PLos Article: Most published research wrong?!?

G

Gerwyn

Guest
Gerwyn,

"No Angela the modern work in neurocognitive psychology does explain why humans interpret their social and environmental encounters via a system of interrelated self biasing mental representations or schema ..This is neccessarily so because our minds are not in direct contact with the environment"

Explanations may be given, it doesn't mean they are accurate - they need testing. What is meant by 'mind' in your discussion here? That's a crucial and problematic issue. Also - 'WHY' claims - always a problem. HOW I can live with- but WHY can easily become a just-so story (evolutionary psychology being a particular culprit here).

"All labels are constructed.What matters is whether their meaning is consistant and invariate.So in terms of research everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet so that progress can be made."

Right. So if 100 people construct black people as sexually voracious and less intelligent than whites, because everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, it must be progress and fact? No, of course not, yet this sort of assumption is often what happens in much psychological and psychiatric claims. My problem is about how much (or not) is meaning consistent and invariate. 'Catatrophisation' is confused in the way its used. But -also, when it's claimed to CAUSE illness for example (and psychologists are involved in that problem), it's not just the unstable use of language that's the problem, it's the circular reasoning ("You're in worse pain BECAUSE you believe the pain is bad" etc.)

"The point with using the scientific method Angela is that you can tell if the method is used is incorrectly applied.with other methods you would not have a clue"
Yes I get that. That's a problem with some - a lot - of 'psychology' as well though. Of course, you can only tell if the scientific method is correct/incorrect if you know about scientific method and reasoning, for which you have to know a bit about logic!

"Social constuctionists create the problems in psychology whether existing or not They would point to problems real or otherwise that suits their agenda"
I'm beginning to think you are defining 'social construction' differently to me. I (like many sociologists) am using 'social construction' to explain the way people define others according to BELIEFS that are socially constructed. So, the female SEX is biological, but GENDER is how others construct women in a social system. A gendered construction of women being irrational and intuitive per se, for example, sociologists would argue is a social construction. Biologists sometimes linguistically construct female animal sexuality in terms of 'submission to the male', for example. But the term 'submission' may not be accurate at all. Female animals might invite the male, but it was often written as 'submission'. But it was a social construction of female sexuality as 'submissive' that led to this unsafe linguistic construction.

'Personality traits' are often social constructs - 'neuroticism' is a big one. People are made to answer a closed set of questions structured according to the personal agenda (theory) of the researcher. They might not want to answer in the way they've been instructed, the 'agree/disagree' may be too simplistic, yet because they've done it- 'reliability' is assumed, and construct validity is also (wrongly) assumed. There's a paper I must dig out about how old people had trouble understanding personality trait testing questions, and how this confounded their answers, not because the old people were stupid, but because their reasoning was different to the researcher's paradigm.

As regards the 'going around in circles' - I think it is because we disagree about the value of sociology in understanding science, not because I or others (including you) are using particularly ill-defined terminology in this thread. But anyway- most language is problematic in communication. There's a whole field in sociology (linguistics) studying how language is used, mis-used, its instabilities etc. It's valuable work.

I hope that it might be clear by now that I'm arguing for MORE sober scientific method in disciplines such as psychology, sociology, biology, psychiatry, medicine, epidemiology etc. and more careful attention to confounding factors like social construction of certain claims as 'fact', NOT for the abandonment of the scientific method!
Explanations may be given, it doesn't mean they are accurate - they need testing. What is meant by 'mind' in your discussion here? That's a crucial and problematic issue. Also - 'WHY' claims - always a problem. HOW I can live with- but WHY can easily become a just-so story (evolutionary psychology being a particular culprit here).

The explanations are consistent with the observed data and thus far have not been disproved, The explanatoty model has been repeatedly evaluated by testing its predictive power.it has now reached the status of theory which in scientific terminology means the closest approximation of the truth based on the information currently available.That does not mean that the model will never be adjusted or even abandoned altogether.The cumulative weight of evidence makes it unlikely but never say never in this game. I am happy to use brain if that is clearer and you are right perhaps i should have


Right. So if 100 people construct black people as sexually voracious and less intelligent than whites, because everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, it must be progress and fact? No, of course not, yet this sort of assumption is often what happens in much psychological and psychiatric claims. My problem is about how much (or not) is meaning consistent and invariate. 'Catatrophisation' is confused in the way its used. But -also, when it's claimed to CAUSE illness for example (and psychologists are involved in that problem), it's not just the unstable use of language that's the problem, it's the circular reasoning ("You're in worse pain BECAUSE you believe the pain is bad" etc.)

