That’s a major problem, as in big, but also major as in Brenda Major. I have taken a brief look at the APA report, released yesterday (this is about mental health after abortion), to note that Brenda Major sat on the taskforce. That’s Brenda Major of “Abortion-Causes-No-Harm-but-I-Lost-Fifty-Percent-Of-My-Sample” fame.
What are the chances that she is going to look back, reevaluate and in one, deeply significant eureka moment–a flash of brilliance that prior to this point has evaded her–say: “Hey! My science wasn’t very good. Plus, I drew large conclusions from underwhelming evidence. My goodness–how I’ve misled many.”
There were two possible solutions: Either have NONE of the authors of abortion-related research on the panel. Or have ALL the authors of abortion-related research on the panel. (“all”–rather a sampling from “both sides.” Don’t see David Fergusson, or Priscilla Coleman on that panel, as authors, one very much pro-choice, of psychological research that shows harm after abortion. Interesting.)
The APA calls for better research. I am against swearing in writing; I see it as a sign I can’t think of any other words–ie. sub-par intellect. But as kids we all used to say this: “No shit, Sherlock.” And I think that’s an appropriate response for the erudite members of the APA “taskforce” today.
In Unrelated News (but not really)–today may be the day to have a read of the 2005 book Destructive Trends in Mental Health —a very fine synopsis of what might be going wrong in psychology today–especially at the APA level.