Are there significant difficulties currently emerging from within the heart of the international Psychology profession?

It seems that this might be the case.

I will introduce you to this culturally important topic by means of the quotation immediately below. It is an investigative report into the international Psychology Community that was first published in 2012. The report broadly relates to what I feel that many people might see as being the unbecoming professional attitude and behaviour of certain sections and groups of the international Psychology fraternity. In this presentation I am not implying that all psychology practitioners are engaged in the professional shortcomings cited throughout this blog!

(Note: I have amended this blog by adding an allied article relating to psychiatry. This appears as a separate addendum a little further down)

Quote:

“Measuring the Prevalence of Questionable Research Practices With Incentives for Truth Telling…”

“… We assume that the vast majority of researchers are sin-cerely motivated to conduct sound scientific research. Further-more, most of the respondents in our study believed in the integrity of their own research and judged practices they had engaged in to be acceptable. However, given publication pres-sures and professional ambitions, the inherent ambiguity of the defensibility of “questionable” research practices, and the well-documented ubiquity of motivated reasoning (Kunda, 1990), researchers may not be in the best position to judge the defensibility of their own behavior. This could in part explain why the most egregious practices in our survey (e.g., falsify-ing data) appear to be less common than the relatively less questionable ones (e.g., failing to report all of a study’s condi-tions). It is easier to generate a post hoc explanation to justify removing nuisance data points than it is to justify outright data falsification, even though both practices produce similar consequences…”.

(I emboldened and italicised the text)

Source

I present you with ten feature stories to consider:

Note: All text within items 1-10 below is quoted from the source link immediately adjacent to it.

1. The Problem With Psychology

A brief history of the heterodox movement in psychology. What Is the Point of the Heterodox Movement in Psychology? The Heterodox Movement in Psychology serves a primary purpose: to challenge the field’s prevailing narratives, develop a truly pluralistic approach within academic psychology, and to increase viewpoint diversity in the field. This movement genuinely seeks to change the playing field.

Source

2. Why Modern Clinical Psychology May Be in Trouble

Today’s clinical science might actually limit professionals.

Source

3. A Revolution Is Happening in Psychology, Here’s How It’s Playing Out

In the last decade, behavioral scientists concluded that their field had taken a wrong turn. Efforts to root out false findings and bad practices spurred a crisis now poised to transform the landscape of psychology. Meet four scientists who are leading the charge.

Source

4. Psychologists Have a Plan to Fix the Broken Science of Psychology

There was something wrong with psychology. A cascade of warning signs arrived all at once in 2011. Famous psychological experiments failed, over and over, when researchers re-did them in their own labs. Even worse, the standard methods researchers used in their labs turned out under close scrutiny to be wishy-washy enough to prove just about anything. Nonsense, ridiculous claims turned up in major journals. It was a moment of crisis.

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5. How much of the psychology literature is wrong?

A replication movement is afoot in psychology. But researchers disagree about the scope and significance of its findings so far.

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6. Psychology’s Credibility Crisis: the Bad, the Good and the Ugly

As more studies are called into question and researchers bicker over methodology, the field is showing a healthy willingness to face its problems 2016

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7. Fraud Case Seen as a Red Flag for Psychology Research NY Times

In a survey of more than 2,000 American psychologists scheduled to be published this year, Leslie John of Harvard Business School and two colleagues found that 70 percent had acknowledged, anonymously, to cutting some corners in reporting data. About a third said they had reported an unexpected finding as predicted from the start, and about 1 percent admitted to falsifying data.

Source

8. Psychology Rife with Inaccurate Research Findings

Latest scandal one in a series of embarrassments for psychology.

Source

9. Willingness to Share Research Data Is Related to the Strength of the Evidence and the Quality of Reporting of Statistical Results

Our findings on the basis of psychological papers suggest that statistical results are particularly hard to verify when reanalysis is more likely to lead to contrasting conclusions. This highlights the importance of establishing mandatory data archiving policies.

Source

10. Medical Error Interview

Author and psychologist Brian Hughes talks about how bad science and scientists can lead to harming people. Brian connects the dots between bad psychological science and how that can lead to medical error and patient harm.

Source

Addendum

(Added March 16th 2021)

The Troubled History of Psychiatry

Challenges to the legitimacy of the profession have forced it to examine itself, including the fundamental question of what constitutes a mental disorder

By Jerome Groopman

May 20, 2019

Published in the print edition of the May 27, 2019, issue [of The New Yorker magazine], with the headline “Medicine in Mind.”

Quote:

“…Modern medicine can be seen as a quest to understand pathogenesis, the biological cause of an illness. Once pathogenesis—the word comes from the Greek pathos (suffering) and genesis (origin)—has been established by scientific experiment, accurate diagnoses can be made, and targeted therapies developed. In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, there were all kinds of theories about what was causing it: toxicity from drug use during sex, allergic reactions to semen, and so on. Only after the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus helped lay such conjectures to rest did it become possible to use specific blood tests for diagnosis and, eventually, to provide antiviral drugs to improve immune defenses.

Sometimes a disease’s pathogenesis is surprising. As a medical student, I was taught that peptic ulcers were often caused by stress; treatments included bed rest and a soothing diet rich in milk. Anyone who had suggested that ulcers were the result of bacterial infection would have been thought crazy. The prevailing view was that no bacterium could thrive in the acidic environment of the stomach. But in 1982 two Australian researchers (who later won a Nobel Prize for their work) proposed that a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori was crucial to the onset of many peptic ulcers. Although the hypothesis was met with widespread scorn, experimental evidence gradually became conclusive. Now ulcers are routinely healed with antibiotics.