The first problem here is the use of the word construct.it is not defined.

If it was everyone would know what the term actually meant.

The scientific method begins with observations.in this case sexually voracious would have to be defined.As would intelligence.Some consistent method of measuring intelligence would have to be developed that produced consistent reliable results.This would have to be tested and measured against a number of factors that could be objectively measured.intelligence its self would need to be defined with relation to the ability to perform a range of cognitive tasks such as non verbal pattern recognition.Then you would have to find some objective measurement of sexual voracity .then assess the probabliity of truth of the observations level of chance generalisability etc.Of course just defining terms and working from the same hymn sheet is not the total answer but research of this kind has no meaning whatsoever without doing so.Science constructs theories based on observations precisely made using terms precisely defined.Otherwise you end up with the rediculous claims you describe. If the meaning of the word pain was defined then the circularity you described could not ensue

Of course, you can only tell if the scientific method is correct/incorrect if you know about scientific method and reasoning, for which you have to know a bit about logic!

You cant tell if any other method is correctly or incorrectly applied however much logic you have,Another term with multiple meanings of course


I'm beginning to think you are defining 'social construction' differently to me. I (like many sociologists) am using 'social construction' to explain the way people define others according to BELIEFS that are socially constructed.

My problem with the social constuctionist approach in psychology is as follows




































































repeated experimental evidence suppots the theory that social schema are used to form judgements about and guide behaviour in different social settings without concious awareness.Internalised cultural beliefs form at least part of the symbolic information contained in this schema and are used at least in part in the construction of social stereotypes.
social constructionists observe people behaving differently in different situations and conclude that people must have different identities.They then treat this highly questionable and subjective interpretation as fact.
in similar vein they see different degrees of emotionality in different cultures then emotions must be culturally constructed.

I could go on but essentially the thought process is that if it appears to be then it must be.

In essence it is a return to skinner--the cultural environment is the sole cause of behaviour they are silent on the how of course.

According to them the focus of psychological investigation should be cultural entities of one kind or another They then call social constuctionism a meta theory that explains everything

Of course scientific methodology is innapropiate

Biologists sometimes linguistically construct female animal sexuality in terms of 'submission to the male', I think they would DESCRIBE the behaviour as appearing to be submissive.What readers interpret by that is a product of their cognitive apparatus

systemSo, the female SEX is biological, but GENDER is how others construct women in a social.

Female behaviour is a compex interplay of genetic and environmental factors(as is the behaviour of Males).This pattern of behaviour in itself produces a weighted average or stereotype contributing to cultural beliefs about gender issues.Gender itself is a subjectively constructed label with no objective relationship to the labelled phenomena under consideration

Female animals might invite the male, but it was often written as 'submission'. But it was a social construction of female sexuality as 'submissive' that led to this unsafe linguistic construction.

We dont know whether this is an objectively correct description or not.It is a description calling it a linguistic construct is an example of the sort of problem we are talking about we dont know whether this is an unsafe linguistic construction or not.It is totally open to interpretation.

Personality traits' are often social construct
s

The label personality trait is a social construct what it labells is not(the contents of mental models predispose to certain attitudes behaviours and so on)

'neuroticism' is a big one. People are made to answer a closed set of questions structured according to the personal agenda (theory) of the researcher. They might not want to answer in the way they've been instructed, the 'agree/disagree' may be too simplistic, yet because they've done it- 'reliability' is assumed, and

This method is common to all diagnostic proceedures in medicine.It is possible, but very rare, that an individualy constructed questionaire is used to diagnose a condition .The validity of diagnostic criterea are rigerously validated and calibrated against objective measurements such as blood tests neural scans and so on.To an outside observer the validity of the test might seem to be assumed

As regards the 'going around in circles' - I think it is because we disagree about the value of sociology in understanding science,

It really means what you mean by understanding.This obviously once again has different meanings.The majority of sociologists lack the scientific knowledge to understand the specific scientific protocols used in different fields of science. I have yet to hear an objective analysis of this kind from a sociologist.The techniques used by many sociologists involve interpretations made on the basis of their preconceptions,cognitive biases and beliefs. These techniques make any kind of objective analysis impossible.

