; >>Yes. This is to say that pretty much all of accepted modern psychology is Cognitivism and that other fields of psychology, such as evolutionary psychology, are based on cognitivist ideas, and that these all heavily rely on operationalized measures. It is not to say that Cognitivism is all there is to psychology, nor is it to say that every measurement taken during psychological research is an operationalized measurement, nor is it even to say that every operationalized measurement taken during psychological research is based on proxy notions of things. >>>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".) >>Yes. By "psychology" I mean "psychological research" - not the entire discipline known as psychology. And I mean only those instances when and where operationalized measures are used and during this use there is a confusion based on proxy notions of things. This is not the same thing as saying the entire discipline of psychology is fatally undermined. Not even close. >>>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. >>No. Whatever came out of these proxy measurements is suspect and >>dubious. Garbage. This leads to "garbage in, garbage out," as >>you initially pointed out, if further extrapolation is done. >>Psychology is then back to square one. The solid base that it >>has is its use of controlled empirical experimentation and the >>results that were obtained during this type of experimentation. >>This is somewhere to start from. Did you miss the words "is its use of" in my comment directly above? Your response below clearly shows that you did. And it also shows that you did not understand what I meant by a "result." Psychological research uses controlled empirical experimentation. During this controlled empirical experimentation, it makes discoveries or observations (these are probably better words than "results"). This _use of_ controlled empirical experimentation, and these thousands of _observations_ that have been made, constitute a solid base from which to proceed. Analysis and measurement of these observations - if they are operationalized measures and these operationalizations are based on proxy notions - are faulty, flawed, and undermine the measurements. If they are not based on operationalized measures that are confusing proxy notions of things then they may be good measurements that produce good results. Every measurement that has taken place during psychological research has not been an operationalized one. And every operationalized measurement that has been taken during psychological research has not been based on proxy notions. >Except you have just admitted above that the empirical basis for >psychology is fatally undermined. What I have admitted - and have been stating since the very, very beginning - is that every time psychology uses a proxy measure of its raw data, it is producing results that are dubious and suspect, and that _these_ results that are based on these proxy measurements are fatally undermined. I have not admitted that the only type of measurements ever taken during psychological research are operationalized measures, and based on proxy notions to boot. Again, not the same thing as saying the basis for the entire discipline of psychology is fatally undermined. Again, not even close. >So now you are claiming that psychology "has a solid base of >controlled empirical experimentation" despite its empirical >basis being fatally undermined. That's a pretty impressive >piece of doublethink. It's only an impressive piece of doublethink if you fall for your subtle transformation of 'the instances where, during psychological research, measurements taken were in the form of operationalized measures and based on proxy notions' into 'the whole discipline of psychology.' And then completely miss the boat when it comes to understanding what I meant by a solid empirical base and what I meant by a result. Again, did you miss the words "is its use of" in my comment? Did you miss the words "raw data" behind the word "results" at one point in my comments? The argument you _think_ I am making, the one you _say_ I am making, is not the one I _am_ making. Not at all. But that has been the problem with your responses throughout this entire discussion. >>But it needs a proper way of >>analysing and measuring these results - using proxy notions of >>things doesn't cut it. >Eugene, you are a testament to the power of a social sciences >education to befuddle the mind. This statement above is >completely meaningless - results are the product of measurement, >not the other way round. I have had more than a "social sciences education", Cathy. My thinking relies on more than this. And, in fact, I never did complete that "social sciences" education because of becoming aware of the many problems with the approach - even, early on, of the very problem that we have been discussing here. Of course results are the product of measurement, in the way _you_ mean here. You need to go back and discover what _I_ meant by "results". To help you do this, it behooves me to quote Websters New World College Dictionary, Third Edition, thus: a dictionary definition of "result" - 1. anything that comes about as a consequence or outcome of some action, process, etc. This leaves a lot of room for confusion. My intended meaning of "result" was as a piece of raw data, an effect, a discovery, or an observation - while your meaning of it clearly implies that of the product of some measurement. If you doubt I meant what I am claiming to have meant by it, go back and reread my post - you will notice the words "raw data" behind the word "result' in brackets at one point. When Mark Jung-Beeman, Associate Proffesor of Psychology at Northwestern University, posed problems to a person whose brain was being monitored by EEG (electroencephalography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and noticed that in the right hemisphere, specifically in the anterior superior temporal gyrus (a small ridge at the front of the temporal lobe just by the right ear) the brain came online in this area when that person claimed to have solved a language-related task using insight, this was an observation (in the way that _I_ meant result). When Simons and Levin conducted change blindness experiments and noticed that a particular subject failed to notice the switch that had occurred, this was an _observation_ (what _I_ meant by result). It is important to note that there is no use of operationalized measures, based on proxy notions or otherwise, at this stage of the game and that there are hundreds of these types of experiments and thousands of such observations. I could go on for days listing examples. This is what I meant by psychology's _use of_ controlled empirical experimentation and the results from these experiments (in the context of observations) being a good place to start from. A good base. When Simons/Levin repeated the experiment again and again with different subjects and measurement was applied to determine that at least fifty percent of the subjects failed to notice the change, this is a measurement in the way _you_ meant result. Simons and Levin's use of measurement to get the result that more than fifty percent of subjects failed to notice the switch that had taken place during the experiments had nothing to do with operationalized measures, based on confused proxy notions or otherwise, and this effectively demolishes your contention that every measurement in psychology is an operationalized measure based on proxy notions of things. It is easily and incontrovertibly verifiable by anyone who is willing to do a modicum of easy checking that psychological research takes measurements all the time that are not operationalized measures based on proxy notions of things. You have been blowing smoke in this regard, obscuring the truth for those ignorant and gullible enough not to know the difference. >It's quite obvious you have no idea >what operationalism really means - which is something you have >in common with about 95% of social science graduates. That remark is completely false. If I was, as you say, in the same boat with that 95% of social science graduates, I would not be agreeing with you that these social scientists regularly use proxy notions of measurement instead of in the way in which Operationalism was and is intended, and that this is a bad thing. And anyway, your remark that I have no idea what Operationalism really means is based completely on what you mistakenly thought I meant by "results" so these accusations get thrown right out the window on that basis alone. It is clear that this discussion is going to continue along these lines and that it is going to remain a case of 'he said, she said' rather than a true discussion of whether or not psychology merits being called a science. All of your arguments and remarks have been dealt with and you have been left only with this criticism of psychology: that it regularly confuses operational notions of things with proxy notions of things. I am not, and never have been, guilty of denying this, and you are left with having to make it look like I don't understand Operationalism, and that I am making arguments based on a poor understanding of same, to distract from the fact that, while your criticism of psychology's improper use of Operationalism is a valid one, it doesn't destroy psychology's claim to being a science. My remarks stand as part of the archives, as do yours. Any further discussion of this would be a repeat of what has already been said over and over again, and thus a complete waste of time and effort. It is up to people reading this thread to make up their own minds on this matter. Consequently, I am going to make this my last post in this thread and going to allow you to have the last word on this. I've wasted enough time and energy already playing your 'see if he can detect and counter the sophism' game. I'm sure your last words will do a good job of misrepresenting what I am saying. 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