But what can medicine do when pathogenesis remains elusive? That’s a question that has bedevilled the field of psychiatry for nearly a century and a half. In “Mind Fixers” (Norton), Anne Harrington, a history-of-science professor at Harvard, follows “psychiatry’s troubled search for the biology of mental illness,” deftly tracing a progression of paradigms adopted by neurologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists, as well as patients and their advocates.

Her narrative begins in the late nineteenth century, when researchers explored the brain’s anatomy in an attempt to identify the origins of mental disorders. The studies ultimately proved fruitless, and their failure produced a split in the field. Some psychiatrists sought nonbiological causes, including psychoanalytic ones, for mental disorders. Others doubled down on the biological approach and, as she writes, “increasingly pursued a hodgepodge of theories and projects, many of which, in hindsight, look both ill-considered and incautious.” The split is still evident today.

The history that Harrington relays is a series of pendulum swings. For much of the book, touted breakthroughs disappoint, discredited dogmas give rise to counter-dogmas, treatments are influenced by the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry, and real harm is done to patients and their loved ones. One thing that becomes apparent is that, when pathogenesis is absent, historical events and cultural shifts have an outsized influence on prevailing views on causes and treatments. By charting our fluctuating beliefs about our own minds, Harrington effectively tells a story about the twentieth century itself.

In 1885, the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal noted, “The increase in the number of the insane has been exceptionally rapid in the last decade.” Mental asylums built earlier in the century were overflowing with patients. Harrington points out that the asylum may have “created its own expanding clientele,” but it’s possible that insanity really was on the rise, in part because of the rapid spread of syphilis. What we now know to be a late stage of the disease was at the time termed “general paralysis of the insane.” Patients were afflicted by dementia and grandiose delusions and developed a wobbly gait. Toward the end of the century, as many as one in five people entering asylums had general paralysis of the insane.

Proof of a causal relationship between the condition and syphilis came in 1897, and marked the first time, Harrington writes, that “psychiatry had discovered a specific biological cause for a common mental illness.” The discovery was made by the neurologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing (today best known for “Psychopathia Sexualis,” his study of sexual “perversion”) and his assistant Josef Adolf Hirschl. They devised an experiment that made use of a fact that was already known: syphilis could be contracted only once. The pair took pus from the sores of syphilitics and injected it into patients suffering from general paralysis of the insane. Then they watched to see if the test subjects became infected. Any patient who did could be said with certainty not to have had the disease before. As it turned out, though, none of the subjects became infected, leading the researchers to conclude that the condition arose from previous infection with syphilis.

This apparent validation of the biological approach was influential. “If it could be done once,” Harrington writes, “maybe it could be done again.” But the work on syphilis proved to be something of a dead end. Neurologists of the time, knowing nothing of brain chemistry, were heavily focussed on what could be observed at autopsy, but there were many mental illnesses that left no trace in the solid tissue of the brain. Harrington frames this outcome in the Cartesian terms of a mind-body dualism: “Brain anatomists had failed so miserably because they focused on the brain at the expense of the mind.”

Meanwhile, two neurologists, Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud, had been exploring a condition that affected both mind and body and that left no detectable trace in brain tissue: hysteria. The symptoms included wild swings of emotion, tremors, catatonia, and convulsions. Both men had studied under Jean-Martin Charcot, who believed that hysteria could arise from traumatic events as well as from physiological causes. Janet contended that patients “split off” memories of traumatic events and manifested them in an array of physical symptoms. He advocated hypnosis as a means of accessing these memories and discovering the causes of a patient’s malady. Freud believed that traumatic memories were repressed and consigned to the unconscious. He developed an interview method to bring them to consciousness, interpreted dreams, and argued that nearly all neuroses arose from repressed “sexual impressions.”

Freud acknowledged the fact “that the case histories I write should read like short stories and that, as one might say, they lack the serious stamp of science.” He justified the approach by pointing to the inefficacy of other methods and asserting that there was “an intimate connection between the story of the patient’s sufferings and the symptoms of his illness.” Many neurologists, responding to the demand for confessional healing, gave up on anatomy and adopted psychotherapeutics.

Soon, however, the limits of this approach, too, were exposed. During the First World War, men who returned from the trenches apparently uninjured displayed physical symptoms associated with hysteria. Clearly, they couldn’t all be manifesting neuroses caused by repressed sexual fantasies. The English physician Charles Myers coined the term “shell shock,” proposing a physiological cause: damage to the nervous system from the shock waves of artillery explosions. Yet that explanation wasn’t entirely satisfactory, either. Sufferers included soldiers who had not been in the trenches or exposed to bombing.

Harrington commends physicians who charted a middle course. Adolf Meyer, a Swiss-born physician who, in 1910, became the first director of the psychiatry clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, advocated an approach he called, variously, “psychobiology” and “common sense” psychiatry—the gathering of data without a guiding dogma. Meanwhile, in Europe, Eugen Bleuler, credited with coining the term “schizophrenia,” took a view somewhat similar to Meyer’s and incurred the wrath of Freud. In 1911, Bleuler left the International Psychoanalytical Association. “Saying ‘he who is not with us is against us’ or ‘all or nothing’ is necessary for religious communities and useful for political parties,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “All the same I find that it is harmful for science.

As the century progressed, the schism between the biological camp and the psychoanalytic camp widened. With advances in bacteriology, the biological camp embraced the idea that microbes in the intestine, the mouth, or the sinuses could release toxins that impaired brain functions. Harrington writes of schizophrenia treatments that included “removing teeth, appendixes, ovaries, testes, colons, and more.”