If on the other hand the subjects of investigation concerned the, misuse of peer review, the effects of publishing bias on propagating popular or controversial theories,misuse of language, effects of sponsorship power issues then absolutely.these are the sorts of issues that sociology deals with exceedingly well.It certainly does not need any help from psychology

I totally agree that work investigating the misuse of language in research is important- a lot of research evidence is nothing but a product of such misuse

I am arguing for more objectivity and stricter adherence to the scientific method in all forms of research. Research that does not employ the scientific method should be labelled as unscientific or anecdotal
 
G

Gerwyn

Guest
Hello Angela,

Hardly having read your immediately foregoing exposition - a kind of tale I know and don't agree to - I read



As it happens I have a large site that does include some indication of what I think about feminism and postmodernism so there is little sense what little energy I have to use for replying to the foregoing, that does seem to me to be mostly (attenuated) po-mo, I'm sorry to say.

Interested readers may consult

Title: Scientific Realism versus Postmodernism
Link: http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100320a.htm

This is a brief nice tabular exposition and characterization of the two subjects. This shows also where I stand, I think, to which I may add that I am politically a classical liberal in Mill's sense

Title: On Liberty
Link: http://www.maartensz.org/philosophy/mill/Liberty/On Liberty TOC.htm

Angela probably knows John Stuart Mill was a feminist, which I only mention to inform others.

This comes - as most philosophical classics on my site - with extensive notes and comments by me. Then there are in my Philosophical Dictionary the lemmata

Title: Postmodernism
Link: http://www.maartensz.org/philosophy/Dictionary/P/Postmodernism.htm

Somehow I can't rid myself of the suspicion that Angela may have read this (meanwhile), but the interesting reader should make - po-o-ism! - her own mind up. And finally

Title: Feminism
Link: http://www.maartensz.org/philosophy/Dictionary/F/Feminism.htm

The last two items are based on extensive experience with Dutch neo-marxists (they claimed to be), postmodern (would be and arrived) feminists, who ruled the University of Amsterdam from 1972-1995 because in that time the Dutch unversities were fully democratised and had a University Parliament consisting mostly of leftist careerists (all arrived now, presently - or until the economical crisis) selfstyled "neo-conservatives".

So it was my fate to be the only person to be removed from a Dutch university since WW II ended, namely because I was "a fascist" and "a terrorist" for askng the following questions as an invited speaker in the faculty of philosophy, briefly before taking my M.A. in it:

Title: 39 Questions about the qualities bof education and government in the Netherlands
Link: http://www.maartensz.org/meinadam/uvaquestions1988.htm

Beastly, isn't it? The Board of Directors wrote me that because of



and in spite of



for then I already had ME for 10 years, I should f*ck off. You see, Angela, I - po-mo-ism! - "critiqued" their "social constructs" and it hurt....

And so it goes.

Anyway - the above is a little background, to me, ME and po-mo and related subjects.

Maarten.

P.S. Meanwhile there is at least one other intermediate post but I suppose that when some sociologists cry



they - dialectically! - mean the opposite. But maybe I misunderstand Angela, or maybe I just have all manner of dysfunctional social constructs between my ears instead of a brain, plus, it should be said - some forum-members seem to think - a soul, that is for the Brits in the loving care of NICE, just as in earlier days it was in the loving care of the nice inquisitors of that time. I don't believe it, but professor Wessely will swear, if necessary, with the Board of Directors of the University of Amsterdam, that my soul is a dysfunctional one, filled with nicely mistaken social constructs, although there is - of course! - nothing wrong with my soma.

P.P.S. If your light reading includes Reginald Hill, Angela: you do remind me a bit of Ellie Pascoe. (I hope this is not considered a sexist remark in - po-mo-ism! - inappropriate language.)
good morning

Yes there is a growing trend for social constructionists to challenge scientific work to further their agenda.

They produce critiqes based on nothing but predjudice supposition and belief.

When their techniques are subject to forensic examination there tends to be a scalded cat reaction.

They base their work soley on social consructs but then assume that their conclusions are in some way objective rather than subjective opinion.People using this approach are probably the least qualified to criticise science.

This is far short of perfect by the way

All i really ask is that researchers of whatever hue define their terms and declare their theoretical perspectives and prejudices

By the way I dont include Angela in this camp.I believe that she is sincere in her beliefs.They just happen to be different to mine.

