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Author Topic: The root causes of mental illness  (Read 4131 times)
bb113
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June 23, 2012, 09:37:23 PM
 #41

Point taken. I don't mean to be so antagonistic really. You are clearly out to help people and just trying to bounce ideas off of others with this thread. It's just talking about abstract concepts that guide human behaviour feels out of date to me. I got out of pysch, etc because noone really knows what works or keeps track very well, so it results in people endlessly arguing with each other with no real evidence supporting either side.

Let me put it this way:
Do you keep a list of successes and failures and score each patient on various parameters, then try to analyze this data to find correlations, followed by building a model of what factors are important in determining the success/failure of a certain approach? If not you should. Last I was involved the field really needed that.

Well, in terms of 'scoring' successes and failures, I haven't done that in an objective manner, no.  I documented therapy sessions with clients in the form of case notes, but none of my roles in the workplace have necessitated such a scoring, nor would I have been allowed time at work to devote to such objective scoring, nor would it have been feasible to even try.  That's definitely the downfall to being an intern -- I could only do so much.  My 'scoring' has only come from feedback from clients. I personally think I was quite successful with many people.  But, the average length of stay for patients at the hospital where I was working is only 5-7 days.  That doesn't really give you any length of time to form baseline data, apply an intervention, collect outcome data, then formulate correlations or conclusions.

I read that as there is not enough funding to go around so people are forced to do half-assed jobs. It is a common phenomenon in science right now.

Solutions:

1) Increase overall funding for [enter field here] so the job can get done right. Disadvantages: Increases waste, costs more.
2) Be more selective in who gets funded and give them more money so the job can get done right. Disadvantages: Less people get to be scientists/councilors/etc leading to less diversity of ideas.

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June 23, 2012, 10:01:48 PM
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Point taken. I don't mean to be so antagonistic really. You are clearly out to help people and just trying to bounce ideas off of others with this thread. It's just talking about abstract concepts that guide human behaviour feels out of date to me. I got out of pysch, etc because noone really knows what works or keeps track very well, so it results in people endlessly arguing with each other with no real evidence supporting either side.

Let me put it this way:
Do you keep a list of successes and failures and score each patient on various parameters, then try to analyze this data to find correlations, followed by building a model of what factors are important in determining the success/failure of a certain approach? If not you should. Last I was involved the field really needed that.

Well, in terms of 'scoring' successes and failures, I haven't done that in an objective manner, no.  I documented therapy sessions with clients in the form of case notes, but none of my roles in the workplace have necessitated such a scoring, nor would I have been allowed time at work to devote to such objective scoring, nor would it have been feasible to even try.  That's definitely the downfall to being an intern -- I could only do so much.  My 'scoring' has only come from feedback from clients. I personally think I was quite successful with many people.  But, the average length of stay for patients at the hospital where I was working is only 5-7 days.  That doesn't really give you any length of time to form baseline data, apply an intervention, collect outcome data, then formulate correlations or conclusions.

I read that as there is not enough funding to go around so people are forced to do half-assed jobs. It is a common phenomenon in science right now.

Solutions:

1) Increase overall funding for [enter field here] so the job can get done right. Disadvantages: Increases waste, costs more.
2) Be more selective in who gets funded and give them more money so the job can get done right. Disadvantages: Less people get to be scientists/councilors/etc leading to less diversity of ideas.



Well, that's part of it.  Funding is definitely an issue.  In Illinois where I live, funding has been severely cut to social service departments in recent years and it's not looking to improve anytime soon.  I wasn't paid for my internship at the hospital, and even still we were grossly understaffed.  3 counselors (myself and 2 social workers) are not nearly enough to work with a 30-person inpatient milieu.  It's not just counseling that we're responsible for, its assessments, discharges, case-management, and documenting every single interaction with the patients.  For example, if we have a group counseling session, then a case note is needed for every single person that participates in that group.

On an average day, I had to complete 3 assessments (about an hour-long each), document each assessment in the computer, provide a group counseling session and subsequently type a case note for every patient that attended the session.  These tasks alone would take up about 5-6 hours of my 8-hour work day with a half-hour lunch included.  That only leaves about 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours for all case-management related services and discharges.  When all is said and done, there is rarely any time for individual counseling sessions which are desperately needed.  Needless to stay, I often stayed late even when I wasn't required to.