The most notorious mid-century surgical intervention was the lobotomy. Pioneered in the thirties, by Egas Moniz, whose work later won him the Nobel Prize, the treatment reached a grotesque apogee in America, with Walter Freeman’s popularization of the transorbital lobotomy, which involved severing connections near the prefrontal cortex with an icepick-like instrument inserted through the eye sockets. Freeman crisscrossed the country—a trip he called Operation Icepick—proselytizing for the technique in state mental hospitals.

On the nonbiological, analytic side of the discipline, world events again proved pivotal. The postwar period, dubbed “The Age of Anxiety” by W. H. Auden, was clouded by fears about the power of nuclear weapons, the Cold War arms race, and the possibility that communist spies were infiltrating society. In 1948, President Harry Truman told the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, “The greatest prerequisite for peace, which is uppermost in the minds and hearts of all of us, must be sanity—sanity in its broadest sense, which permits clear thinking on the part of all citizens.”

Accordingly, American neo-Freudians substituted anxiety for sex as the underlying cause of psychological maladies. They replaced Freudian tropes with a focus on family dynamics, especially the need for emotional security in early childhood. Mothers bore the brunt of this new diagnostic scrutiny: overprotective mothers stunted their children’s maturation and were, according to a leading American psychiatrist, “our gravest menace” in the fight against communism; excessively permissive mothers produced children who would become juvenile delinquents; a mother who smothered a son with affection risked making him homosexual, while the undemonstrative “refrigerator mother” was blamed for what is now diagnosed as autism.

In 1963, Betty Friedan’s “Feminine Mystique” denounced neo-Freudian mother blamers. She wrote, “It was suddenly discovered that the mother could be blamed for almost everything. In every case history of a troubled child . . . could be found a mother.” Her indictment was later taken up by the San Francisco Redstockings, a group of female psychotherapists who distributed literature to their A.P.A. colleagues which declared, “Mother is not public enemy number one. Start looking for the real enemy.”

Feminism furnished just one of several sweeping attacks on psychiatry that saw the enterprise as a tool of social control. In 1961, three influential critiques appeared. “Asylums,” by the sociologist Erving Goffman, compared mental hospitals to prisons and concentration camps, places where personal autonomy was stripped from “inmates.” Michel Foucault’s history of psychiatry, “Madness and Civilization,” cast the mentally ill as an oppressed group and the medical establishment as a tool for suppressing resistance. Finally, Thomas Szasz, in “The Myth of Mental Illness,” argued that psychiatric diagnoses were too vague to meet scientific medical standards and that it was a mistake to label people as being ill when they were really, as he termed it, “disabled by living”—dealing with vicissitudes that were a natural part of life.

By the early seventies, such critiques had entered the mainstream. Activists created the Insane Liberation Front, the Mental Patients’ Liberation Project, and the Network Against Psychiatric Assault. Psychiatry, they argued, labelled people disturbed in order to deprive them of freedom.

Challenges to the legitimacy of psychiatry forced the profession to examine the fundamental question of what did and did not constitute mental illness. Homosexuality, for instance, had been considered a psychiatric disorder since the time of Krafft-Ebing. But, in 1972, the annual A.P.A. meeting featured a panel discussion titled “Psychiatry: Friend or Foe to Homosexuals?” One panelist, disguised with a mask and a wig, and using a voice-distorting microphone, said, “I am a homosexual. I am a psychiatrist. I, like most of you in this room, am a member of the A.P.A. and am proud to be a member.” He addressed the emotional suffering caused by social attitudes, and called for the embrace of “that little piece of humanity called homosexuality.” He received a standing ovation.

Homosexuality was still listed as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, even as many psychiatrists clearly held a different view. Robert Spitzer, an eminent psychiatrist and a key architect of the DSM, was put in charge of considering the issue, and devised what has become a working criterion for mental illness: “For a behavior to be termed a psychiatric disorder it had to be regularly accompanied by subjective distress and/or ‘some generalized impairment in social effectiveness of functioning.’ ” Spitzer noted that plenty of homosexuals didn’t suffer distress (except as a result of stigma and discrimination) and had no difficulty functioning socially. In December, 1973, the A.P.A. removed homosexuality from the DSM.

Today, around one in six Americans takes a psychotropic drug of some kind. The medication era stretches back more than sixty years and is the most significant legacy of the biological approach to psychiatry. It has its roots in the thirties, when experiments on rodents suggested that paranoid behavior was caused by high dopamine levels in the brain. The idea that brain chemistry could offer a pathogenesis for mental illness led researchers to hunt for chemical imbalances, and for medications to treat them.

In 1954, the F.D.A., for the first time, approved a drug as a treatment for a mental disorder: the antipsychotic chlorpromazine (marketed with the brand name Thorazine). The pharmaceutical industry vigorously promoted it as a biological solution to a chemical problem. One ad claimed that Thorazine “reduces or eliminates the need for restraint and seclusion; improves ward morale; speeds release of hospitalized patients; reduces destruction of personal and hospital property.” By 1964, some fifty million prescriptions had been filled. The income of its maker—Smith, Kline & French—increased eightfold in a period of fifteen years.

Next came sedatives. Approved in 1955, meprobamate (marketed as Miltown and Equanil) was hailed as a “peace pill” and an “emotional aspirin.” Within a year, it was the best-selling drug in America, and by the close of the fifties one in every three prescriptions written in the United States was for meprobamate. An alternative, Valium, introduced in 1963, became the most commonly prescribed drug in the country the next year and remained so until 1982.