A great many people within the Critical perspective clearly have an agenda and science provides facts which they find inconvenient.Wesselly uses very similar techniques
 
G

Gerwyn

Guest
social constructionism is entirely based on highly problematic assumptions and methodological approaches.Social constructionism is in it in itself a social construct.Somehow social constructioinsts fail to grasp that.

An example would be. to a third party peoples behaviour is so different in different situations that it is as if they have multiple identities.Somehow this "as if" is lost and the interpreation gains the status of objective truth

They then take this "methodological approach and use it to form the basis of their critique of Science.If it appears to them that there is a problem it is held to be true rather than an artifact created by their investigative methodology

People in phillosophical and methodological "glass houses" should not throw "stones" without expecting them thrown back.Unfortunately members of this perspective almost always cry foul when that happens

The biggest issue science has at the moment is that work is being deliberately or accidentallymisrepresented misunderstood and misinterpreted.When deliberately so the motives are invariably financial gain and or political advantage in one way or anothe

I dont think you have copped out in any way at all.Our positions on these matters are different.However, I too am finding the thread exhausting and I think it is time to call it quits.my comments dont apply to all sociologists by any means just to this particular breed
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
Darryl Huff's 'how to lie with statistics' is a wonderful little book! Comical as well, which makes it easier to understand. One issue I've always had with my social science students (I'm a social science lecturer) is that that some of them are anxious about quantiative data and statistical language. Learning not to be scared of them is half the battle!

I would also recommend books/websites on logical fallacies as understanding these helps people, I would say, to identify them in peer reviewed literature. I also like a book by Stella Cottrell called 'Critical thinking skills'.

The reason I say all this is because I truly believe the whole community of people with 'CFS' diagnoses need to arm themselves with tools for critical analysis of all claims that might impact on their lives. I actually think this holds through for people per se, and critical analysis and knowledge of logic are not skills formally taught in schools (and therefore may not even be taught at all!) If more people could learn specific strategies for logical thinking and critical analysis, so much BS would not get around as much as it does, is my basic argument!

Notice that groups like 'Sense about Science' basically advocate, to the public, "if it's peer reviewed you don't need to worry your silly little heads about it". In light of the problems of peer review even highlighted here, that of course is TERRIBLE advice.
Thanks Angela. Just bought 'Critical thinking skills'.
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
Instead, might I suggest 'Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences (2nd Edition)' by Jacob Cohen or "How Many Subjects?: Statistical Power Analysis in Research' by Helena Chmura Kraemer
Thanks CBS. I have just bought the former. I couldn't see a softback for sale from the UK so am getting it from booksamillion.com which is one of those on the igive.com list so WPI should get $5 as I bought within 45 days of signing up.

I am nearly finished another book that was recommended on Amazon, "The Cartoon Guide to Statistics" by Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith which I have found a fairly easy read. But then I did study the topic before (but had gaps because transferred and it was nearly 20 years ago). I think I might get some of the other Cartoon guides e.g. to genetics.
 

starryeyes

Senior Member
Messages
1,558
Likes
86
Location
Bay Area, California
Somebody highlighted this on another list and I thought it was useful. It's prompted me to buy a few books on statistics e.g. "How to lie with Statistics"/similar which is supposedly useful to spot some fallacious reasoning. My statistics education was interrupted by ME/CFS but don't have the mental stamina to work through full text-books. :(
Boy do I completely sympathize with you Tom. I have so many projects and things I want to study and I just can't. ME won't let me.
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
tomk said:
Somebody highlighted this on another list and I thought it was useful. It's prompted me to buy a few books on statistics e.g. "How to lie with Statistics"/similar which is supposedly useful to spot some fallacious reasoning. My statistics education was interrupted by ME/CFS but don't have the mental stamina to work through full text-books. Boy do I completely sympathize with you Tom. I have so many projects and things I want to study and I just can't. ME won't let me.
Thanks Teejkay. I left college (Mathematics, Trinity College Dublin) after having (successfully) completed two years of a four year degree (16.5 years ago) (after three years, I would have been given an ordinary degree; exams in second year are finals for those doing Mathematics and another subject so it's frustrating that getting straight firsts in those exams counts for very little).