Another issue is an almost complete lack of coordination between the medical staff and the social work staff.  The medical staff uses the medical model which is almost completely opposite of the social work model (though the two could be thought of as complimentary).  So, this adds confusion to the mix because a patient may hear one thing from a medical staff member and then hear something completely different from a social worker, and they're never really given an opportunity to be informed as to how these apparently contrasting pieces of information can compliment each other.

I will say this:  Having actually worked in the inpatient unit, I understand why patients usually receive inadequate treatment.  Given the current system, it's virtually impossible for a patient to really be given the time and attention they deserve.  As a result, you see very high rates of recidivism.  I remember seeing several of the same patients readmitted 3, 4, or even 5 times during the 9-month course of my internship.  It sucks.

Edit:  Another thing to consider is the time given to each patient from the doctors.  Many patients complain that their psychiatrist spends very little time with them.  It's not the doctor's fault.  The lead doctor on our unit works at 4 different hospitals throughout the day, and on average will see 35-40 patients in a day.  This gives him an average of 8 minutes to spend with each patient, and those 8 minutes include all the notes and charting that the doctor must report for each patient.  This means he has about 3-4 minutes each day to listen to a patient and prescribe/adjust medications.  Is 3-4 minutes per day enough?  Fuck no.

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June 23, 2012, 10:11:26 PM
 #43

Under those conditions, I would say things would be better if that doctor prescribed nothing at all. I have seen multiple people fucked up by bad prescriptions that I would have strongly recommended against if i had been present. For example, giving xanax to someone who drinks... even if they tell you they drink.
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June 23, 2012, 10:24:47 PM
 #44

Under those conditions, I would say things would be better if that doctor prescribed nothing at all. I have seen multiple people fucked up by bad prescriptions that I would have strongly recommended against if i had been present. For example, giving xanax to someone who drinks... even if they tell you they drink.

I agree.  It's a shame.

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June 23, 2012, 11:59:10 PM
 #45

There have been many studies that say that the most satisfying jobs are those that involve helping people. So why are the psych professions the cause of so much drug addiction by doctors and suicides by therapists? Simple, we have put the weight of the world on their shoulders. Their 'patients' are created by our monstrous social machines that chew us up and spit us out. Anyone left behind is relegated to a community outside their own..... Ya know what... I can't talk about this anymore. This system is totally fucked for the next 5-7 generations and that's only if we start to do something about it today. That's why I quit the system. The only person I can change is me.

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June 24, 2012, 12:09:04 AM
 #46

There have been many studies that say that the most satisfying jobs are those that involve helping people. So why are the psych professions the cause of so much drug addiction by doctors and suicides by therapists? Simple, we have put the weight of the world on their shoulders. Their 'patients' are created by our monstrous social machines that chew us up and spit us out. Anyone left behind is relegated to a community outside their own..... Ya know what... I can't talk about this anymore. This system is totally fucked for the next 5-7 generations and that's only if we start to do something about it today. That's why I quit the system. The only person I can change is me.

It is because the methods pyschs and sociologists use are largely ineffective and the people who do it know that the literature is not reliable. The anxiety/etc experienced by these people results from realizing they don't know wtf they are doing. There are people with problems who can be helped somehow, but no good, practical algorithm for figuring out how is available. The field needs to focus resources on assessing effectiveness properly and stop throwing a million sociologists with notebooks at the problem. The brain is just a really, really complex machine we don't have the schematics or source code for. If something is worth doing it is worth doing right and I have come to realize over the last year (I am a neuropharm grad student) much of biomed, psychology, and sociology is not being done right. These people need to start figuring out the power of math and real stats.
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June 24, 2012, 12:16:53 AM
 #47

There have been many studies that say that the most satisfying jobs are those that involve helping people. So why are the psych professions the cause of so much drug addiction by doctors and suicides by therapists? Simple, we have put the weight of the world on their shoulders. Their 'patients' are created by our monstrous social machines that chew us up and spit us out. Anyone left behind is relegated to a community outside their own..... Ya know what... I can't talk about this anymore. This system is totally fucked for the next 5-7 generations and that's only if we start to do something about it today. That's why I quit the system. The only person I can change is me.

