Carol Tavris, Ph.D.: How to Spot Pseudoneuroscience and Biobunk

“When it comes to pseudoscience, social psychologist and writer Carol A. Tavris is a self-appointed curmudgeon.”

“I have spent many years lobbing hand grenades at psychobabble — that wonderful assortment of pop psych ideas that permeate our culture in spite of having no means of empirical support,” said Tavris at the 24th APS Annual Convention.“Today, however, we face an even greater challenge because in this era of the medical-pharmaceutical-industrial complex, where psychobabble goes, can biobunk be far behind?””

Carol Tavris is one of the most engaging speakers I’ve heard. Her teaching methods, wit, wisdom, and endless wonder at the absurdities of human nature bring her audiences to laughter frequently. At the end of this post are several lectures you may find enlightening and perspective adjusting.

“Not every aspect of this “biomedical revolution,” as Tavris calls it, is unwelcome. She admitted that she gets very excited about many of these discoveries. What she takes issue with is the perception that biomedical explanations are infallible. Similar to the psychobabble that plagues psychological science, “brainless neuroscience” should be giving the field an image problem, but because most people don’t know how to spot biobunk, they are more willing to accept bad neuroscience findings over good psychological ones.”

Carol Tavris IIG.jpg *

According to Dr. Tavris there are a few surefire ways to spot biobunk:

1. Technomyopia – Technology knows more that I do

2. Murky Methods – Questionable methods are a sure sign of pseudoneuroscience. Statistical problems and artifacts are often hidden behind flashy findings. Imaging studies are one of the most common culprits

3. Rampant Reductionism Be wary of conclusions that seem too neat and simple

4. Neuromarketing – Watch out for hype and overselling. Often “neuromarketers” will hawk impressive sounding devices or treatments to desperate parents, students, and teachers that are backed by questionable science.

More Abaoaut Psychobabble and Brain Silliness

How to Spot Pseudoneuroscience and Biobunk

A Skeptical Look at Pseudoneuroscience  YouTube

Books

Psychoababbly and BioBunk: Using Psychological Science to Think Critically about Popular Psychology, 3rd Edition

Mistakes were Made (But Not by Me):Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad  Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

The Mismeasure of Woman

Psychology 10th Edition

Invitation to Psychology with DSM-5 Update

Invitition to Psychology 5th Edition

 

*Photo credit unknown, owner please contact blogger at questioningdid@gmail.com so I can offer you the byline.

On Bullshit Psychology

 I enjoy reading essays penned by people who tell it like they see it. Well done article IMHO. JB

“I was going to write this post on ” pop psychology ” but decided that moniker just doesn’t cut it, and the scope is too limited and easy.  What we are referring to when we say “pop psychology” is 99% bullshit.  Not too hard to see that, if you read 50 of those books and your life still sucks .  But for that matter, what passes for “evidence-based” psychology is still probably at least 60% bullshit.  I’m going to go beyond bashing the obvious targets that lard up our bookshelves, the self-help books and so forth.  I want to target much of what clinical psychology that the public encounters eagerly defines itself as.  It’s not “popular” necessarily, but it is awfully self-important and mostly wrong and potentially damaging to the public.  Actually, So let’s call it what it is: Bullshit psychology.

The main premise of bullshit psychology is that there is something wrong with you, and you need psychology to fix what’s wrong with you.  This is the first premise of bullshit.  I want to highlight this premise because all else in bullshit psychology rests on it.  You are broken, we will fix you.  We, the experts, will provide you the information to fix yourself.  Bullshit.”

About Dr. Rinewine

Retrieved 08-12-14, Full Article: Portlandmindful.com

The Most Dangerous Idea in Mental Health by Ed Cara

USA, Pacific Standard: The Science of Society. November 3, 2014.

Ed Cara Mr. Cara lives in New York City. He writes about the intersection of science and social justice at his blog, Grumbles and Rumbles.

Excerpts:

“The belief that hidden memories can be “recovered” in therapy should have been exorcised years ago, when a rash of false memories dominated the airwaves, tore families apart, and put people on the stand for crimes they didn’t commit. But the mental health establishment does not always learn from its mistakes—and families are still paying the price.

Nearly four years ago, Tom and his ex-wife sent their daughter to an eating-disorder clinic called the Castlewood Treatment Center, outside St. Louis. In her five months there, Anna grew to believe she had recovered memories of a deeply abusive childhood that she had previously banished from her conscious mind.”

Full article retrieved 11-18-14.

I am adding Mr. Cara’s article to my growing list of historical developments of the false memory syndrome craze, repressed memory theories, multiple personality, dissociative identity disorder and others. Society can no longer ignore the fact that some of these treatments began way back in the 1905, and earlier, but they still thrive today – one hundred years later.

The ever growing list of family tragedies stemming from some types of psychotherapies based on pseudoscience that may treat medical disorders with personal beliefs and politics, rather than science, will no longer be ignored on this blog.

The organizations listed below, to my knowledge, have not taken major steps to insist on science-based treatment for people seeking mental health care. These goofy-therapy debacles that were largely ignored by the United States organizations, like the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and most recently the US backed National Association of Social Workers – who recently offered continuing education credits for attendees of a recent conference on multiple personalities, disguised in my opinion, as a trauma and dissociation conference held in Seattle, Washington, USA, must be include for an accurate history.

The United States of Tara: A Thanks From the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation

Dispite hilarious distortions of a serious “mental illness” that is painful for those believed to be suffering from it, the foremost authority for research, study, and dissemination of information – the ISST-D still thanks Steven Speilberg. Speilberg is appreciated for bringing public awareness just after they state that this show is largely a misrepresentation. Richard Kluft, MD a member of the ISST-D is one of the show’s consultants.

Is Richard Kluft displaying a conflict of interest, supporting educational information about MPD/DID, shooting for fame, or doing what he can to collect a hefty paycheck from Speilberg? You decide.

~~~~~~~~~~

Thank You!

“The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is grateful to Showtime, Inc., Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, screenwriter Diablo Cody, actress Toni Collette, and the supporting cast and producers of The United States of Tara for their portrayal of the complicated, confusing, and sometimes desperate life lived below the visible surface of an everyday person with dissociative identity disorder. As Richard P. Kluft, M.D. noted in the special educational video produced by Showtime on their website (and available on this website, above), only a small percentage of people with dissociative identity disorder have the classical presentation of obvious switching from one personality state to another. Most people with this disorder go to work, raise families, and struggle to live their lives while healing from the painful emotional wounds of their earlier years. Too often, public discussion of dissociation and dissociative disorders is sensationalized. This is a public Thank You to Showtime, and all involved, for increasing interest about an important psychological disorder. We hope this increased interest results in improved treatments, and better lives for our patients, their families, and our communities!”

“The views of Showtime Inc. and the production team of the United States of Tara, are  their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of ISSTD or its members.  The ISSTD website provides accurate, current scientific information about Dissociative Identity Disorder.”

Retrieved 3/15/11. ISST-D Thanks Steven Speilberg

New York Times Video: Sybil: A Brilliant Hysteric?

New York Times: Sybil: A Brilliant Hysteric?

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