I can get some credits to transfer to distance learning with another college but I would really need to start from scratch as the mathematics courses build up and I don't remember a lot of the stuff - anyway, I don't have the mental capacities for a mathematics course at the moment. I could probably do a psychology degree but would probably take around 10 (?) years as I would to take it very slowly. Also, I would have to drop neary all my ME work and the group I help run would likely fall apart (or shrink massively and probably couldn't afford to have a research fund) so I don't see myself doing any more formal education any time soon. Hopefully in time, things might change.
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
Thanks for the detailed reply, CBS.
The power of a study is only one of a dozen or more different important considerations and I doubt that many of us have the energy to independently undertake a masters level course on all the methodological and statistical concerns that impact research.
Rather than sitting down with a stack of textbooks, I would recommend that those who are interested may find it much more accessible and enjoyable to read (or read about) very well executed research on social phenomena impacting physiological status.

Robert Sapolosky is a scientist and author (as well as extremely bright and interesting). He is currently professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and by courtesy, Neurosurgery, at Stanford University. His early career interests included the effects of sociological factors on the development of coronary artery disease. He revolutionized thinking around the notion of the Type-A behavior pattern and heart disease. He's now focusing on the human host interactions and interdependency of chronic infectious disease (specifically toxoplasmosis) as well as stress and its impact on neuroendocrinology.

His study designs are elegant and unconventional (eg. years spent in Kenya studying the social hierarchy and dominance dynamics of baboon colonies and the relationship of these dynamics to physiological disease or well being).

Here's his link on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sapolsky

Take a look at one of his books or articles. It will probably change the way you view science.

And a few of his more memorable quotes:
"I love science, and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awed by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and reinvigorate it."

"Get it wrong, and we call it a cult. Get it right, and maybe, for the next few millennia, people won't have to go to work on your birthday."
Oops, got carried away on a book-buying spree before reading the rest of the messages.

Thanks again for the advice.
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
@ Gerwyn,

Psychology ATTEMPTS to explain why people might make interpretations, 'create one's own reality' (a problematic construct if ever there was one) how 'the mind' (an abstract concept denoting the action of thinking) is structured etc. It doesn't mean they HAVE adequately done so, of course. What is more, human responses can be socially constructed (the belief that women cannot lead, for example, anger responses), and therefore, sociology often provides explanations of human behaviour, beliefs, etc. pointing to external structures. And yes, sociology-informed critiques of psychological claims about human behaviour abound. I'm not saying they are necessarily correct (though I think they very often are), but I'm trying to show how psychology does not have some sort of privileged, 'scientific' insight into human behaviour or even beliefs, attitudes, or responses.

Interestingly, a psychologist/psychotherapist, David Smail, takes a more sociological approach (around power effects, for example).

Now - it's interesting that you've said this: "Science deals with objects and properties which exist independently of a subjective human labelling system Application of subjective socially constructed labels cannot reveal anything objective about mind independent phenoma". Psychology does suffer from this problem! It's labels are socially constructed themselves! The term 'catastrophizing', used in psychological research on 'CFS' is a classic case of a socially constructed interpretation of human behaviour, for example. 'Neuroticism' is another one. Even the constructs of what constitutes 'child trauma' in the CTQ are socially constructed, because they are made according to researcher interpretation of what 'trauma', 'abuse' etc is. Exactly the same as if a sociologist identifies race, gender, and class stratification in a social system, or theorises that there is a moral panic process going on around a subject, for example.

And William James himself was aware of this problem, hence his comments about the snare of the 'psychologist's fallacy'.

I'm aware of the idea that "Rationality and coherence chain of reasoning range and depth which are linguistic constructs with multiple meanings may or may not be useful in assessing qualitative work which is essentially a subjective construction of subjective constructs." The problem applies equally to quantitative measurement of 'subjective construction of subjective constructs'- and these are abundant in psychiatric paradigms of somatic illness.

'Scientific' method, as in cognitive psychology, can still be done incorrectly. It's hypotheses can be generated by psycologists fallacies, for example

In fact, psychologists are aware of and addressing the problems I've outlined above. A good book on this issue is Nightingale and Cromby's 'Social Constructionist Psychology: A Critical Analysis of Theory and Practice'. David Smail's 'Power, Interest and Psychology' I think is essential reading (even where I don't always agree with him). Paula Caplan' ;They say you're crazy' is another useful book.

From a more sociological point of view, Kirk and Kutchins 'Making us Crazy' deals more with psychiatry - but it shows some of the problems of people thinking psychological and psychiatric constructs are 'fact'.
Those sound like interesting books, Angela. Might add them to my wish list (End of extract in case anyone missed them).

