New Developments in Science and Pseudoscience in Psychology
Friday, May 23, 2014,
1:00 PM - 2:20 PM
We present new findings regarding scientific and pseudoscientific treatments and theories in psychology that bear on (a) the current state of facilitated communication, (b) dissociative identity disorder, (c) thought field therapy and energy therapies, and (d) the scientist-practitioner gap in beliefs about repressed memory.
Eleven years after the publication of the book Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology (SPCP), three of the original authors and two presenters significantly influenced by the book, provide an updated status report regarding selected pseudoscientific practices in psychology. What positive developments, in scientific psychology, if any, have occurred since the publication of SPCP, and what pseudoscientific practices have emerged over the past decade? Lilienfeld and Marshall present on the comeback of facilitated communication, a discredited treatment for autism with a history of problematic outcomes. They present their findings suggesting that this intervention has experienced a revival in many quarters and examine the implications of these troubling developments for the conduct and dissemination of psychological science in the clinical community. Lynn’s presentation focuses on the highly controversial condition: dissociative identity disorder. He will examine widely used techniques that carry the risk of the iatrogenic creation of symptoms, argue that the case that trauma produces dissociation is not convincing, and present new findings regarding dissociation and memory and perceptual commission errors and sleep disturbances. Pignotti presents her expert insights regarding so called “energy therapies,” including recent developments in Thought Field Therapy, an intervention that uses tapping on purported meridian points on the body to relieve symptoms. She discusses the recent move by APA Continuing Education to provide credit approval for workshops on this topic. Patihis presents data from a recent Psychological Science article that shows that clinicians believe in the concept of repressed memory of trauma much more so than researchers and memory and cognition experts. He also presents new information from his research, not published previously, regarding qualitative responses provided by alternative therapists. Carol Tavris, a champion of scientific psychology and outspoken critic of pseudoscience, will serve as the discussant, providing her unique perspective based on decades of scrutiny of pseudoscientific practices.