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Psychologist Georgios K. Lampropoulos argues that the identification of scientifically proven, manualized treatments is the only way to provide safe and effective therapy to the public. Psychologist Arthur C. Bohart disagrees with Lampropoulos and explains that empirically supported treatments stifle the therapeutic process by limiting the ability of the therapist and client to generate their own solutions.
Bioethicist Peter Singer asserts that to engage in animal research is to commit speciesism (similar to racism), often without any important research findings at all. Professor of philosophy R. G. Frey expresses support for the similarity that Singer and others note between animals and humans but ultimatelyargues that animals should be used for research because their quality of life is lower than that of most humans.
Psychologist Diana Baumrind argues that Stanley Milgram’s study of obedience did not meet ethical standards for research, because
participants were subjected to a research design that caused undue psychological stress that was not resolved after the study. Social psychologist Stanley Milgram, in response to Baumrind’s accusations, asserts that the study was well designed, the stress caused to
participants could not have been anticipated, and the participants’ anguish dissipated after a thorough debriefing.
Field researcher Michael L. Wilson and biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham argue that humans are innately violent because their closest nonhuman relatives—chimpanzees—are themselves naturally violent and aggressive. Biological anthropologist Robert W. Sussman asserts that neither humans nor chimpanzees are inherently violent. Instead, he contends, culture and upbringing are significantly involved in the violence evident in both species.
After reviewing the literature on the genetic causes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), clinical psychologist Jay Joseph concludes that such claims are unsupported
and that psychosocial causes need further exploration. Clinical psychologists Stephen V. Faraone and Joseph Biederman reject Joseph’s conclusions on the grounds that he makes errors in scientific
logic and ignores much of the relevant research.
Popular author and lecturer Alfie Kohn lists five reasons why parents and educators should discontinue using praise to motivate children and offers several suggestions about how to more appropriately help children appreciate their own accomplishments. Professor of educational psychology Phillip S. Strain and assistant research professor Gail E. Joseph contend positive reinforcement is a time-tested and scientifically sound way to teach children the difference between good and bad behavior and to help them develop a healthy sense of self-worth.
Child developmentalists Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Wen-Jui Han, and Jane Waldfogel assert that their findings show many types of negative effects from maternal employment on the later cognitive and educational outcomes of children. Professor of sociology and anthropology Thomas M. Vander Ven and his colleagues argue that their studies show that the qualities or quantities of a mother working have relatively little or no influence on the social, emotional, and behavioral functioning of her children.
Clinical psychologist Judith S. Wallerstein and professor of psychology Julia Lewis argue their research indicates that the vast majority of children from divorced families are harmed in many subtle and obvious ways at varioius times and stages of their lives. Developmental psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington and writer John Kelly do not deny that divorce can have some harmful effects, especially in the short term, but they maintain that most of these children eventually become well adjusted.
Psychologists John A. Bargh and Tanya L. Chartrand assert that people are controlled not by their purposeful choices and intentions but by the environment through automatic cognitive processes. In response, psychologist Amy Fisher Smith agrees that people do, in fact, have automatic behaviors but she believes these behaviors can be explained by mental processes akin to a free will.
Psychologist Howard Gardner argues that humans are better understood as having eight or nine different kinds of intelligence rather than as
having one general intelligence. Psychologist Linda S. Gottfredson contends that despite some popular assertions, a single factor for intelligence can be measured with IQ
tests and is predictive of success in life.
Russell A. Barkley, a professor in the department of psychiatry and neurology, leads a team of researchers who claim that current scientific evidence, particularly evidence provided by heritability and neuro-imaging studies, points unarguably toward ADHD’s validity and existence. Another group of researchers, led by psychiatrist Sami Timimi, claims the current ADHD epidemic is the result of unrealistic expectations for today’s children and the pharmaceutical companies’ desire to sell more drugs.
Psychiatrist David Healy and statistician Chris Whitaker argue that psychological research reveals a significant number of suicidal acts by individuals taking antidepressants and, thus, recommend stricter controls on these drugs. In response, psychiatrist Yvon D. Lapierre maintains that the research on suicidality and antidepressants is unconvincing, recommending that conclusions from these findings should be severely limited.
Psychotherapist Jeffrey A. Schaler contends that drug addiction is not a disease in the physical sense because that would indicate that addicts have no control or choice over their addictive behaviors, which is not true. Professor of psychology Alice M. Young describes how addiction to a number of drugs may begin with voluntary usage but end up after repeated use with a physiological tolerance and dependency that is not within one’s control or choice.
Psychologists Patrick H. DeLeon and Debra Lina Dunivin assert that granting prescription authority to psychologists will improve the quality of psychological care because they will be able to treat both the body and the mind of patients. Psychologists Steven C. Hayes and Grace Chang fear that prescription authority will fundamentally change psychologists from being experts in human relations to experts in medicine, which we already have.
Warren Throckmorton, director of college counseling and an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College, maintains that efforts
to assist homosexually oriented individuals to modify their patterns of sexual arousal have been effective and can be conducted in an ethical manner.
Barry A. Schreier, coordinator of training and a psychologist at the Counseling and Psychological Services of Purdue University, counters
that homosexuality is not an illness, so there is no need to treat it.
Developmental psychologist Douglas A. Gentile, and department of psychology chair Craig A. Anderson assert that violent video games cause several physiological and psychological changes in children that lead to aggressive and violent behavior. Cheryl K. Olson, a professor of psychiatry, contends that further research is needed because there is so little current evidence of a substantial connection between exposure to violent video games and serious real-life violence.
Research scientist James E. Katz and Philip Aspden, executive director of the Center for Research on the Information Society, contend that
the Internet has positive effects on the lives of its users. They also maintain that the Internet creates more opportunities for people to foster
relationships with people, regardless of their location. Robert Kraut, a professor of social psychology and human computer interaction, and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University question how
beneficial Internet use really is. They argue that Internet use reduces the number and quality of interpersonal relationships that one has.
Sociology professor Diana E. H. Russell argues that pornography is profoundly harmful because it predisposes men to want to rape women and
undermines social inhibitions against acting out rape fantasies. Michael C. Seto, Alexandra Maric, and Howard E. Barbaree, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, contend that evidence for a causal
link between pornography use and sexual offense remains equivocal.