One of the first drugs to target depression was Elavil, introduced in 1961, which boosted available levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter related to adrenaline. Again there was a marketing blitz. Harrington mentions “Symposium in Blues,” a promotional record featuring Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Artie Shaw. Released by RCA Victor, it was paid for by Merck and distributed to doctors. The liner notes included claims about the benefits that patients would experience if the drug was prescribed for them.

Focus shifted from norepinephrine to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and, in 1988, Prozac appeared, soon followed by other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Promotional material from GlaxoSmithKline couched the benefits of its SSRI Paxil in cozy terms: “Just as a cake recipe requires you to use flour, sugar, and baking powder in the right amounts, your brain needs a fine chemical balance.”

Yet, despite the phenomenal success of Prozac, and of other SSRIs, no one has been able to produce definitive experimental proof establishing neurochemical imbalances as the pathogenesis of mental illness. Indeed, quite a lot of evidence calls the assumption into question. Clinical trials have stirred up intense controversy about whether antidepressants greatly outperform the placebo effect. And, while SSRIs do boost serotonin, it doesn’t appear that people with depression have unusually low serotonin levels. What’s more, advances in psychopharmacology have been incremental at best; Harrington quotes the eminent psychiatrist Steven Hyman’s assessment that “no new drug targets or therapeutic mechanisms of real significance have been developed for more than four decades.” This doesn’t mean that the available psychiatric medication isn’t beneficial. But some drugs seem to work well for some people and not others, and a patient who gets no benefit from one may do well on another. For a psychiatrist, writing a prescription remains as much an art as a science.

Harrington’s book closes on a sombre note. In America, the final decade of the twentieth century was declared the Decade of the Brain. But, in 2010, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health reflected that the initiative hadn’t produced any marked increase in rates of recovery from mental illness. Harrington calls for an end to triumphalist claims and urges a willingness to acknowledge what we don’t know.

Although psychiatry has yet to find the pathogenesis of most mental illness, it’s important to remember that medical treatment is often beneficial even when pathogenesis remains unknown. After all, what I was taught about peptic ulcers and stress wasn’t entirely useless; though we now know that stress doesn’t cause ulcers, it can exacerbate their symptoms. Even in instances where the discovery of pathogenesis has produced medical successes, it has often worked in tandem with other factors. Without the discovery of H.I.V. we would not have antiretroviral drugs, and yet the halt in the spread of the disease owes much to simple innovations, such as safe-sex education and the distribution of free needles and condoms.

Still, the search for pathogenesis in psychiatry continues. Genetic analysis may one day shed light on the causes of schizophrenia, although, even if current hypotheses are borne out, it would likely take years for therapies to be developed. Recent interest in the body’s microbiome has renewed scrutiny of gut bacteria; it’s possible that bacterial imbalance alters the body’s metabolism of dopamine and other molecules that may contribute to depression. Meanwhile, Edward Bullmore, the chief of psychiatry at Cambridge University, argues that the pathogenesis of mental disorders will be deciphered by linking the workings of the mind to that of the immune system. Bullmore’s evidence, presented in his recent book, “The Inflamed Mind” (Picador), is largely epidemiological: inflammatory illness in childhood is associated with adult depression, and people with inflammatory autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis are often depressed.

It’s too early to say whether any of these hypotheses could hold the key to mental illness. More important, we’d do better not to set so much store by the idea of a single key. It’s more useful to think in terms of cumulative advances in the field. Many people have been helped, and the stigma both of severe mental illness and of fleeting depressive episodes has been vastly reduced. Practitioners and potential patients are more knowledgeable than ever about the range of treatments available. In addition to medication and talk therapy, there have been other approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which was propounded in the seventies by the psychiatrist Aaron Beck. He posited that depressed individuals habitually felt unworthy and helpless, and that their beliefs could be “unlearned” with training. An experiment in 1977 showed that cognitive-behavioral therapy outperformed one of the leading antidepressants of the time. Thanks to neuroscience, we can demonstrate that cognitive-behavioral therapy causes neuronal changes in the brain. (This is also true of learning a new language or a musical instrument.) It may be that the more we discover about the brain the easier it will be to disregard the apparent divide between mind and body.

In the late nineties, as an oncologist, I treated a teacher in her fifties suffering from metastatic melanoma. It had spread from her upper arm to lymph nodes in one of her armpits and her neck. The surgeon had removed as much of the disease as he could, and referred her to me because I had previously conducted early clinical trials of an agent called interferon. Interferon is a naturally occurring protein that our bodies produce as part of the immune response to infection. Initially hailed as a possible panacea for all cancers, interferon eventually proved beneficial for some twenty per cent of patients with metastatic melanoma. But the treatment required high doses, which sometimes caused considerable side effects, including depression.

My patient had been widowed and she had no children. “My pupils are my kids,” she said. Unable to teach, she missed the uplift of the classroom. She told me that she was anxious and had been unable to sleep well; she knew that the treatment might not help, and would make her feel sick. In the past, she had experienced depression, and, before I administered interferon, I wanted her to consult a psychiatrist at the hospital who served as a liaison between his department and the oncology unit. He was in his early sixties, with a graying beard and a wry sense of humor: the staff often remarked that he reminded them of Freud. But, unlike Freud, he was not dogmatic. He treated his patients, variously, with medications, talk therapy, hypnosis, and relaxation techniques, often combining several of these.

