Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by thefreeprisoner, Jan 25, 2010.
I agree with everything we must mis politics science and spin fight fire with more fire
Psychiatry? Bad science. Psychology? Only sometimes.
Absolutely. Well said Maarten!
Satire? Yes, absolutely. (As you can see from my sig which features a clearly fictional set of psychiatric consultants .)
Personal attacks on the other hand - I disagree. Well, in the sense that a personal attack is saying something like "x psychiatrist is an ignorant b***h and deserves a slap". Which I think is against the rules of this forum.
I totally agree with you about psychiatry there, and about the NICE approach being pseudo-science. In my opinion psychology (at least, most psychology, if done well - important caveats there) is a legitimate science. Most psychologists (if they're studying for a BSc rather than a quasi-philosophical Freudian BA, most of which I think have now been phased out) receive proper training in the scientific method, experimental design and statistics.
For example, a former staff member of mine is currently studying for a PhD in Psychology. She has carried out research into how Williams Syndrome patients' learning difficulties could be the results of disordered sleep, and thus perhaps enable us to learn from that about how sleeping helps consolidate short-term memory into long-term memory for learning. (At least, as far as I understand it, but my memory is swiss cheese since this latest bout of ME.) It's proper science done right. Mind you, perhaps a biologist might come along, evaluate her scientific method and say 'cobblers' but it looks rigorous to me (admittedly a non-scientist).
"Most psychologists (if they're studying for a BSc rather than a quasi-philosophical Freudian BA, most of which I think have now been phased out) receive proper training in the scientific method, experimental design and statistics."
I have to take issue with this Rachel. I'm not aware of any distinction in course content between a BA and BSc in Psychology, at least not in my day, and the scientific, method, experimental design and stats were an integral part of the course. Freud was an optional side-issue.
On the more substantive matter, I agree that we really need to cultivate any journalists who appear on-side. Were there not also similarly sensible articles lately in the Daily Mail (in this case a writer on a major daily who can speak honestly from a personal perpective) and a English regional newspaper?
The Mail particularly should be more than interested in how the government have misused scarce research funds and rolled out an expensive unproven 'treatment' pilot based on a psychciatric agenda. Perhaps they could be persuaded to do a follow up piece while the Gilderdale story is so current (and covered on BBC Panorama this evening).
Marco BA Hons Psychology.
Maybe I have foot-in-mouth disease, not ME
:ashamed: OK - I stand corrected.
That'll teach me to base a whole opinion on a quip by a psychology lecturer during a visit to York University in 1994
AMEN to that. I can't believe this isn't happening already, however... surely at least some of the UK ME charities must be up to similar sort of things? I'm keen to ensure... given our limited energy and resources... that we're not duplicating any work.
As a Psychologist I,m concerned about the creeping sociology which is making some psychology courses less scientific and even questioning the validity of the scientific method at all preferring discource analysis and not focusing on the mind at all--social constructivism is yet another-They are sociological perspectives and no doubt useful but they have nothing to do with the scientific study of the mind!.......There I,ve got that off my chest! In the Uk I suspect we need celebrity endorcement(sadly) who can be briefed on the science and write in the popular magazines and appear on chat shows endorse campaigns etc which are profitable for the media and demonise the opposition if we have to.
It wasn't a dig Rachel. I would have added a little wink but couldn't see any icons available on quick reply.
For what its worth, after studying a single hons 'proper' psychology degree, I still found lots of it too wooly and fluffy for my taste (social psychology especially) and ended up doing a final year thesis on computational vision - at least that had a bit of a scientific edge.
It also left me more cynical to an extent. Any time I witness some poor unfortunate being beaten up in the street I assume its just a bunch of psych undergraduates doing a bystander intervention study and walk on!
I found this related story in the Times as well... it's also a sympathetic story:
The term is "diplomacy."
As Reagan said, paraphrased, "negotiate with kindness, but carry a big stick."
We need good cops and bad cops. We need some with the biting tongue and then we need some reaching out with respect to attract.
OK, thanks... I guess I'll let you and Marco argue the toss, seeing as I have blundered into a debate that I really don't know that much about.
Having said that, I am not sure IQ is an accurate thing to rely on (much as it gives my ego a lot of stroking) to assess the quality of research, seeing as it was also invented by a psychologist and controversies abound in the method of testing. I am sure you know all of this already.
However, one thing is clear, (which does prove your point, but doesn't rely on psychological research) and that is the fact that the amount of people admitted to University is increasing rapidly (in the UK at least) and a dilution of quality research would naturally follow, allowing dross to become mixed in with the gold. Unfortunately, in the water tank of ME research, the dross tends to float to the top :worried: and I think we can both agree on that.
I'm not going to argue with Maarten on the issue - I'm sure he's generally correct . Psychology as a subject area is so broad that it can be as easy or difficult as you wish depending on what you choose to study. My own wry impression after graduation is that the certificate should have come branded as a Walt Disney production, but then I do have higher qualifications in engineering and computing to help me retain some cred. What I do know is that the research/stats content was sufficient to allow me to become a government statistician which will either reassure you as to the degree content or depress you as to the state of government statisics.
Getting back on topic, I feel strongly that someone should be contacting these sympathetic journalists to do some investigative digging. There's plenty of material on this site. It just needs pulling together. I'm more than willing to do this but I'm 'entertaining' friends for a few hours this week which means losing two or three days while I try to make the hovel presentable and then decompress from the stress of a few hours chatting (don't you find general chit chat and telephone calls leave you spinning?).
If I can pull something together I can put it back to the forum for comment. The UK MRC funding debacle looks to me like a good place to start. It might be better if someone from the UK 'throws the snowball' though.
Yes, always a good idea to get back on track.
From my campaigning and (rather more limited) PR experience I know that personal contacts with journalists are everything. We need to find somebody first and foremost who has those contacts and then talk to the journalist directly to find out what kind of stories they want to print on the heels of the Gilderdale story.
Do we have any PR people in our midst?
No - But the Me Association has Neil Reilly. What's he doing with himself presently?
No idea. I'm not really familiar with the ME charity scene - all the names are so confusingly similar and I can never remember who supports or believes what.
Is anybody here on speaking terms with Neil Reilly?
Hi Maarten-----Some of us neuropsychologists and our cognitive bretheren are sometimes quite good(He says hopefully!!!) neural networks ruleok seriously though a lot of Psychology is about as unscientific as it gets, apart from psychiatry of course, I,m helping my wife with her masters in educational "Research"--OH MY GOD I,ve discovered the cause of our educational decay in one fell swoop This is where all the sociologists are hiding and deliberately undermining the scientific method as inappropiate for the study of education AAARRGH.
On a more positive note perhaps we could start our networking campaign via Martin Samuel and use his various contacts
No further questions your honour.
Well, I did send my letter to 60 Minutes. I did my part.
You can also try a Google Site Search
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