Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Observer perspective in autobiographical memory predicts symptom severity in CFS/ME

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Dolphin, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    From: http://www.ehps2016.org/files/EHPS2016_Abstracts_Book_08082016.pdf

    Via this tweet:
     
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  2. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    Using an observer perspective alters questionnaire answering behaviour. Not really a surprise?
     
  3. BruceInOz

    BruceInOz Senior Member

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    Surely this is another case of finding correlation and assuming the causation goes in the direction prefered by your pet theory.
     
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  4. Hutan

    Hutan Senior Member

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    Yep

    It is said that older memories are more likely to be reported in observer perspective than field perspective. It makes sense that the more severely ill are more likely to report older 'happy' or 'activity' memories.

    It is also said that reporting a memory in observer perspective decreases the stress associated with the memory. So it makes sense that the more severely ill might report a fatigue memory from the observer perspective.

    Of course the correlations found could just be researchers scoring the degree of observation or field perspective in a biased way.
     
  5. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

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    When are we going to see a study on the personal characteristics of researchers who design, execute, document, analyse, and publish biased research on severely ill patients who can't defend themselves?

    Maybe we should design one, hmmm, let's see, what shall we look at?

    Reasoning ability
    Statistical fluency
    Grad school student ranking
    Mental illness
    Sadism
    Honesty
    ...
    What else?
     
  6. Hutan

    Hutan Senior Member

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    I had exactly the same thought earlier today Never reading these stupid studies. :)
    How about:
    • Tendency to 'motivated reasoning'
    'how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions'
    • Narcissistic personality disorder
    An inflated self-importance, hypersensitivity to criticism and a sense of entitlement that compels them to persuade others to comply with their requests
    • Conformity
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments
    I'd love to have a sample of BPS proponents and a control of healthy people undertake some variation of the Asch experiments. (That's the ones where there is a group consisting of one trial subject and a number of actors and they are asked a very easy question. The actors all give a clearly wrong answer and the test is whether the trial subject goes along with the crowd. Some of the participants giving the wrong answer aren't even aware that they have been influenced by the actors.)
     
  7. Simon

    Simon

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    Amazing: so they measured how autobiographical memories were recalled in healthy people, and years later measured symptom severity, establishing at least a possible prediction (surely they didin't simply measure a correlation, and insert 'predict' because it fitted their theory?)
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  8. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    I wonder if they tried dividing the sample into two groups, CFS only and CFS with comorbid mood disorder. Given that autobiographical memory is famously defective in mood disorders and somewhat predictive of worse treatment outcomes it is of interest whether this occurs in CFS per se or if these findings are an artefact of comorbid mood disorders. Controlling for HADS isn't going to help you because people with a past history of major depression tend to have ongoing abnormalities in autobiographical memory even when their mood symptoms are currently in remission.
     
  9. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    Hadn't heard of M.Martin before seeing her name on a few of @Dolphin's posts today:

    https://www.psy.ox.ac.uk/team/rose-martin

    I wish she'd stop posing as a scientist. Any chance of a petition to have Oxford University's Department of Experimental Psychology closed down for ignoring all scientific and ethical principles? They all seem to be suffering from a compulsion to make shit up just to have something to say and bolster their sham careers without regard for the harm they might be causing.
     
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I was thinking this as I read the first post. How many times do researchers have to be told that association is not causation? How about symptom severity predicts questionnaire answers? How is that not equally valid? Or, if you want to be cynical, how are not both interpretations possibly valid? Association needs to be called what it is. Anything else needs to be interpreted as unproven hypotheses.
     
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  11. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    Is this the cargo cult without the props? You don't have to invest in building a landing strip and control tower just learn to see the world like the people at a real airport and the planes and cargo will come.
     
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  12. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    @alex3619 its not just mixing up association and causation there is also something weird about this idea of causation.

    It is as if they think if it was a fact the car crash broke your leg, then it would also be a fact that fixing your leg (making it like the leg of a normal person) will uncrash the car (make it like a normal car).

    Of course, they would only get as far as bad moods were associated with broken down cars so teaching drivers to have better moods may lead to more reliable cars.
     
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  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Its theory driven, and backed by vested interests, even if its only bias toward their own ideas. They got around the example you give long ago. You see, the trigger does not cause the symptoms. It causes abnormal responses, and those lead to the symptoms.
     
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  14. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    @alex3619 yeah I guess,
    The thing is that reading through it more carefully this morning it seems even odder.

    I have just been glancing through the wikipedia article on autobiographic memory and it seems clear that they already have a lot of theory and evidence about the choices people make between these two perspectives.

    A memory related in the observer perspective is just a memory told from the perspective of an observer. A memory related in the field perspective is one told from the the point of view you had when it happened to you.

    The observer perspective tends to be adopted by people recalling emotionally painful events, it tends to be adopted by women more often than men, it tends to be adopted by people recalling older memories, and so on.

    They do not tell us how they tested CFS/ME symptom severity. If they did it objectively, say with 2 day CPET, or maybe the metabolomics tests we might have in the future, then it would probably still just be the predictable result of a really appalling circumstance.

    If we had a tendency to recall events in the same way as other people who have been through really appalling circumstances, and our tendency was proportional to the severity of those events that would be no surprise.

    And thus my comments last night.

    and thus I guess your comments Alex3619. If there is a suppressed premise, if these researchers believe that all of these ME/CFS symptoms are artifacts of hysteria; or as they put it, an event that lead to a real illness that lead to deconditioning and a false illness belief; well then changing a person's perspective is the only thing that can be changed, and the only thing that can work.

    But they have not stated that premise and as you and many others have pointed out they have not proved it either.

    And if they are not using objective criteria to measure CFS/ME symptoms, if they are using a person's memory of their own symptoms (their autobiographic memory) to judge the severity of their symptoms and relating that to how the same person remembers activity, fatigue, and happy events (which is also their autobiographic memory) what are they testing.

    Are they using a ruler to test its own accuracy? Do these measurements relate to anything at all?
     
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