It was a pragmatic, empirical approach, trying to find what worked for each patient. I admired his humility and reflected that his field was not so unlike my own, where, despite a growing knowledge of the pathogenesis of cancer, one could not precisely predict whether a patient would benefit from a treatment or suffer pointlessly from its side effects. In some sense, everything my colleague and I did for the patient was in the end biological. Words can alter, for better or worse, the chemical transmitters and circuits of our brain, just as drugs or electroconvulsive therapy can. We still don’t fully understand how this occurs. But we do know that all these treatments are given with a common purpose based on hope, a feeling that surely has its own therapeutic biology. ♦”

Source

References relating to bi polar disorder

Australian General Practice of Psychiatry

Quote

“…While 10 years ago there was concern that bipolar disorder was being under-diagnosed, there is now growing evidence that the pendulum has swung to the opposite direction of overdiagnosis, particularly for bipolar II disorder.6

The first evidence for this came from two US centres in 2008,7,8 which reported that a high proportion of patients presenting to clinical services with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder were unable to have that diagnosis verified by formal structured interviews.

It appeared that the diagnosis was being made in many people with transient mood instability. The formal interviews demonstrated that many of these patients had other conditions such as borderline personality disorder, unipolar depression and impulse control disorders”

2. Medical Journal of Australia

Quote:

There is no definitive diagnostic system for bipolar disorder. Significant in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV17 and the World Health Organization’s ICD-1018 disease classifications mean that some patients will be diagnosed with bipolar disorder under one system but not the other. There are also a number of controversial areas within the DSM system (Box 2). Additionally, inability to confirm a diagnosis of bipolar disorder may be unavoidable, as neither diagnostic system allows the diagnosis of bipolar disorder until a full episode of mania or hypomania has occurred, yet many patients will commence their illness with an episode of depression, and may have had hypomanic symptoms that, for example, did not meet criteria for duration of symptoms. Therefore, there is intrinsic diagnostic delay…”

3. The existential crisis of bipolar II disorder

Quote:

“The issue of categorical vs. dimensional classification of bipolar disorder continues to generate controversy as it has for generations. Despite the evidence that no psychiatric disorder has discrete boundaries separating pathological and nonpathological states, and within a disorder, no clear differences separate subtypes-which would suggest a more dimensional approach-there are valid reasons to continue with our current categorical system, which distinguishes bipolar I from bipolar II disorder. Complicating the issue, a number of interested constituencies, including patients and their families, clinicians, scientists/researchers, and governmental agencies and insurance companies have different interests and needs in this controversy. This paper reviews both the advantages and disadvantages of continuing the bipolar I/bipolar II split vs. redefining bipolar disorder as one unified diagnosis. Even with one unified diagnosis, other aspects of psychopathology can be used to further describe and classify the disorder. These include both predominant polarity and categorizing symptoms by ACE-activity, cognition and energy. As a field, we must decide whether changing our current classification before we have a defining biology and genetic profile of bipolar disorder is worth the disruption in our current diagnostic system.

I emboldened the text.

The consequences

If the words in this presentation seem to have a degree of validity to you what might this mean?

Have you heard about Kundalini meditation and yoga?

By experiencing the Kundalini it is generally considered by meditators that…

“…You have a newfound strength and clarity that allows you to make positive changes in your life without fear. Your creativity surges. It’s a surge of energy that may be either gentle and gradual, or sudden and intense…”

Source

If you are interested in the subject of the Kundalini these three links might be of interest to you.

Link one

Link two

Link three

Be aware if you care to fully experience the Kundalini it is important that you have an experienced professional guide to assist you. Otherwise it can be a hazardous and sometimes dangerous undertaking.

Towards a new Psychology for the 21st Century

A review of the 2006 book publication ‘Irreducible mind: Towards a Psychology for the 21st Century’ written by Ulrich Mohrloff

Because I believe that Mohrloff’s words are ageless I do not see the fourteen year time gap between when he wrote his review and today as being relevant.

In my opinion this book review by Mohrloff is a must read for readers who seek to better understand and appreciate the original corner stones of contemporary psychology and psychiatry. Mohrloff talks at great length about what he sees are the two founding ‘fathers’ of these two mental health disciplines of medicine. These persons are Myers and James.

For the purposes of this blog I have linked psychology and psychiatry in the manner that I have as a matter of convenience. In my opinion they are much the same. I say this in the sense that neither of these disciplines accept the fact that the real world, together with our presence in it are by nature ‘flippant’ and unpredictable. In other words what is the ‘normal’ yard stick upon which we may observe and measure our every day life attitudes and subsequent behavior? This is whether they be socially correct (moral) or otherwise.

I think that it is this unpredictability surrounding our lives that Mohrloff is drawing our attention to. He seems to be saying that life should be considered to exist in the continuum of some sort of wider holistic whole that we have minimal control over yet at the same time this whole is like the grand concert master of every aspect of our lives. For example I will quote a few lines from chapter 2 of Mohrloff’s review…

Quote:

“The second chapter (by Emily Williams Kelly) summarizes the theoretical and empirical contributions of Myers to the investigation of the mind-body relation. His huge body of published writings is essentially an elaboration of the view that certain phenomena of psychology, particularly of abnormal psychology and psychical research, demonstrate that human personality is far more extensive than we ordinarily realize. According to Myers, our normal waking consciousness (which he calls the supraliminal consciousness) amounts to a relatively small selection of psychological elements and processes from a more extensive consciousness (which he calls the Subliminal Self), and the biological or-ganism, instead of producing consciousness, limits and shapes ordinary waking con-sciousness out of this larger, mostly latent, Self. In Myers’s view, evolution has a subjective element from the start.  It began with an un-differentiated sensory capacity,… (now quoting Myers)

“… which possessed the power of responding in an indefinite number of ways to an indefinite num-ber of stimuli. It was only the accident of its exposure to certain stimuli and not to others which has made it what it now is. And having shown itself so far modifiable as to acquire these highly specialised senses which I possess, it is doubtless still modifiable in direc-tions as unthinkable to me as my eyesight would have been unthinkable to the oyster. (Myers, 1889, p. 190) …”

Myers believed in the metaphysical elements existing in the wider world around us. James paid tribute to Myers in his eulogy to Myers in 1901.

