Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Some Great Quotable Quotes from People Who Agree with Me About Stuff - Part I

Some people just naturally have a way with words, and succinctly summarize ideas using comments that I wish I had come up with. 

Today's post, the first of a series of two, contains some of my favorite recent quotes that center around themes discussed in this blog. Many of them come from three of my favorite sources of great quotes: advice columnist Carolyn Hax, parenting advisor John Rosemond, and fellow blogger George Dawson.

Of course, the authors of these quotes and I do not agree about many other things, but so what?

I have been collecting the quotes and putting them on my Facebook fan page at The ones contained in this post and the next started in January of 2014, and are loosely organized by topic.

You may find a hidden joke or two among the mayhem.

Psychiatric and Psychotherapy Research

"A significant p value does not specify the probability that the same result can be reproduced in another study." ~ Prof. Gerd Gigerenzer, Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

"If being cited [as a reference in another published study] meant being read, citation statistics might well be a useful criterion. Yet a study estimated that of the articles cited, only 20% had actually been read... For instance, the most important publication in 20th-century biology, Watson and Crick’s paper on the double helix, was rarely cited in the first 10 years after its publication. Innovative ideas take time to be appreciated."
       ~ Prof. Gerd Gigerenzer

It's all in how you look at it, Department:
Medscape News Story about a Study: "Individuals with a neurotic personality type may have reduced brain plasticity during the performance of working memory tasks that may affect their ability to store memories, say US researchers in findings that show the opposite effect in people with a conscientious personality."
         Said one commenter in response: "It is nice to have documentation what those of us who have hired office help have known for years. Personnel with personal problems that occupies their minds continuously are unable to perform satisfactorily in the office."

" I have lost count of the number of papers [that "study" what is supposed to be major depressive disorder] I have read where the depression rating scores were what I consider to be low to trivial." ~ George Dawson, M.D.

In a PTSD study comparing CBT to psychodynamic therapy: "The so-called psychodynamic therapists were also forbidden to discuss the trauma that brought the patient to treatment. Imagine that—you come to treatment for PTSD because you have experienced a traumatic event, and your therapist is forbidden from discussing it with you. When patients brought up the trauma, the therapists were instructed to change the topic." ~ Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D. 

"Evidence based data' is suggestive but typically based on group data, hence only suggestive when working with a single patient. Other sources of suggestions are also available." ~ Thad Harshbarger, Ph.D.  

"The notion that biological changes going on during early adolescence predispose the young teen to all manner of difficult behavior is a myth belied historically, cross-culturally, and by the fact that plenty of young teens are respectful, obedient, and hard-working. That last fact is conclusive evidence to the effect that despite hype to the contrary, there are no changes going on in the young adolescent brain that make inevitable any sort of problematic behavior." ~ John Rosemond, Ph.D.

"When every study reported by a particular group of researchers just happens to reinforce their shared belief system, it makes me skeptical." ~ Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D. 
         Are you listening, CBT and bipolar II researchers?

"Neuroscientist: someone who knows how little we know about the brain." ~ Neuroskeptic

“Maybe sometimes it’s the questions that are biased, not the answers,” ~ John Ioannidis, Ph.D., on bias in medical research - for example,drug companies comparing their new drugs against those already known to be inferior to others on the market.

"Blaming personality disorders on brain pathology due to bad genes is like "blaming badly written software on the hardware." ~ "SwissCheese," who commented on a post on my Psychology Today blog and says he's a computer scientist married to someone with borderline personality disorder.

"The NIMH devotes almost all of its enormous research budget to glamorous, but very long shot, biological research that over the past four decades has contributed exactly nothing to the treatment and lives of the severely [mentally] ill." ~ Allen Frances, M.D.

"The trial result generally depends on rating scale or clinician global rating scale results that grossly oversimplify the condition and measure parameters that are irrelevant in clinical settings. The best example I can think of is depression rating scales that list DSM criteria for depression and then apply a Likert dimension to those symptoms. In clinical practice it is common to see hundreds of patients with the same score on this scale who have a full spectrum of disability from absolutely none to totally disabled. Which population might be more likely to exhibit an antidepressant effect? " ~ Richard Dawson, M.D.

"Published' and ‘true' are not synonyms" ~ Brian Nosek, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

"Laboratory studies of social attention have largely focused on the extraction of social information from images (e.g., photos and videos). However, in the natural world attending to real people involves both the reading of social cues and the sending of social signals. ... the influence of another individual on human behaviour is so pronounced that the implied social presence of another person is enough to have a profound effect on where people look, what they say and do, and even modify their willingness to cheat or to engage in prosocial behaviours." ~ Alan Kingstone, Ph.D.

"The hypothalamus is involved in the body's centrally important "Four F's:" fight, flight, feeding, and sex." ~ Otto Kernberg, M.D.

"No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows." ~ J. Robert Oppenheimer

"The biggest misconception here seems to be that patients are accurate reporters and they have no unconscious agenda." ~ George Dawson, M.D.


"No one can help you if you’d rather be safe than brave.” ~ Carolyn Hax

"Hiding how you feel is how love dies. You think he backed the wrong horse here? Then say so. A grown-up won’t make you pay." ~ Carolyn Hax

"You want a spouse who wants to meet your needs, as part of a commitment to mutual support." ~ Carolyn Hax

What to say to a spouse who refuses to see a marriage counselor when you request it, because he or she doesn't have a problem, it's all just you: "But you do have a problem: Your marriage is in trouble." ~ Annie's Mailbox

"You either aren’t up to this challenge or you don’t want to be, and that’s all you need to know, because choosing a life partner isn’t about being open-minded or fair or noble. It isn’t just about loving or being in love, either. It’s about an unflinching estimation of what works." ~ Carolyn Hax

"One problem that recurs more and more frequently these days, in books and plays and movies, is the inability of people to communicate with the people they love: husbands and wives who can't communicate, children who can't communicate with their parents, and so on. And the characters in these books and plays and so on, and in real life, I might add, spend hours bemoaning the fact that they can't communicate. I feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." ~ Tom Lehrer

"If people are determined to be insulted, they will find a way to be insulted." ~ Amy Dickinson


"An adult who enters into a power struggle with a child is no longer acting like an authority figure; therefore, the only person with any power in an adult-child power struggle is the child." ~ John Rosemond, Ph.D.

Letter to advice columnist Carolyn Hax: I am happy he is sharing his interests (in rap music) with me and I have explained to him my perspective that the material makes me uneasy for all of the above reasons. His interest continues unabated. Do I set certain limits on what he can listen to (he is 14) or do I just let it be and hope he grows out of it?
          Ms. Hax's answer: You omitted (c) Raise him, then trust him, to be one of the millions of people who are able to distinguish between an art form and an instruction manual for the treatment of others.

"I, too, am skeptical of the 'Oh you’ll love them when they’re yours' line. Some people regret having kids and just know they can’t say that out loud, and I’d wager there’s a bigger population who don’t even let themselves think that." ~ Carolyn Hax

"Helicopter parenting now seems to have blossumed into Apache Blackhawk parenting." - John Rosemond, Ph.D.

"Parents help their kids with homework, often downright doing it for them; they help their kids study for tests; and they demand of educators that their kids’ school experience be immaculate. I don’t believe that pouring more money into education has worked or is going to work, but I do believe that teachers should be duly compensated for putting up with this garbage. " ~ John Rosemond, Ph.D.

"Parents who are not on the same parenting page will not get on the same page by regarding and treating their differences as a parenting problem. It's a marital problem." ~ John Rosemond, Ph.D.

To be continued.....

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