It is because the methods pyschs and sociologists use are largely ineffective and the people who do it know that the literature is not reliable. The anxiety/etc experienced by these people results from realizing they don't know wtf they are doing. There are people with problems who can be helped somehow, but no good, practical algorithm for figuring out how is available. The field needs to focus resources on assessing effectiveness properly and stop throwing a million sociologists with notebooks at the problem. The brain is just a really, really complex machine we don't have the schematics or source code for. If something is worth doing it is worth doing right and I have come to realize over the last year (I am a neuropharm grad student) much of biomed, psychology, and sociology is not being done right. These people need to start figuring out the power of math and real stats.
I 85% agree with you except that there is a solution and it is really simple. I'll give you a hint, a big part of it is why I am in this forum.  Grin

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June 24, 2012, 01:56:12 AM
 #48

The brain is just a really, really complex machine we don't have the schematics or source code for.
Then Reverse Engineer it. For individuals capable, meditation. For healthcare professionals, tests, Q&A, scans.

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June 24, 2012, 02:00:10 AM
 #49

The brain is just a really, really complex machine we don't have the schematics or source code for.
Then Reverse Engineer it. For individuals capable, meditation. For healthcare professionals, tests, Q&A, scans.

That is a work in progress. There are fundamental problems with the current system leading to cronyism, not-enough-funding leading to half assism but not knowing where to put additional funding without wasting it, and just that it is a difficult puzzle to begin with.
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June 24, 2012, 02:18:43 AM
 #50

There have been many studies that say that the most satisfying jobs are those that involve helping people. So why are the psych professions the cause of so much drug addiction by doctors and suicides by therapists? Simple, we have put the weight of the world on their shoulders. Their 'patients' are created by our monstrous social machines that chew us up and spit us out. Anyone left behind is relegated to a community outside their own..... Ya know what... I can't talk about this anymore. This system is totally fucked for the next 5-7 generations and that's only if we start to do something about it today. That's why I quit the system. The only person I can change is me.

It is because the methods pyschs and sociologists use are largely ineffective and the people who do it know that the literature is not reliable. The anxiety/etc experienced by these people results from realizing they don't know wtf they are doing. There are people with problems who can be helped somehow, but no good, practical algorithm for figuring out how is available. The field needs to focus resources on assessing effectiveness properly and stop throwing a million sociologists with notebooks at the problem. The brain is just a really, really complex machine we don't have the schematics or source code for. If something is worth doing it is worth doing right and I have come to realize over the last year (I am a neuropharm grad student) much of biomed, psychology, and sociology is not being done right. These people need to start figuring out the power of math and real stats.

I agree, most psychologists and sociologists don't know what they're doing.  Much of the problem is that psychology and sociology is treated in the classroom as an isolated discipline.  If you try to bring up mathematics and try to use it to support a therapeutic model, good luck.  Believe me, I've tried.  Nobody wants to hear, for example, how the mathematical proof of 'the boundary of a boundary = 0' has implications for therapy.  Moreover, in research and statistics classes where mathematics do come into play, people over-emphasize the importance of mathematics to the point where they ignore the limitations of statistical analysis.  Correlation is often mistaken for causation, validity for soundness, and everyone thinks that just because something is published that it must be correct.

Case in point of the stupidity that I was taught, I had a social policy professor claim that "the cause of oppression and injustice in society is the result of bad social policies," to which she added, "which means that the only way to remove oppression and injustice is to create good social policies."

I raised my hand in class and said "bullshit."  Assuming her premise is true (which it's not), then it would be axiomatic that you need to remove ALL 'bad' social policies and start over from scratch.

I firmly believe that the things I am talking about in this thread are going to become more prominent in the future.  I am making a bold statement when I say this, and I know it can come off as very arrogant.  But believe me, I've put in an incredible amount of time formulating these ideas.  I acknowledge that most of them are not new.  But, they didn't come from the predominant psychological and sociological models.  They come from biology, math, quantum mechanics, philosophy and logic, physics, chemistry, etc. in addition to psychology and sociology.  To this extent, the ideas presented here are comprehensive in scope, and there's a ton of information to support my claims that I haven't yet posted.

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June 24, 2012, 02:54:51 AM
 #51

There have been many studies that say that the most satisfying jobs are those that involve helping people. So why are the psych professions the cause of so much drug addiction by doctors and suicides by therapists? Simple, we have put the weight of the world on their shoulders. Their 'patients' are created by our monstrous social machines that chew us up and spit us out. Anyone left behind is relegated to a community outside their own..... Ya know what... I can't talk about this anymore. This system is totally fucked for the next 5-7 generations and that's only if we start to do something about it today. That's why I quit the system. The only person I can change is me.