Also see

Morhloff’s review

Consider this idea about thoughts

The conceptual (Implicit) IT model of all that IS.

Suppose that in the beginning, there was a blob of awareness and nothing else, and so there is nothing for the blob to be aware of except itself. This is an infinite stochastic neural network that represents connections between nodes. Lets call this blob “IT”.

Suppose this state of existence was unsatisfying to the “IT, and so it struggled to create something of which it could be aware which could be random noise. This noise might be considered as being the influences of random thoughts.

Suppose initially, the best it could do was to produce clones of thoughts so then at least, it and its clones could be aware of each other. These clones might be seen as patterns within the “IT” stochastic neural network. Each clone contain the influences of random thoughts.

Then, once this process started, there would be no particular point at which it should stop, so we could assume it would continue. This is until there were an unlimited number of “IT’s” each aware of all the other “ITs” within the wider “IT” neural network. We may elect to call these sub “ITs” nodes. This includes their inherent and indeterminable random thoughts.

The neural network is also constructed to have feed back that we might consider to be an influence guided by a non-local Quantum Potential.

Different types of feed back are possible. Because we assume the neural network is aware, then we can suppose the network will tend to provide positive feed back to features that it finds interesting and provide negative feed back if they are not. In such instances some of these negative features die.

However, if each succeeding node had only a finite awareness, the degree to which it could be aware of other individually cloned nodes, would be reduced in proportion to the total number of other nodes. So if a node allowed itself to be equally aware of each other nodes its awareness of each other node would be very weak. This includes its random noise (thoughts).

As the random noise will randomly add new features to existing nodes features of interest, this will create new variations. These variations will also receive positive feed back if they are interesting and negative feed back if they are not.

However, we can suppose that with the wider “IT” awareness involving inherent free will could choose to be aware of both strong and weaker nodes . It might see that both have a role to play within its entangled Quantum Potential system.

We might assume that random noise (thoughts) will randomly add new features to existing features to nodes . This includes their inherent thoughts. Such features can be considered as being “IF’s”.

So we might assume that the noisy stochastic neural network of “IT” will create increasingly complex new patterns of interest to it. These patterns of influences might be seen as being without limit indeterminable “IFs”. We might then say these random “IF’s” are possibilities to do something.

This means that the original nominated blob of “IT” has become analogous to an infinitely creative brain. This is a brain of influences derived from its entangled Quantum Potential system. This is into random patterns of somethings. These patterns of somethings gradually fashion meaningful images for themselves. This is by means of thoughts and patterns of thoughts that mean something unto themselves.

We might consider from this that the original “IT” blob of awareness is the reference frame of all that “IS”

In a temporal sense because human’s don’t have the ability to build infinite stochastic neural networks computer scientists have found that a finite sized network (with a suitable computer feed back mechanism) are able to produce patterns analogous to quantum matter embedded in an expanding and ‘entangled’ 3 dimensional space. This quantum matter might be considered as being particles. These are particles that are influenced to remain as either particles or waves by the non-local Quantum Potential.

We might assume from this that reality as we generally understand and experience it to be consist of such patterns within the non-local Quantum Potential network. This is a network that has no potential limits of size or time.

This described temporal reality, entangled with the Quantum Potential might be comparable to what I describe as being temporal “IS”. This is a temporal “IS” that is analogous to photo-realistic images entangled within an infinitely created brain of “IF”s.

How could one fit this scheme into this “IT” “IS” and “IF model”?

Suppose that as a result of being clones, all the nodes can to some degree share each others awareness. This includes their inherent thoughts. This being the case we might then consider that it is be possible for them to coordinate the strengths with which they choose to employ their awareness and thoughts to link to other nodes.

Let us further suppose that these patterns of thought nodes collectively try various other schemes but do not obtain satisfying results. This is until they try a scheme analogous to the finite sized computer that was able to produce patterns analogous to quantum matter embedded within an expanding 3 dimensional space.

The nodes would then find that this scheme allows them to generate patterns of awareness (including thoughts) that correspond to quantum matter embedded in an expanding 3 dimensional space.

Then we could suppose that the nodes collectively find this sufficiently interesting that they stick with this scheme.

If this is the case it might follow that in the non-local “IT” model, space and matter consist of patterns of awareness embedded with thoughts and patterns of thoughts. These patterns are determined by the degree to which nodes are aware of other nodes. This assembly of nodes are entangled with the ontological reference frame of the Quantum Potential.

If the Quantum Potential (in this instance assuming it to be the originating blob of awareness) is the holistic reference frame of all that “IS” this might then allow us to speculate that human awareness (including that of all other life forms) are entangled within the Quantum Potential reference frame of “IT” awareness. We might then consider that there is a universal consciousness. This is as postulated by the Eastern Tradition. The only difference is that the Eastern Tradition refers to the analogous Quantum Potential reference frame as being consciousness. This is whereas I refer to it as being awareness.

In my concept-science modelling I employ both of these words in different ways for different reasons.

In my earlier writings I refer to my concept of “IT” awareness as Primordial-Awareness that is analogous to a Naked-Castle.

If you have a strong interests in this topic you may find these three items of additional benefit:

Item one

Item two

Item three

It seems that we may have two states of conscious awareness in our memories

Although this science document is now somewhat outdated I feel that this does not detract from the interesting and seeming compelling nature of its contents. From my life experience I can identify with the  conclusions of the article. You will also find that this replicable physics experiment conducted on behalf of the United States Navy supports this theory. More specific physics verification of this can be found in the video presentation “Infinite potential. The life and ideas of David Bohm” by Paul Howard. The trailer for this film can be found here.

