Something to think about

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Something to think about

Postby JFH » Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:40 am

Professor Janet Polivy at Department of Psychology, University of Toronto has developed a theory about False Hope Syndrome which she has applied to those faddy diets one sees in magazines and cheap TV programmes.
People appear to behave paradoxically, by persisting in repeated self-change attempts despite previous failures. It is argued, though, that self-change attempts provide some initial rewards even when unsuccessful. Feelings of control and optimism often accompany the early stages of self-modification efforts. In addition, unrealistic expectations concerning the ease, speed, likely degree of change, and presumed benefits of changing may overwhelm the knowledge of one's prior failures. It is thus important to learn to distinguish between potentially feasible and impossible self-change goals in order to avoid overconfidence and false hopes leading to eventual failure and distress.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11466595&dopt=Abstract

Quite applicable to each of us and all of the current research, dont you think? In reply to my email to her Prof Polivy agrees that her theory is equally applicable to medical "promises":
You are correct in what you say about the promises of miracle cures (not just for MS, but for cancer and almost any other disorder you can think of) being different from diets in that they are promising something that may well be utterly impossible to achieve. The similarity, of course, is that, once again, the promise is what the person wants to hear, that the goal (or cure) is indeed attainable. This seems to me to be a crueler "false hope" than offering weight loss or to cure one's gambling addiction.

An interesting interview with Prof Polivy in the Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/26/1046064099948.html?oneclick=true
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Postby BioDocFL » Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:20 am

Gee, another '15 minutes of fame' syndrome. Probably a lot of self-reflection on the part of the psycho-logist, the field of egoism and narcissum. And from the land of lemmings.

'persisting in repeated self-change attempts', I think that's called Life.

I guess I don't see the point of bringing up this 'false hope' subject. It doesn't mesh with what we are doing on this board and the progress we are seeing in MS research.

I think there will be effective treatments and perhaps even cures for MS in my lifetime. It is not a matter of money, fame, or academic credentials. And it is certainly not a matter of fostering negativity. It's about persistence and compassion. Eventually we will have enough research evidence to narrow the search in understanding MS. Treatments can only get better.

Edit 1: 'faddy diets one sees in magazines and cheap TV programmes', is that the scientific literature she cites?
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Postby JFH » Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:03 am

BioDocFL wrote:Gee, another '15 minutes of fame' syndrome. Probably a lot of self-reflection on the part of the psycho-logist, the field of egoism and narcissum. And from the land of lemmings.

Seems you dont care for physcology, Wesley? Is that way science is done now, BTW? I didnt know name-calling had got back such academic respectablity! 8O

BioDocFL wrote:I guess I don't see the point of bringing up this 'false hope' subject. It doesn't mesh with what we are doing on this board .....


IMHO the point is **not** negative. It is, again IMHO, positive about how we can enjoy REAL hope in the medicines, therapies, research programmes etc. by being vigilant and cautious and watchful for the snake oil salesman. So you see I think there is a point in bringing this up in this forum and I'm not going to be bullied into silence.
BioDocFL wrote:.... and the progress we are seeing in MS research.

Hmmmm. So there's no bad research in the MS field, no dead-ends and no prima-donnas and no pharma-cos out there wanting a quick profit. Listen everyone, "THEY ARE ALL GOOD GUYS!"

BioDocFL wrote: 'faddy diets one sees in magazines and cheap TV programmes', is that the scientific literature she cites?

That, as was quite clear, was me gving a brief and accrurate intro.


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Postby OddDuck » Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:35 am

Well, maybe I shouldn't comment here, but that's never stopped me before.

Wesley, I must admit, also, that I was a bit surprised at your response to John's post. You yourself, Wesley, have specifically stated how research (especially in MS) has sort of stagnated, if you will, and how new ideas are quite often squelched, and how difficult it has been for your new ideas to be accepted seriously.

Although I can see where two different interpretations or perspectives can be applied to reading what John posted here, I myself took it similarly to what John refers to and coincidentally that I mentioned to the NMSS directly the other day about "beating a dead horse" in research.