It is because the methods pyschs and sociologists use are largely ineffective and the people who do it know that the literature is not reliable. The anxiety/etc experienced by these people results from realizing they don't know wtf they are doing. There are people with problems who can be helped somehow, but no good, practical algorithm for figuring out how is available. The field needs to focus resources on assessing effectiveness properly and stop throwing a million sociologists with notebooks at the problem. The brain is just a really, really complex machine we don't have the schematics or source code for. If something is worth doing it is worth doing right and I have come to realize over the last year (I am a neuropharm grad student) much of biomed, psychology, and sociology is not being done right. These people need to start figuring out the power of math and real stats.

I agree, most psychologists and sociologists don't know what they're doing.  Much of the problem is that psychology and sociology is treated in the classroom as an isolated discipline.  If you try to bring up mathematics and try to use it to support a therapeutic model, good luck.  Believe me, I've tried.  Nobody wants to hear, for example, how the mathematical proof of 'the boundary of a boundary = 0' has implications for therapy.  Moreover, in research and statistics classes where mathematics do come into play, people over-emphasize the importance of mathematics to the point where they ignore the limitations of statistical analysis.  Correlation is often mistaken for causation, validity for soundness, and everyone thinks that just because something is published that it must be correct.

Case in point of the stupidity that I was taught, I had a social policy professor claim that "the cause of oppression and injustice in society is the result of bad social policies," to which she added, "which means that the only way to remove oppression and injustice is to create good social policies."

I raised my hand in class and said "bullshit."  Assuming her premise is true (which it's not), then it would be axiomatic that you need to remove ALL 'bad' social policies and start over from scratch.

I firmly believe that the things I am talking about in this thread are going to become more prominent in the future.  I am making a bold statement when I say this, and I know it can come off as very arrogant.  But believe me, I've put in an incredible amount of time formulating these ideas.  I acknowledge that most of them are not new.  But, they didn't come from the predominant psychological and sociological models.  They come from biology, math, quantum mechanics, philosophy and logic, physics, chemistry, etc. in addition to psychology and sociology.  To this extent, the ideas presented here are comprehensive in scope, and there's a ton of information to support my claims that I haven't yet posted.

I've become a complete convert to the bayesian way of thinking. I believe once there is a critical mass of researchers thinking in that manner it will go a long way towards improving the system. Second point is that researchers need to reduce their reliance on government funding in every way possible. The very basis of the funding is arguably unethical, on top of that it relies on a relatively easily corruptible, centralized authority that distributes funds for reasons other than merit. Science is very, very sick right now and I know I am not alone in this opinion. I don't have time now but once I have finished my current project I plan to spend some time developing a system to crowdsource funding of individual components of research proposals (to supplement government funding..for now) and crowdsource some of the tedious work when possible. I would encourage others to attempt the same in their free time.
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June 24, 2012, 03:05:12 AM
 #52


I've become a complete convert to the bayesian way of thinking. I believe once there is a critical mass of researchers thinking in that manner it will go a long way towards improving the system. Second point is that researchers need to reduce their reliance on government funding in every way possible. The very basis of the funding is arguably unethical, on top of that it relies on a relatively easily corruptible, centralized authority to distribute funds for reasons other than merit. Science is very, very sick right now and I know I am not alone in this opinion. I don't have time now but once I have finished my current project I plan to spend some time developing a system to crowdsource funding of individual components of research proposals (to supplement government funding..for now) and crowdsource some of the tedious work when possible. I would encourage others to attempt the same in their free time.

I think Christopher Langan said it best about the peer-review system of meritocracy.  First off, unless you have at least a masters degree (and usually only a doctoral degree, depending on the field), nobody in academia really cares about what you have to say.  If I recall, Langan asserted that even those with advanced degrees can only make little "tentative moves" forward, but nobody is really able to do anything too radical to shake things up.

Case in point, I took an undergraduate research design class for which we had to submit a research proposal to the APA board and then conduct a scientific experiment.  The APA board turned down my initial research proposal.  You know why it was rejected?  It wasn't because it was unethical or ridiculous...it was rejected because nobody had done it yet.

In other words, I was not allowed to conduct an experiment simply because I had nobody to cite.  What a load of bullshit.