This may explain something a friend told me who studied Sociology (and Maths) where he was "told off"/similar for quoting psychological research. And reminds/informs me that there could be quite a few critics of psychology (and psychiatry?) within the ranks of sociologists.
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
My suggestion for those interested is to look into the Journal of the American Medical Associations series "Users' Guide to the Medical Literature" which is now available as a book. It may be a bit complex for the general public but is generally pretty clear.

http://www.jamaevidence.com/public/about_jamaEvidence

For those in Europe, check out stuff by Oxford's group: http://www.cebm.net/index.aspx?o=1001

Interestingly, although my training is in the natural sciences some of my best grad school teachers were sociologists teaching about situations where randomized double-blind control experiments were not possible. The go-to book we used was from the 1960s by Campbell and Stanley (although I was in school not too long ago) which is deceivingly short but jam-packed with useful advice. May be hard to read/ understand with CFS though.

http://www.amazon.com/Experimental-Quasi-Experimental-Designs-Research-Campbell/dp/0395307872


For the general public, I haven't looked much but haven't come across anything good yet.

Also, more scientists now are trained in stats than in decades past so I think it will get better as time passes.
Thanks for those, Hope123. I've put them aside but again I've bought quite a few books recently so won't go out and get them just yet.

I see there is both:
"Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, Second Edition" and a shorter:
"Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: Essentials of Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, Second Edition"
I presume you are talking about either the first one or both of them or did you just mean the second one.
The first one is quite long (860 pages) so if you were just talking about the second one, it'd be interesting.

I haven't been reading factual books (not on ME/CFS) since the early 90s. It's certainly a lot more fun/pleasurable when one doesn't face an exam in them.
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
Also, there is a problem with feminism in science: Feminism seems to me to be an ethical/moral and/or political position, that is concerned with furthering the interests of women. This is problematical when combined with - real - science, for the same sort of logical reason as "christian science" and "aryan physics" are problematical: religion or politics are combined with science.

But I'm sure you have thoughts on the subject. O, and mind you: I have far fewer problems with claims like "there are - in this post-postmodernistic enlightened time - feminists who are also logical and rational scientists" then with claims like "Logical and rational feminist academic work does exist". Substitute "feminist" by "christian", "maoist" or "national socialist" and you might see my problem more clearly, which is this: Why and whence the X-ist prefix if it is real science?

Finally, personally I am most interested in "rational feminist academic work" in mathematical logic or philosophy of science, but I may be asking too much (and imagine Gerwyn might develop a real interest in feminist microbiology, if available.
Interesting observation
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
Hi Maarten

Well - actually, feminism in the 'academy' is not primarily a moral position as such, it is an academic approach that seeks to address the issue of research the life experiences of women in disciplines where they were previously not considered. This includes research that studied men then extrapolated to women, which failed to address uniquely female human experiences in it's science/social science, which means there were major flaws in such research.
(Off-topic)
Given the very large women's studies:men's studies ratio in the social sciences, it seems one could suggest that the opposite may be needed now.
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
Critically analysing how what might be learned social responses (and sometimes even rational responses) are psychopathologised and re-constructed as individual character flaws, for example, is something very relevant to the lives of 'CFS' sufferers and something that can be very usefully done through a sociological approach (in this case of the assumptions of psychiatrists, which might be socially constructed, or are psychiatrists' beliefs NEVER constructed by the society they live in?). What social structures might engender such beliefs about 'CFS' sufferers? These are productive questions.
That's an interesting point.
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
Open-Access Peer Review

I'm not sure if people are aware but with the journals at: http://www.biomedcentral.com one can generally see the pre-publication history.

This includes earlier drafts of the paper, (non-anonymous) reviewers' submissions, editors' comments and responses from authors. It can be very interesting and revealing!!
 

Dolphin

Senior Member
Messages
17,556
Likes
28,245
Thanks everyone

Thanks to Angela Kennedy, CBS, Gerwyn, Hope123, Maarten Maartensz and anybody else I've forgotten for an interesting discussion and interesting advice about books.

I hope some of you will use your intellect, knowledge, reasoning and analytical skills, (and indeed life experience), etc for the ME/CFS cause and in particular, it'd be great if some work was put into the public domain e.g. e-letters or even more formal letters to journals questioning some published papers, and who knows, maybe a book or a full paper!?