The validity of the DSM
How is collective asessment of traits that are held in one's psyche using such tools as labeling one with a disorder even begin to reach a scientific standard? Such an assessment seems to be void of any sort of discernment beyond the properties that one has percieved in their patient in order to label them in such a way, but it is QUITE obvious that those with similar disorders rarely have similar cases, and thus rarely should be treated in the same manner. This arouses in myself the suspicion of American psychology as a whole, as such labels are the basis for ALL of psychology, even Socioinics, though Socionics takes quite a different approach. One's information metabolism determines the speed and accuarcy one percieves information of a certain kind, and only describes the possible ways a person might behave with such a metabolism, and as we know, there could be several. While the validity of this entire system is still in question, I believe it to be far superior then the aforementioned system whose assumptions of particular traits are based upon anecdotal information that one gets, and from there, is applied to certain criteria in order to label you in some sort of way. So, to what degree are such labels accuarate, and for what reasons have they not been sufficiently challenged, at least to my knowledge?
While I know many psychological terms have been debunked over the course of psychology's history, it seems to me that attempting to assess one in such a manner is psuedo-science, at best. So why in god's name are they doing this!?
You know the answer - it's the easiest explanation of any happening. "Ah! He's a ...! What else can you expect from a ..."
Unfortunately psychology is just that....pseudo science, it's just it's nature. It's so hard to prove anything in psychology that you almost have to take faith that anything you believe in is true...
Re: Validity of the DSM.
Since I am no medical expert I may be out of my depth but in my opinion the labels can be useful if the underlying conditon causing the abnormal behaviour or other difficulties is sufficiently similar to respond to similar treatment: medication, therapy etc. A certified diagnosis can help by making unusual behaviour and other difficulties more understandable, for people themselves as well as for their closest ones. Even when no proper cure is available it can be easier to know that it is not just a question of irresponsibility or ill-wil but there simply is something wrong with the brain causing many difficulties beyond the indivual's control. Meeting other people with similar difficulties can then also help in finding ways to better adapt to life.
Originally Posted by MysticSonic
The functioning of the human mind is even today not very well understood so it can be pretty nigh impossible to say when this happen to be the case. What is classified as normal vs. abnormal behaviour is always very much culturally dependant and there are obvious dangers in expecting everyone to behave in the same way and thus arbitrarily defining normal variation of human behaviour as pathological. I believe that particularly in this respect Socionics and other personality theories can make an important contribution in helping people better understand themselves and each other. For example extraverts quite often seem to think that introverts are just shy and can be cured by little ecouragement and socializing whereas many introverts can testify that even when they do enjoy other people's company, and may not even have trouble talking to strangers, they still need a lot of time alone in order to rest and relax.
Labels can be, and often have been, highly counterproductive if they are used for namecalling or as a cheap pseudoscientific subtitute for listening to people and truly caring about their problems. Often it is easy to see how the difficulties people have to deal with manifest in their behaviour but very hard and time-consuming to find out what really causes the difficulties and how they best could be cured or at least ameliorated. It is unfortunately also much easier to just blame the individual rather than to acknowledge that there can be something seriously wrong in the unsupportive or even hostile enviroment where the "abnormal" person has to cope to the best of his abilities.
As earlier commentators mentioned psychology is in many ways not entirely scientifically reliable and often it is best to consider different theories and "labels" as just one possible working hypothesis. If the theory seems to fit the facts and have predictive value it may prove useful for understanding and treating people as well as creating new testable hypotheses - if the theory does not fit the facts it must be revised or discarded. In this respect Socionics is just one possible approach to explaining human behaviour. Socionics seems to offer very far-reaching explanatory powers - and in my opinion it often seems to have surprisingly good predictive value - but the claims of different "socionists" are often contradictory and unfortunately poorly tested against reality. Therefore I would say that pretty much everything even in socionics needs to be, and indeed should be, questioned.
Sorry it was me again. Apparantely I seem to somehow get logged out automatically once in a while.
Psuedo-science rarely can produce science better then psuedo-science, especially when one uses the same methods to obtain their data and draw their conclusions.
These labels are often malplaced and do not account for a number of a person's traits. One can be obviously pyschologically pathological and still not fit the specific criteria in order to specify such a label, and even when they do, they ignore the lack of other traits as something to be simply ignored, and at best, recognized and then dismissed as something to address once the "core problem" has been addressed, yet I fail to see how this could be of benefit to the person under the psychological supervision and counselling. Attempting to grasp the nature of a person while ignoring certain aspects of it is something that is often, for some ABSURD reason, used as a means of coming to an understanding of their patient to the degree that would be beneficial to their patient; at times, a lack of such an understanding can drive one deeper into pathology.
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