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June 24, 2012, 03:09:09 AM
 #53


I've become a complete convert to the bayesian way of thinking. I believe once there is a critical mass of researchers thinking in that manner it will go a long way towards improving the system. Second point is that researchers need to reduce their reliance on government funding in every way possible. The very basis of the funding is arguably unethical, on top of that it relies on a relatively easily corruptible, centralized authority to distribute funds for reasons other than merit. Science is very, very sick right now and I know I am not alone in this opinion. I don't have time now but once I have finished my current project I plan to spend some time developing a system to crowdsource funding of individual components of research proposals (to supplement government funding..for now) and crowdsource some of the tedious work when possible. I would encourage others to attempt the same in their free time.

I think Christopher Langan said it best about the peer-review system of meritocracy.  First off, unless you have at least a masters degree (and usually only a doctoral degree, depending on the field), nobody in academia really cares about what you have to say.  If I recall, Langan asserted that even those with advanced degrees can only make little "tentative moves" forward, but nobody is really able to do anything too radical to shake things up.

Case in point, I took an undergraduate research and design class for which we had to submit a research proposal to the APA board then then conduct a scientific experiment.  The APA board turned down my initial research proposal.  You know why it was rejected?  It wasn't because it was unethical or ridiculous...it was rejected because nobody had done it yet.

In other words, I was not allowed to conduct an experiment simply because I had nobody to cite.  What a load of bullshit.

Well perhaps they wouldn't give you money because you haven't "shown you could do it" which is legitimate when it comes to novel experiments. The problem is that many people considered capable actually aren't, instead CV's and publications are used as a heuristic.
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June 24, 2012, 03:12:55 AM
 #54


I've become a complete convert to the bayesian way of thinking. I believe once there is a critical mass of researchers thinking in that manner it will go a long way towards improving the system. Second point is that researchers need to reduce their reliance on government funding in every way possible. The very basis of the funding is arguably unethical, on top of that it relies on a relatively easily corruptible, centralized authority to distribute funds for reasons other than merit. Science is very, very sick right now and I know I am not alone in this opinion. I don't have time now but once I have finished my current project I plan to spend some time developing a system to crowdsource funding of individual components of research proposals (to supplement government funding..for now) and crowdsource some of the tedious work when possible. I would encourage others to attempt the same in their free time.

I think Christopher Langan said it best about the peer-review system of meritocracy.  First off, unless you have at least a masters degree (and usually only a doctoral degree, depending on the field), nobody in academia really cares about what you have to say.  If I recall, Langan asserted that even those with advanced degrees can only make little "tentative moves" forward, but nobody is really able to do anything too radical to shake things up.

Case in point, I took an undergraduate research and design class for which we had to submit a research proposal to the APA board then then conduct a scientific experiment.  The APA board turned down my initial research proposal.  You know why it was rejected?  It wasn't because it was unethical or ridiculous...it was rejected because nobody had done it yet.

In other words, I was not allowed to conduct an experiment simply because I had nobody to cite.  What a load of bullshit.

Well perhaps they wouldn't give you money because you haven't "shown you could do it" which is legitimate when it comes to novel experiments. The problem is that many people considered capable actually aren't, instead CV's and publications are used as a heuristic.

This wasn't even about funding.  It was a simple research experiment (quasi-experiment) using student participants from the Psychology 101 class.  They didn't need to give a dime to any of us.

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June 24, 2012, 03:19:14 AM
 #55


I've become a complete convert to the bayesian way of thinking. I believe once there is a critical mass of researchers thinking in that manner it will go a long way towards improving the system. Second point is that researchers need to reduce their reliance on government funding in every way possible. The very basis of the funding is arguably unethical, on top of that it relies on a relatively easily corruptible, centralized authority to distribute funds for reasons other than merit. Science is very, very sick right now and I know I am not alone in this opinion. I don't have time now but once I have finished my current project I plan to spend some time developing a system to crowdsource funding of individual components of research proposals (to supplement government funding..for now) and crowdsource some of the tedious work when possible. I would encourage others to attempt the same in their free time.

I think Christopher Langan said it best about the peer-review system of meritocracy.  First off, unless you have at least a masters degree (and usually only a doctoral degree, depending on the field), nobody in academia really cares about what you have to say.  If I recall, Langan asserted that even those with advanced degrees can only make little "tentative moves" forward, but nobody is really able to do anything too radical to shake things up.

Case in point, I took an undergraduate research and design class for which we had to submit a research proposal to the APA board then then conduct a scientific experiment.  The APA board turned down my initial research proposal.  You know why it was rejected?  It wasn't because it was unethical or ridiculous...it was rejected because nobody had done it yet.

