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Psychoquackery on BBC Radio 4

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by MeSci, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Here we go again.
    The programme can be listened to here, and the item in question starts at about 22.20 in the audio file.

    There is so much BS - unchallenged as usual - that I hardly know where to start in criticising it, and don't have time at present. A thought that comes to mind is that it is easy for psychoquackery to be spouted and accepted despite there being no evidence - of a quality required in science - to support it. Another is that the lack of medical evidence for disease does not mean that there is no physical disease, but that the appropriate tests may not be being done.

    Moss-Morris even tries to 'understand' our anger. Can't you just feel the gentle pat on your seething head? And she is keen to stress that doctors should not order too many tests...

    I would be interested in @charles shepherd's views on this, as he has previously commented on tests provided on the NHS for suspected ME/CFS.

    Note, however, that Moss-Morris has avoided mentioning ME/CFS this time. Unlike in her other appearances this year on the lecture circuit, I believe.

    You can contact the programme using the contact details here.

    I have never had any proper replies to my own emails to the programme.
     
  2. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    Or may not exist yet at the present time.
     
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  3. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    I find it very concerning that this acronym (MUS) might be making its way into common use, as it allows the psychoquackers to cast a very wide net. It's actually a way for them to claim maximum territory. If CFS is a wastebasket diagnosis, then this is a landfill site diagnosis. Just when I thought they might be retreating and good sense about to prevail, they're going all-in for the whole hog. It's enough to exacerbate my metaphoric excess syndrome.
     
  4. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    :lol:
     
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  5. girlinthesnow

    girlinthesnow Senior Member

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    Psychology is not medicine or science and has no place whatsoever in either.
     
  6. Valentijn

    Valentijn WE ARE KINA

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    MUS is too vague, and the general public will take it at face value - unexplained symptoms. It's only psychologists and medical practitioners who will have any idea what they're talking about, which makes it harder for them to do much damage with the terminology.

    I do think that their tactic of constant name changes bites them in the ass a bit.
     
  7. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Psychology is science - but like all science, it can be badly done.
     
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  8. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Science is based on observable physical evidence.

    When we are talking about personality defects or psychological problems we are not dealing with observable physical evidence but opinion.
     
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  9. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    I'm worried that we might reach a point where the general public, after hearing enough radio programs or newspaper articles, think "MUS, isn't that like psychosomatic?". Heaven forbid it ever becomes an official diagnosis, but stranger things have happened.
     
  10. Bob

    Bob

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    Hmm, so who would that recommendation benefit? The patient? No. ... Erm... Oh yes, of course, the medical insurance industry.
     
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  11. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Science is based on observables, certainly - if you can't observe a thing you can't measure it - but behaviour is an observable and so is self-report of subjective phenomena.
     
  12. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Thanks for listening to this, MeSci, so that I don't have to. I can't face it. I had resolved not even to comment on threads like this for a while, but ....

    It's one thing for a psychologist to talk about coping strategies etc. But if she is suggesting to physicians that they carry out fewer tests, that feels like a serious line being crossed. She is in no way qualified to make such a recommendation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rona_Moss-Morris
     
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  13. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    I haven't listened to it either. I've been considering cutting down the amount of time I spend exposing myself to this kind of stuff too, I could use my energy much more beneficially than being wound up and upset by such appalling nonsense. Very grateful for people who keep track of it and try to deal with it though.
     
  14. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Back in the 90s I took a year and a bit of an Open University psych degree. I went to the week-long summer school at the end of year one. The question of whether psychology was a science had not really occurred to me at that point. I thought it was something else entirely but drawing on elements of science.

    But then the lecturers spent a huge amount of the week explaining why psychology was a science. I'm sure we had at least two lectures with pretty much that title. It was all so desperate, I found that the more they insisted the less I believed it. By the end of the week I came to the conclusion "Nah, it's not really, is it."

    I started on year 2 of the course but my heart was no longer in it and I lost interest. That desperate need to be taken seriously had a lot to do with my disenchantment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  15. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    In psychology, these observations of behaviour, physiological parameters, etc. are just a launch pad for making various untestable claims.
     
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  16. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    Psychoquackery in the UK? Surely not!

    Actually, if you look at it in terms of adaptive behaviour, psychoquackery in the UK makes perfect sense - the NHS just doesn't have enough money to treat everyone, so if they can get away with just pretending to treat some patients they can avoid accusations of failure.
     
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  17. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Funnily enough, those same lecturers who were so desperate to persuade us that what they did was science also had a bit of a mantra which they would repeat with a sort of whimsical shrug:

    "Psychology is very good at observing things, not very good at predicting them."

    Which to me, at the time, felt a lot like a definition of "not a science, then".
     
  18. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    And that's what I mean by science badly done.
     
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  19. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I think it's a definition of 'not an easy science'. :cool:

    But we digress!
     
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  20. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I did a year of Psychology at the OU too - probably a different course, which I chose because it didn't have a summer school, which I found difficult due to ME. Mine was 'Social Psychology'. Despite the name, it was a very mixed course, spanning quackery like Freud, some interesting child psychology (e.g. Piaget) and also biological psychology including a bit of neuroscience. I'm concerned that a niece is now at uni studying psychology, and hoping that she can see through the BS.
     
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