And could it be that some hypotheses in MS research having been researched over and over with the same findings each time (i.e. beating that dead horse), perhaps results from a psychological dynamic such as what John is referring to here?

I think it's entirely possible.

Deb

EDIT: By the way, John........I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but DIE laughing at your little "addition" to your tag line! :lol:
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Postby BioDocFL » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:06 pm

My impression of the initial post was that it implies MSers are wasting their time in looking for any cures. That MSers are deluding themselves. That is what bothered me about it. I am not trying to bully anyone into silence. Don't see why that should get anyone so upset.

Yes, I agree there is a need to monitor research so it isn't beating a dead horse, but I didn't see where that was in the original post.
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Postby OddDuck » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:53 pm

I figured that was it. Yes, I can see that perspective, also.

Actually, I guess it could apply to either scenario. And wouldn't "false hope" depend on the extreme measures that any one person may subscribe to given specific variables and criteria for each individual circumstance? I would think it would be a never-ending debate, anyway, trying to put parameters around what constitutes "false hope" and what doesn't. Especially when applying it strictly to the "mind." Perhaps it would just be a matter of identifying a time frame within which you can reasonably ascertain whether adequate progress has been realized - oh, and at what expense.

hmmmmmmmmmmm..............

Well, this is a perfect example, I suppose, of the extreme complexities of the "psyche"! :P

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Postby BioDocFL » Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:43 pm

I get irritated about new syndromes coming out of the 'soft' sciences (not my term for them). In undergrad schools you often hear, if you can't do science then get a soft science degree like in psychology or sociology. Then all you have to do is take a demographic slice, pick some characteristic, call it a syndrome. It might be something quite obvious to everyone but call it a syndrome to make it sound like a profound discovery, maybe even call it a disease. Dress it up in some statistics. Then come up with a 10 step program to cure it, publish a book, and go on the book tour circuit. If you really hit it big, like ADD syndrome, maybe a drug company will hire you as a consultant for their latest drug to medicate the syndrome. Never mind if the kid's hyperactivity is due to an abusive home life. Just double the dose. That is another syndrome anyway, Abusive Parent syndrome, APS, for which there will be something else we can sell.
Maybe there is a pill coming out for False Hope syndrome. Hey, I have discovered a new syndrome: PP syndrome, pissed poster syndrome. I think I'm a contagious carrier though. I'm developing a 10 step program for PPSers and for carriers. Might as well cover both sides. Buy my book. :D

Actually this is kind of fun spreading PPS. Now I'm getting PPOPP Syndrome, Post Pissing Off Pissed Posters Syndrome. I need to think up something else irritating to post.
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Postby JFH » Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:30 am

http://www.thisisms.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=657&highlight=

And tell me again how there is no pyscological effect on, at least, the 80 people taking part in this abortive trial.

EDIT:: And tell me again that no repsonsible body makes promises http://www.mssociety.ca/en/research/medmmo-minocycline-june04.htm The discussion here of our psychological response to such is more than justified.
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Postby OddDuck » Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:18 am

Wesley,

Well, ok, I do see your point. I can't say I haven't thought the same thing about "syndromes". It can and does often get out of hand in my opinion.

On the other hand, I also see John's point, too.

I think I'll stay out of this one now. :wink:

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Postby JFH » Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:01 am

OddDuck wrote:I think I'll stay out of this one now. :wink: Deb


I'm leaving this one now too!! But just a last word ...

In most of the (vulgar) English speaking world outside of US
PISSED OFF = Infuriated etc, and PISSED = DRUNK
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=pissed 8)
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Postby BioDocFL » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:09 am

Seriously John, I think you and I are actually talking in parallel on this, just you are bothered by the researchers who overstate the benefits of their research and I am bothered by the psychologists who try to classify people into 'new' syndromes so the psychologist can make a name and profit off it. Just because someone wears a white coat doesn't mean they are right, just means they are trying to look important.
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