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March 17, 2006

The Politics of Psychology

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts in the past months. Some are political, some are computer related (geeky stuff; that's my biz), some are finance related, and some are just fun. The commute to and from work (when I do actually go in to the office) is when I typically listen to them.

On the way home today, I was listening to Glenn and Helen Reynolds' podcast (he, of course, of Instapundit fame, and she of Dr. Helen fame). Their latest entry is on the politicization of Psychology. Here's Glenn's summary of the show.

Is psychology over-politicized? We interview Dr. Nicholas Cummings, a past President of the American Psychological Association, and coauthor of Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm, about the injection of politics into mental health in general, and the American Psychological Association in particular. Plus, why men are disappearing from the psychological profession.

This is an amazing interview from a guy on the inside. Well, he was on the inside until this liberal activist got labelled a right-wing wacko for daring to suggest the politics was becoming too strong an element of APA rulings and studies.

Here's a guy who's for same-sex marriage, but who was ostracized because of his suggestion that studies and data should inform APA ethical standards in that area rather than political posturing. The APA came within 2 votes of saying that "Reparitive Therapy" for homosexuals should be on its list of ethical violations. The studies are inconclusive on this matter, but it was politics that almost made mentioning these programs to a patient a license-yanking offense.

And speaking of studies, you'll take studies done by or cited by the APA with a grain pillar of salt after listening to Dr. Cummings describe how information that didn't fit the political correctness standard was unreported, ignored or misrepresented. This I find incredibly interesting especially in regard to studies on same-sex marriage. I was quoted studies by the APA and other groups when I mentioned the news about how families continue to break down in today's more and more liberal climate. But given the incredible bias you'll hear about, anything coming from the big psychological groups is extremely suspect. If you put your faith in those groups, prepare to have your foundation shaken.

Unless you think that liberal politics should be the basis of sound psychological reasoning. Then you'll be just fine.

This is 25 minutes well spent. Have a listen.

Posted by Doug at March 17, 2006 09:15 PM

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