The link

Is this a sound manner in which to understand the mind and brain nexus?

I look at the four descriptive zones that broadly constitute the human mind and brain nexus. This is in relationship to our informational decision making processes.

This blog is in two sections. Section one that follows depicts the illustrative processes pertinent to the systematisation of random ontological information. This is information into packets and patterns of mechanical [logical] information. This system-process is the means by which decisions and types of decisions are made. Section two, immediately thereafter, provides elementary information as to how the system works as an integrated process.*

Notes with respect to the workings and meaning of the “Four Dimensional Mind-Brain Operating Function”

A. What the illustrative process seeks to do is:-

1. Bring together the four descriptive ‘zones’ that largely constitute the human mind and brain nexus and how they might connect with each other with respect to our normal daily lives. These four zones are the Logical, Analytical, Fact Based Quantitive Zone (top left), The Organised Sequential Planned Detail Zone (bottom left), the Holistic Intuitive Integration Synthesising zone (top right) and the Interpersonal Feelings Based Kinestetic Emotional Zone (bottom right). All of these zones are packets of information that are interconnected as though they are somehow attached to a stochastic neural network (NN). This is akin to the human mind-brain operational nexus system (process).

2. Broadly demonstrate how the NN and process system works and how it might be a useful tool in the understanding of how human thought construction might take place in the manner that it does. This includes human behaviour types that may emanate therefrom.

B. How the NN and Process system works:-

1. The square box represents the complete system. The system is informational, indicative and fluid. It is a system that works by means of the process of collating, integrating and assimilating information on behalf of its owner with respect to their condition, activities and aspirations at any given time or location in their lives including when they are sleeping.

The upper left A, lower left B, Lower right C and upper right D represent the inherent learned knowledge and experiential experiences of the system as has been and is lived by its owner. This includes ontologically. One may assume from this that the Cerebral Mode Thinking Processes, Right Mode Thinking Processes , Limbic Mind Thinking Processess and Left Mode Thinking Processes are potential mind-brain informational tendencies and influences on standby, to be ‘absorbed’ by the informational system as shown in the illustration. This is information that might be useful for its owner in deciding to do this or that at any given time with respect to his/her hopes, expectations and desires in life.

The outer circle represents the symbolic separation of these described tendencies and influences. These tendencies and influences are like short-lived informational fluctuations within the system that are waiting to be called upon by the wider system to do something on behalf of its owner. All decisions to do something by the NN system process can be seen as being packages of diversified information of subtle tendencies and influences (these tendencies and influences can also be seen as either energy or potential energy).

The lower dotted line under the circle represents the presence of the human mind (M) within the NN system. The M draws upon the random information between itself and the subtle tendencies and influences of the wider NN system as described beyond the outer line. The mind then packages them into bundles of patterns of information that might be useful for the benefit of its owner. These respective bundles might also be seen as packages and patterns of information on standby to do something. They also contain ontological information that might include any hidden hopes, dreams and desires its owner might have.

Below this dotted line are the four zones as described in section A. All of these have separate informational tendencies or influences to think and behave in some way that can be brought to bear on behalf of its owner. All of these four informational tendencies and influences are broadly scattered across the whole of the NN process. They exist as small informational nodes that can collectively bundle themselves into patterns of information (something meaningful and specific) on behalf of their owner. This can also mean collectively potentially waiting to do something on behalf of their owner. Patterns of tendencies and influences are stronger and more meaningful than single informational nodes ( a single node might be an idea whereas a pattern of nodes is more likely to be a collection of ideas).

The closed circle of the illustration is divided into four equal zones across the horizontal and vertical plane. You will notice that the Holistic Intuitive Integrating Synthesising zone and the Interpersonal Feeling Kinesthetic Emotional zones are jointly adjacent to the Right Mode Thinking Processes tendencies and influences on the right perimeter of the square.

From this example you might see how the influences and tendencies relating to the other two zones, from an anti-clockwise perspective, align themselves with the Left Mode Thinking Processes and the Cerebral Mode Thinking Processes respectively.

By considering the alignment of each of these four zone quantities (blocks of specific NN influences and tendencies) with each of their adjacent modes of thinking processes you will probably notice how the whole of the NN processes (also embracing M) provide a descriptive snapshot of the wider system. It also appears to show how and why the Four Dimensional Brain-Mind Operating Function seems to provide sound insight into the wider human NN condition.

C. How decisions are made to do something:-

This is the operational (mechanical) aspect of the hypothesis. Upper left section A and lower left section B should be considered as being mechanically static. The moving part of the NN process system is represented by the three-pointed star depicted in the illustration. You will note how I have separated it from the mind area of the nexus (system and process). This is because at this point the M only contains random information that has no specific (without time) meaning. This three pointed star ‘plucks’ loose information from M. It is also representative of the workings of the human brain (not the brain itself) that is perpetually operating within the wider NN process system.

The star is attached to an axle as illustrated in the diagram. In this sense, the axle is the heart of the human brain setup. Subtle informational fluctuations exist within and between the four zones areas that send and receive tendency and influence impulses from one or more of the zones. This could significantly include them all if any given set of adverse circumstances that its owner is experiencing deems this as being instinctively necessary. This includes the degree of power of these tendencies and influences as well. For example if its owner’s life or family were being threatened that severely agitated the NN system process somehow. The brain (the axle) has three primary tendency and influence impulses. These are the reptilian impulse (the dominant implicit impulse of the system), the Neocortex and the Limbic impulses.

