Saturday, 22 December 2012

Santa Dog

Santa Dog's a Jesus Fetus
Santa Dog's a Jesus Fetus
Santa Dog's a Jesus Fetus
Has no presents,
Has no presence
In the future...
...In the future
I started blogging mid March 2012 and until now, made 18 posts. As we approach Christmas and the end of the year, here are my Top 5 in terms of views
Santa Dog by the Residents (my favourite xmas song)

Number 5: Whats Your Poison - LSD vs Alcohol


At number 5 was my very first post on the meta-analysis by Krebs & Johansen suggesting using LSD as a treatment for alcoholism. The study attrated a lot of media attention and the following striking comment from Prof David Nutt that: "Overall there is a big effect, show me another treatment with results as good; we've missed a trick here…This is probably as good as anything we've got [for treating alcoholism]." Needless to say, I was not as convinced and my blog drew some ire from one of the authors, who e-mailed me asking me to refrain from any more public comments and then posted their own response on the Nature wesbite (strangely through an intermediary!)


Number 4: Strange Fruit: Is Racism a Mental Illness? 

At Number 4 was my blog on whether racism could be a form of mental illness. Originally spurred by a newspaper article about a man who tried to use his schizophrenia diagnosis to mitigate his violent racist behaviour in court...and failed; and a subsequent Twitter interaction with @JonesNev, who argued that schizophrenia "often does lead otherwise liberal, kind, non-racist people to become glaringly, bluntly racist, sexist, phobic, nymphomanic, hostile". Anyway, it led me to investigate past claims from psychiatrists that racism is an abnormal belief that could qualify as a delusion.

Number 3: CBT: She's Lost Control(s) Again

Number 3 was one of my several blogs about CBT. In this case, the first study to examine using CBT to alleviate symptoms in cases of psychosis where the individuals have chosen to be unmedicated. Of course, the study attracted wide media attention and for me, premature attention for their unfinished trial of CBT in unmedicated psychosis (e.g on BBC Radio 4 All in the Mind link in the blog). The study contains major methodological flaws, nobody should view it as other than fatally flawed and I await the results of their properly controlled trial for some interpretable data.

Number 2: CBT: You Spin me Round

At number 2, another CBT study and with the same main author as the unmedicated trial at number 3. This time it was using CBT to prevent transition to psychosis. The main upshot here is that it failed to show any effect - yet the authors went to extraordinary lengths to spin the results positively. We should not blame journalists when results are unreasonably/falsely represented in the media - however in this case: authors, media and even the journal (British Medical Journal) were at fault for spinning unanimously negative results

Number 1: Negativland: What to do about negative findings?

By a clear margin, my Negativland blog received the most hits. This post concerned the issue of how we deal with negative findings in science (psychology). Since this post, a great deal of much-needed discussion has occurred around this issue and about how psychology in particular might get its house in order. I have subsequently much expanded the ideas in this blog and hopefully, an article will appear in the Open Access journal BMC_Psychology in the New Year.
I have enjoyed my 10-month foray into blogging and much appreciate all of the feedback and interactions that have stemmed from this - thanks for your interest
Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

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