Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Psychology, Polygraph Tests, Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford. What's the Connection?

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is professor at Palo Alto University which specializes in psychology training. The University specializes in business psychology and Social Action and Clinical psychology. She is making sexual claims about Brett Kavanaugh and the US Supreme Court. Anita Hill received a B.S. in Psychology at Oklahoma University and later studied law at Yale. She is a university professor of social policy, law, and women's studies at Bradeis University. She brought claims about Clarence Thomas in 1990. Both Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford took polygraph test to back up their sexual misconduct claims against the Supreme Court nominees.

Despite claims of 90% validity by polygraph advocates, the National Research Council has found no evidence of effectiveness of the test itself. According to Wikipedia the utility among sex offenders is also poor, with insufficient evidence to support accuracy or improved outcomes in this population. Most countries including the US do not allow them as evidence in the court of law. The University of Minnesota said in 2001 that although the test may be useful in investigations it doesn’t past muster as a scientific device.
There were previous tests done, but William Moulton Marston’s machine maybe the initial one used. He was also a psychologist, Marston considered himself the "father of the polygraph. He even appeared in advertising claiming Gillette razors were the preferred brand based on testers.
We are not trying to pick sides, but we want to bring up the connection between lie detectors and psychology currently in the news. These women chose to take a lie detector in advance of their claims of sexual misconduct. They are both educated women and should know that the polygraph is not considered reliable. In our minds it put psychology in a bad light relying on unproven technology since 1921.
Two major points are that these test are not allowed in the court of law, and Mrs. Hill works in the law profession. She pushed forward a polygraph as evidence against Mr. Thomas. Also very pertinent is that a study found that the polygraph is not useful at all against sex offenses, which both of these women claim. Additionally, they only asked Blasey-Ford two questions. Lie detectors need many, many questions to monitor a person response to known truth like "What is your name" which is a control question. This creates a basis to monitor reactions. Also, Dr. Ford said she cried during the test. Crying neutralizes a test and make it null as it interfere with one's breathing. Thusly, making it difficult to interpret.
They both didn’t bring up these issues with these men at the time of the incident, and they use unproven tech to make their case. The case against psychology is in view and fails miserably.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Psychiatry’s Continual Failure to Heal

Do you ever wonder if psychiatry works at all? Well we don’t. Another celebrity Dolores O'Riordan found dead in her hotel room. Dolores O'Riordan was the lead singer of the Irish band the Cranberries. The coroner’s report indicated she drowned after drinking alcohol four times the legal driving limit.
She also suffered physical and mental health problems over the years. She had spoken in interviews about being sexually abused as a child, and her battles with depression and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
So if psychiatry had a real solution to depression, why are people of all socioeconomic status committing suicide, or dying of accidents.
Do you really think psychiatry has any handle on depression?