In other words, I was not allowed to conduct an experiment simply because I had nobody to cite.  What a load of bullshit.

Well perhaps they wouldn't give you money because you haven't "shown you could do it" which is legitimate when it comes to novel experiments. The problem is that many people considered capable actually aren't, instead CV's and publications are used as a heuristic.

This wasn't even about funding.  It was a simple research experiment (quasi-experiment) using student participants from the Psychology 101 class.  They didn't need to give a dime to any of us.

In that case... SCIENCE FAIL. There is opportunity cost to everything though. What did you end up doing instead?
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June 24, 2012, 03:29:04 AM
 #56


I've become a complete convert to the bayesian way of thinking. I believe once there is a critical mass of researchers thinking in that manner it will go a long way towards improving the system. Second point is that researchers need to reduce their reliance on government funding in every way possible. The very basis of the funding is arguably unethical, on top of that it relies on a relatively easily corruptible, centralized authority to distribute funds for reasons other than merit. Science is very, very sick right now and I know I am not alone in this opinion. I don't have time now but once I have finished my current project I plan to spend some time developing a system to crowdsource funding of individual components of research proposals (to supplement government funding..for now) and crowdsource some of the tedious work when possible. I would encourage others to attempt the same in their free time.

I think Christopher Langan said it best about the peer-review system of meritocracy.  First off, unless you have at least a masters degree (and usually only a doctoral degree, depending on the field), nobody in academia really cares about what you have to say.  If I recall, Langan asserted that even those with advanced degrees can only make little "tentative moves" forward, but nobody is really able to do anything too radical to shake things up.

Case in point, I took an undergraduate research and design class for which we had to submit a research proposal to the APA board then then conduct a scientific experiment.  The APA board turned down my initial research proposal.  You know why it was rejected?  It wasn't because it was unethical or ridiculous...it was rejected because nobody had done it yet.

In other words, I was not allowed to conduct an experiment simply because I had nobody to cite.  What a load of bullshit.

Well perhaps they wouldn't give you money because you haven't "shown you could do it" which is legitimate when it comes to novel experiments. The problem is that many people considered capable actually aren't, instead CV's and publications are used as a heuristic.

This wasn't even about funding.  It was a simple research experiment (quasi-experiment) using student participants from the Psychology 101 class.  They didn't need to give a dime to any of us.

In that case... SCIENCE FAIL. There is opportunity cost to everything though. What did you end up doing instead?

My rejected proposal involved testing the effects of different types of music on a person's perception of the passage of time while conducting a simple task (e.g. such as a word search).

My accepted proposal involved testing the effects of the presence of a clock in the room on a person's perception of the passage of time while conducting a simple task (e.g. such as a word search).  One group conducted a word search with a clock present somewhere in the room.  The 2nd group conducted the same word search, but the clock was removed from the room.  Participants then answered a questionnaire about the task they completed, and one of the questions asked them how much time believe had elapsed from the time they began the word search until the time they finished.

Results of the study indicated that participants believed that a longer period of time had elapsed when a clock was present in the room than when the clock was not present.  The clock was actually placed behind them during the task so they could only see the clock upon entering the room, but not while performing the task or completing the questionnaire. 

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June 24, 2012, 03:43:24 AM
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Interesting, I imagine music would serve as a proxy clock. Each song is about 3 minutes long, etc.
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June 24, 2012, 03:49:42 AM
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Interesting, I imagine music would serve as a proxy clock. Each song is about 3 minutes long, etc.

I was going to use songs from various genres that are incredibly long relative to the average song.  I had some pre-selected classical and heavy metal tracks (to name a couple of genres) that run as long as 30 minutes specifically because the average time it would take a normal person to complete the word search was far less than 30 minutes.   

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June 24, 2012, 04:01:49 AM
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I have boiled down the root causes of mental illness to 3 things; feedback and comments/challenges are encouraged.

1)  Desire (I'll go with the Buddha on this one)
2)  Attempting to control things that are beyond one's control (an offshoot of desire)
3)  Identification with a false concept of identity.

Brief explanations:

1)  Desire:  Whenever a person has any type of desire, it implies that they are dissatisfied with what currently 'is.'  Dissatisfaction implies discontent and a lack of happiness.  If you want something that you don't currently have, this is a problem.

