Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shoddy Science

It becomes more and more clear to me that, as a science, psychology is even worse than I thought it was. I am not being harsh: there is no excuse for such shoddy practices in studying a disease.

Worse, the so-called "authorities" seem unable to learn from their mistakes. For example, even though their method of treatment has thoroughly been proven to greatly INCREASE the recidivism rate, they continue on!

"Unable to learn from their mistakes." Ironic, since that itself is a telltale sign of mental illness.

One wonders how these people justify the means by which they study a personality disorder like NPD or psychopathy. They virtually do nothing but talk to the narcissists and psychopaths who who get forced to see them.

That's it. Jeez, folks, don't work too hard.

These patients are pathological liars by definition, and yet, their clinicians and researchers believe them! And it doesn't matter how often they are criticized for doing this, they continue studying these illnesses this half-assed way.

That ain't credibility.

An indication of how bad the science is is the theory of genetic inheritance. It claims to be based on "Mendelian genetics." But, as I posted earlier, not one jot of Mendelian genetics is in it. This "theory" (wrong - it's a hypothesis, an untested one) was proposed way back around 1990, and the scientist promoting it still isn't conducting any studies to show that malignant narcissism is inherited.

If it were inherited, that would be easy to prove. Find narcissists and test their families and offspring, duh.

Instead, this guy just "diagnoses" caricatures of long dead royals. Some dead for 500 years.

You diagnose people, not caricatures. And you don't pick royals as your test group. Especially for something like this.

Especially when they are that long gone. Especially when the chronicler you are getting your "evidence" from probably never even met the guy.

That's ridiculous. If the proponents of this haven't conducted any studies in all this time, I bet it's because they know the results would prove them wrong.

Do psychologists ever check up on what the N on their couch tells them? Do they ever interview family members, victims, and others who have had close day-to-day contact with narcissist and psychopaths for an extended period of time? Why not?

What more valuable information could they get? Don't they think first-hand experience and observation is worth anything? They think their divining is superior to FACTS these people can reveal to them? The hubris is breathtaking. They don't need facts, do they?

That's why they don't know that narcissists aren't touchy. That's why they don't know that N's just get madder when you try to appease them. That's why they seem oblivious to the fact that it's all about attention. They've never seen a narcissist go off, yet they think they know why he or she goes off. Sheesh.

They've never seen the mask switching so fast and and furious that you wonder if she has multiple personalities. They've never seen how an N leaps like a tiger at tender vulnerability.

But they think they know what's going on. They think the N or psychopath on their couch is going to tell them.

They estimate the prevalence of personality disorder by statistics on the few patients who get treatment. Duh, that's no way to estimate the number of people who think they are perfect and never will admit there is anything wrong with them to get psychological help for.

The first real population survey (in 2004 - why not decades sooner?) found that around 15% of people could be diagnosed with a personality disorder - NOT counting borderline, schizotypal, and narcissistic disorders. Didn't that embarrass these folks who had always been guestimating less than half that much for ALL personality disorders?

Not at all. Mediocrity rules. They aren't embarrassed even when studies catch 60-90% of them misdiagnosing and misapplying the DSM criteria.

Their estimate of NPD is lower than that for for psychopathy. How can that be when all psychopaths are narcissists? Well, lets just confuse anti-social behavior with psychopathy to conceal the seriousness of psychopathy.

These people can't be serious. Here are some more documented examples of how shoddy the work of many "authorities" on the subject are.

Prevalence of NPD
A False Picture
NPD - A Male Disease?

and

Diagnostic Confusion.

That ain't credibility. They make scientists in other fields all look squeeky clean and conscientous by comparisson.

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2 Comments:

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Billy said...

Yes, it seems that if the search for truth makes these researchers feel bad about themselves, then they just quit looking. The old "don't confuse me with the facts--I've already made up my mind!" It could also be that many psychologists define "success" the same way most doctors seem to: M-O-N-E-Y. In other words, it doesn't matter whether the patient gets any real benefit, as long as the psychologist gets paid. :P

 
At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,

I wondered if you had the answer to this question.
If a narcissist had a brain scan, would it show up the difference in thinking of a narcissist compared to "normal" people - for example, if shown images that would invoke empathy and light up the relevant parts of the brain responsible for empathy, would this be missing in the scan for a narcissist?

 

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