Rxy in Psyc Essay

Pages: 2 (709 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Psychology


However, watch talk-shows on the subject and no one is convinced; low self-esteem is still considered a major causal factor by the media.

Following up with Lilienfeld et al. (2003) and their findings, one of the most commonly held assumptions is that being a sexually or physically abused child leads to growing up as an abuser. There are a number of websites (e.g., http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7587-early-experience-not-genes-shapes-child-abusers.html) and talk shows purporting this fact; however, the empirical research for this idea is very scarce. Lilienfeld et al. report several empirical studies disclaiming this, especially some well-conducted meta-analyses that were publically ridiculed when these findings were published. In spite of sound empirical evidence to the contrary many lay-people, politicians, social workers, and others refused to accept the findings. It appears that people ignore the much larger number of individuals experiencing some form of abuse that never grow up as abusers and instead look to confirm their own expectations in those who are abusers (confirmatory bias). Thus, "abuse" can be defined as being spanked as a child or some other event occurring in the childhood of an abuser and that in others would not meet the criteria for actual abuse. Likewise a person who has been abused as a child will more often than not be labeled as an abuser for minor types of behaviors that would not pass for abuse in others.

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Making causal inferences from correlational data can lead to serious issues in clinical cases such as above where groups can be mislabeled and misjudged, can lead to not understanding the true relationship between variables as in the self-esteem issue, and can lead to a number of often expensive but ineffective solutions to problems as in the diet and mental health industry.


TOPIC: Essay on Rxy in Psyc One of Assignment

Lilienfeld, S.O., Lynn, S.J., & Lohr, J.M. (Eds.). (2003). Science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology. New York: Guilford. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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