2)  Attempting to control things that are beyond one's control:  This is one of the leading causes of anxiety, anger, etc.  How often do we define our own happiness according to the actions of other people, communities, governments, girlfriends/boyfriends, husbands/wives, etc.?  How often do we become frustrated when our attempts to change these people, communities, governments, etc. fail?

3)  Identification with a false concept of identity:  Who are you?  How did you reach that conclusion?  According to all 11 definitions of identity in Webster's Dictionary, identity implies stability over time.  Yet, how often do we identity/define ourselves conditionally?  For example, let's say that someone says, "I am a teacher."  Ok, great.  Now, if your job is in jeopardy, then your identity is also in jeopardy!  Now, in contrast, how many would have answered this question by saying "I am an observer"?  For, as long as we live, we observe.

Note:  I would expect one of the most common challenges to these assertions would be, "Well, what about chemical imbalances?  What about genetic predispositions?"  To this, I would remind everyone that environment vs. genes (i.e. nature vs. nurture) is a false dichotomy.  It is known scientifically that interactions with our environment has effects on the genome which are then passed down and inherited generation by generation.  Thus, I would assert that any 'genetic predispositions' for a mental illness are the results of the 3 root causes that I listed to begin with, but in previous generations.
Basically ignorance is the root of all mental illness.

The Tibetan (Buddhism) philosophy has it right in my opinion as they acknowledge that their is two truths (but only one is the real truth, just stay with me).
The fake truth is when you watch tv you see a silly cartoon cat chasing a mouse.
The ultimate and real truth is you are viewing tiny dots of light.

So I say ignorance is the root of all mental illness because its ignorant to think one exists at all or even acknowledge an "I", "me" or "you" unless they are talking about the ultimate one "I", the infinite self.
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June 24, 2012, 04:06:18 AM
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I have boiled down the root causes of mental illness to 3 things; feedback and comments/challenges are encouraged.

1)  Desire (I'll go with the Buddha on this one)
2)  Attempting to control things that are beyond one's control (an offshoot of desire)
3)  Identification with a false concept of identity.

Brief explanations:

1)  Desire:  Whenever a person has any type of desire, it implies that they are dissatisfied with what currently 'is.'  Dissatisfaction implies discontent and a lack of happiness.  If you want something that you don't currently have, this is a problem.

2)  Attempting to control things that are beyond one's control:  This is one of the leading causes of anxiety, anger, etc.  How often do we define our own happiness according to the actions of other people, communities, governments, girlfriends/boyfriends, husbands/wives, etc.?  How often do we become frustrated when our attempts to change these people, communities, governments, etc. fail?

3)  Identification with a false concept of identity:  Who are you?  How did you reach that conclusion?  According to all 11 definitions of identity in Webster's Dictionary, identity implies stability over time.  Yet, how often do we identity/define ourselves conditionally?  For example, let's say that someone says, "I am a teacher."  Ok, great.  Now, if your job is in jeopardy, then your identity is also in jeopardy!  Now, in contrast, how many would have answered this question by saying "I am an observer"?  For, as long as we live, we observe.

Note:  I would expect one of the most common challenges to these assertions would be, "Well, what about chemical imbalances?  What about genetic predispositions?"  To this, I would remind everyone that environment vs. genes (i.e. nature vs. nurture) is a false dichotomy.  It is known scientifically that interactions with our environment has effects on the genome which are then passed down and inherited generation by generation.  Thus, I would assert that any 'genetic predispositions' for a mental illness are the results of the 3 root causes that I listed to begin with, but in previous generations.
Basically ignorance is the root of all mental illness.

The Tibetan (Buddhism) philosophy has it right in my opinion as they acknowledge that their is two truths (but only one is the real truth, just stay with me).
The fake truth is when you watch tv you see a silly cartoon cat chasing a mouse.
The ultimate and real truth is you are viewing tiny dots of light.

So I say ignorance is the root of all mental illness because its ignorant to think one exists at all or even acknowledge an "I", "me" or "you" unless they are talking about the ultimate one "I", the infinite self.


I see what you're getting at.  I think that's half of it, for true knowledge I believe is still useless without application.  First you need to know what is true and correct, and then you need to act with that knowledge.  I think it's kind of like a feedback loop wherein knolwedge --> action -- > more knowledge --> more action etc. with better refinements each time.

I'd still give ya a +1 because I'm pretty sure I know what you mean.

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