Category: Error

A New Ponzo Illusion

Most visual illusions are produced using carefully contrived drawings or gadgets to fool the visual system into thinking impossible things.  Recently,  waiting at a train station, I encountered a real-life Ponzo illusion. The Illusion The traditional form of the Ponzo illusion is produced by drawing a pair of receding railway lines. The context suggests different …

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Cochrane Catastrophe

Peter Gøtzsche’s Expulsion Triggers Mass Resignation The Board of a prestigious scientific organisation, The Cochrane Collaboration,  recently suffered a mass resignation.  This post documents the reasons why, using the words of the organisation itself. The board has been reduced from 13 to 6 members, following a vote to expel a founding member  for the first time in …

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Special issue on the PACE Trial

Critique by Keith Geraghty and Special Issue Editorial in the Journal of Health Psychology (July 31, 2017) I reproduce here my Editorial from the Special Issue of the Journal of Health Psychology on the PACE Trial. The issue contained an incisive critique of the trial by Dr. Keith J Geraghty (pictured). Keith Geraghty’s landmark paper, …

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Post-Traumatic Growth

Post-Traumatic Growth  Experiences of life disruption, threat, distress, or adversity can lead to positively evaluated “growth” (Tedeschi and Calhoun, 1995). It has been observed for centuries that benefit finding and posttraumatic growth (PTG) can follow the occurrence of traumatic events including accidents, warfare, death of a loved one, and cancer diagnosis and treatment (Stanton, 2010). …

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The PACE Trial: A Catalogue of Errors

What was the PACE Trial? Rarely in the history of clinical medicine have doctors and patients been placed so bitterly at loggerheads. The dispute had been a long time coming. Thirty years ago, a few psychiatrists and psychologists offered a hypothesis based on a Psychological Theory in which ME/CFS is constructed as a psychosocial illness. According …

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Psychology – Science or Delusion?

‘Mass Delusion’ Psychology is full of theories, not ‘General Theories’, but ‘Mini-Theories’ or ‘Models’.  Most Mini-Theories/Models are wrong.  Unfortunately these incorrect theories and models often persist in everyday practice. This happens because Psychologists are reluctant to give up their theories. These incorrect theories then act like ‘mass delusions’, which can have consequences for others, especially …

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Stopping the Obesity ‘Epidemic’

A powerful new explanation of the obesity ‘epidemic’ that reveals some surprising but brutal truths about the condition. For example, it is not generally accepted that obesity is unavoidable for the majority of people in contemporary living conditions. Without radical changes, the ‘epidemic’ will get much, much worse.

The Persistence of Error

There is an embarrassing, unanswered question about theories and models in Psychology that is screaming to be answered. If the evidence in support of Psychology’s models and theories is so meagre and feeble, how have they survived for such a long time? The scientific method is intended to be a fail-safe procedure for abandoning disconfirmed …

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Psychology as a Natural Science. Part I: Measurement

Psychology has fallen somewhat awkwardly between the biological and social sciences. Suffering existential doubt, and always looking over their shoulders, Psychologists never quite found a place of comfort at the high table of Science.

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