Skip to main content

The Clinician's Paradox: Believing Those You Must Not Trust

Buy Article:

$27.68 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Clinicians have a convention whereby symptoms are subjective statements 'as told by' patients, whereas signs are outwardly observable facts. Yet both first-person reports and third-person observations are theory laden and can bias conclusions. Two aspects of the oft-mentioned unreliability of reports are the subject's interpretation of them and the experimenter's assumptions when translating introspective reports into scientifically useful characterizations. Meticulous training of introspectors can address their mischief, whereas investigators can become more attentive to their own theory-laden biases. In the case of hallucinations, for example, ignoring some customary third-person constructs and focusing on the visual experience itself has led to fresh explanations of visual symptoms based on cortical physiology rather than conceptual categories. Constructs that historically have ignored the subject's state of mind are also problematic; an example is the so-called resting state during metabolic brain imaging, long believed to reflect a blank mental slate. Introspective reports, not accepted literally but properly interpreted and revised by investigators as necessary, are legitimate sources of data.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 4720 Blagden Terrace NW, Washington DC 20011-3720, USA., Email: Richard@Cytowic.net

Publication date: 2003-01-01

  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more