Carol Tavris, Ph.D.: How to Spot Pseudoneuroscience & 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.

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Dr. Phil Exposes the Flaws & Fallacies of Repressed Memories

Thank you, Dr. Phil for your show:

Sex Abuse and Murder:

A Daughter’s Repressed Memories or Lies?

Air Date  February 17, 2014
Summary:
Tracy says that about three years ago, disturbing memories from her childhood began to surface about sex abuse and murder — involving her mother, Donna, and now-deceased father, Alan. Tracy claims that she and her sister, Kelly, were molested by their father and grandfather, and alleges that Donna killed Kelly’s best friend and buried the girl in their backyard. Donna and Kelly vehemently deny the claims, calling Tracy “delusional.” Emotions run high when Tracy faces her family on Dr. Phil’s stage, including Donna, whom she hasn’t seen or spoken to in more than a year. Is Tracy remembering actual events, or are these fictionalized memories? Plus, don’t miss part two tomorrow, when Donna agrees to take a polygraph test to clear her name. Will Tracy get the answers she’s looking for? This program contains strong sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.
~~~~~~~~
The argument regarding the truth of repressed memories boils down to one question:
Are decade old memories, newly discovered, accurate?

I do not think that repressed memories are lies because a lie is a deliberate attempt to deceive. Repressed memories that erupt decades after an event cannot be 100% accurate as the science of human memory repeatedly shows, and proves in a laboratory, that memories in general are a confabulated rendition of truth, falsehood, and fill-in-the blanks.

I was once caught in a web of repressed memories much like that displayed by the guest on the Dr. Phil show. And like her, my memories grew during therapy and were reinforced by those around me. My decade old memories morphed into a story that, when investigated, were found to be utter nonsense.

I am grateful that the Dr. Phil show educated the public about the controversy that continues to swirl around the veracity of repressed memories. When science and investigations are employed, we have a chance of getting to the truth of these memories. When people are being accused of heinous crimes that never occurred, we have a responsibility to seek the truth and scant memories of events that may or may not have occurred decades earlier are simply not reliable.

The family who told their horror story regarding accusations of murder and sexual assault based on the repressed memories of a family member now have a chance to recover and heal from the toxic psychotherapy that tore at their souls. Science prevails in this case and I wonder how many other families could benefit from evidence rather than dubious memories of wrong doing.

It’s time to pressure the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, the two most influential organizations responsible for overseeing mental health care practitioners in the United States, to hold their members accountable for their actions.

When patient’s welfare is sacrificed for theories and beliefs held by the therapist – it’s simply a crime against humanity.

Persecutory Alters and Ego States: Protectors, Friends, and Allies

by Lisa Goodman & Jay Peters

date of publication unknown, appears to be around 1992

Abstract

Persecutor alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder are uniformly described in behavioral terms as belligerent, abusive, and violent. While most authors agree that persecutors begin as helpers there is no consensus about their later development or function within the system. This paper presents a theoretical model of the etiology and development of persecutor alters. It elucidates the underlying and continuously protective nature of the alter which becomes masked by the apparently “persecutory” behavior.

Using clinical examples which build on their appreciation of the positive function of persecutor alters the authors present their treatment techniques, which include: engagement, building rapport with the underlying protective function, psychoeducation of the alter, and finally, family therapy style negotiations of roles, expectations, and boundaries.

The paper concludes with an examination of the countertransference issues which commonly arise in working with persecutor alters and their impact on the clinician and the therapeutic task.

Retrieved 07/15/12. http://www.umaine.edu/sws/Writing/persecut.htm

Teen Girls Perform Demonic Exorcisms Under the Supervision of Reverend Bob Larson

exorcisms

exorcisms (Photo credit: ahp00k)

The incident reported here occurred in 2012. I offer it as an example of how urban legend, pop psychology, and culture influence public opinion.

This journalism segment (including video clips) by Anderson Cooper regarding teen-girls performing exorcisms is seriously dangerous. Let’s put aside the ridiculousness of the concept that the devil resides inside some people and needs to be cast out – and focus on the results of what these children may unwittingly do – and that is to potentially harm someone desperate to find answers to their problems.

Someone needs to stop these children but who is supposed to do so? Obviously Reverend Bob Larson, who oversees the children won’t be stopping them.

~~~~~~~~~~

How the Teens Got Involved in Exorcism

Anderson Cooper
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:50AM

Brynne and Tess, both 17, and Savannah, 20, all have different stories as to what drew them into performing exorcisms. Brynne is the daughter of Reverend Bob Larson, who helps spiritually guide people, and who has helped train the three girls in the spiritual implications of performing the ritual.

“I had my dad right beside me the whole way,” says Brynne of her first exorcism, which took place in a church in Africa when she was 13. “I’d been around this my whole life, I knew what was going on, and he really walked me through it and helped me with it. …

“Anderson admits that he doubts the validity of exorcisms, and wonders if Reverend Bob Larson and the three teen girls who claim to be exorcists are just making the rounds to publicize themselves for an upcoming reality show and “says that he thinks the girls seem coached and unnatural.”

“People don’t understand that we’re normal girls, and there are so many hours that we have put into this that people have not seen.”

See the full interview on Wednesday, February 29.

Filed Under: As Seen On The Show

Are You Unknowingly in Bed with Big Pharmaceutical Companies?

Is Big Pharm a trusted friend in your discussion chatroom? How would you know if he/she was? Chances are, you won’t.

Consumer-Generated Media – blogs, websites, podcasts, videos, discussion boards, chatrooms & other places consumers hang-out to discuss medicals issues and share information – is used by pharmaceutical companies to help them market their products – allegedly to help you, The Consumer.

For articles, see a white paper* published by Neilson Online, a service of The Nielsen Company that, according to them, “serves the top 15 pharmaceutical companies in the United States” as well as others to conduct research on patient/consumer opinions.

Nielsen-Online-Healthcare-Practice_Social-Media-Adverse-Event-Reporting_nov09.pdf

*A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to documents used by businesses as a marketing or sales tool. Policy makers frequently request white papers from universities or academic personnel to assist policy developers with expert opinions or relevant research.” Retrieved 9/18/11. Wikipedia.

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