The star is not rigid, but is subtly, and sometimes violently, swaying and flexing back and forth throughout the four-zone NN process system. However, this is not in the mind zone, which remains mechanically static at all times. This movement relates to the hopes, desires and expectations, (whether emotionally ontological or not) of its owner at any given time or circumstance. It is the primary tendencies and influences of the human brain that always move and process packages and patterns of raw information from within the system, including M. This collated information is to address the expectations of its owner. This includes to merely think about something in some type of way or another.

I briefly summarise the key contents of this document as follows:-

1. The complete illustration relates to information contained within it that represents its owner’s normal daily circumstances. It also illustrates the diverse range of operational tendencies and influences that might apply with any given owner who makes a decision to do something in their lives.

2. I have shown how the moving three pointed star representing the human brain operates with respect to the wider NN process system. This is in relation to the axle of the stars that I refer to as being informationally representative of the human brain. I have briefly cited the three primary tendencies and influences of this brain as they are represented with the rest of the system by means of the star.

3. I have shown how the symbolic axle brain and its attached stars moves backwards and forwards as its owner feels the need to do something in their daily lives. This is in respect to the four informational zones as discussed in section A as well as the associated brain axis. This combined arrangement, including the three influences and tendencies of each arm of the star (Reptilian, Limbic and Neocortex) is also representative of the complete mind, brain and decision making process nexus of the illustration.

4. Allied comments:-

It is my belief that the Logical, Analytical and Fact Based Quantitative and the Organised Sequential Planned Detailed zones of the NN process system are the explicit [rational] influences, tendencies and effects of the system. I include the Neocortex and Limbic system sections in this as well. I consider that the remainder of the NN system process as illustrated and describe as being the implicit (ontological) influences and tendencies of the system. These are influences and tendencies that cannot be scientifically measured but they can be informationally demonstrated. This includes what I consider to be the primary influence and tendency of the NN process system that is the reptilian influence and tendency.

5. I have decided that it is not appropriate for me to attempt to describe the wider workings of MacLean’s Triune mind/brain model. It is far too detailed to do so within this short discussion document. This video and this presentation may help you to better understand MacLean’s theory.

* I have not explained in detail all operating functions of the system, nor their wider operating potential.

Why I identify with the ideas of the “father” of Psychology in the United States, William James

If you have read some of my science related writings you might understand that I believe that all “hidden” systems and processes relating to “reality” are implicit. I also suggest in my writings that metaphysical [ontological] science like the laws of nature are implicit.

In the various William James quotations cited below you will see how James talks about the problems of metaphysical science as it relates to the Discipline of Psychology. You will note in the final paragraph of this series of quotations of James’ ideas that he suggests that at some time into the future the Discipline of Psychology will need to come to terms with the metaphysical variables [I say implicit] of everyday life and the wider universe. He also seems to be saying that the science of Psychology will remain “deficient” until such time as this occurs.

Quotes: [I emboldened]

Preface V1

” I have kept close to the point of view of natural science throughout the book. Every natural science assumes certain data uncritically, and declines to challenge the elements between which its own laws obtain, and from which its own deductions are carried on. Psychology, the science of finite individual minds, assumes as its data (1) thoughts and feelings, and (2) a physical world in time and space with which they coexist and which (3) they know. Of course these data themselves are discussable, but the discussion of them (as of other elements) is called metaphysics and falls outside the province of this book…”. (I say that this is the case because it is implicit).

“…This book, assuming that thoughts and feelings exist and are vehicles of knowledge (I say information), thereupon contends that psychology when she has ascertained the empirical correlation of the various sorts of thought or feeling with definite conditions of the brain (I say explicit), can go no farther can go no farther, that is, as a natural science. If she goes farther she becomes metaphysical. All attempts to explain our phenomenally given thoughts as products of deeper-lying entities (whether the latter be named Soul, Transcendental Ego, Ideas, or Elementary Units of Consciousness ) are metaphysical. (I say all elements of the preceding sentence are implicit)…”

This book consequently rejects both the associationist and the spiritualist theories; and in this strictly positivistic point of view consists the only feature of it for which I feel tempted to claim originality. Of course this point of view is anything but ultimate. Men must keep thinking ; and the data assumed by psychology, just like those assumed by physics and the other natural sciences, must some time be overhauled. The effort to overhaul them clearly and thoroughly is metaphysics ; but metaphysics can only perform her task well when distinctly conscious of its great extent…” (I say that the universe is implicit and it is aware of itself as well as what is going on within itself).

“…Metaphysics fragmentary, irresponsible, and half-awake, and unconscious that she is metaphysical, spoils two good things when she injects herself into a natural science. And it seems to me that the theories both of a spiritual agent and of associated * ideas are, as they figure in the psychology-books, just such metaphysics as this. Even if their results be true (I say that they must be and that this shortcoming is a significant failing of psychology as a discipline of mental health medicine),…”

“…it would be as well to keep them, as thus presented, out of psychology as it is to keep the results of idealism out of physics…”

PREFACE. Vll

“I have therefore treated our passing thoughts as integers, and regarded tlie mere laws of their co-existence with brain-states as the ultimate laws for our science. The reader will in vain seek for any closed system in the book. It is mainly a mass of descriptive details, running out into queries which only a metaphysics (I say all that is implicit)…”

“…alive to the weight of her task can hope successfully to deal with…”

“…(I suggest what James is saying is that his psychology model is incomplete and will continue to be so until such time as psychologists can find a way of including all that is metaphysical [implicit] in their theoretical psychology models)…”

That will perhaps be centuries hence; and meanwhile the best mark of health that a science can show is this unfinished-seeming front…”

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