Get the Ethics and Psychology App

The Ethics and Psychology Android App is available through Google Play and Amazon Apps for Kindle products.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How politics makes us stupid

By Ezra Klein
Originally published April 6, 2014 (How did I miss this?)

Here is an excerpt:

Kahan calls this theory Identity-Protective Cognition: "As a way of avoiding dissonance and estrangement from valued groups, individuals subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their defining values." Elsewhere, he puts it even more pithily: "What we believe about the facts," he writes, "tells us who we are." And the most important psychological imperative most of us have in a given day is protecting our idea of who we are, and our relationships with the people we trust and love.

The entire article is here.

Kidney Donors may have trouble with Health and Life Insurance

American Journal of Transplant
Press Release

People who selflessly step up and donate a kidney can face insurance challenges afterwards, despite the lack of evidence that they have increased health risks. The finding, which comes from a new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation, suggests that actions by insurers may create unnecessary burden and stress for those choosing to donate and could negatively impact the likelihood of live kidney donation.

The entire pressor is here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

U of T criticized for links between Big Pharma and Med Schools

By Georgia Williams
The Varsity
Originally published July 16, 2014

A recent report in the Journal of Medical Ethics took aim at the actions of university lecturers who have ties to pharmaceutical companies — including those at U of T.

The study — written by Dr. Navindra Persaud, a practicing physician at St. Michael’s Hospital — questions the validity of the content taught in one of the mandatory lecture series he attended as a medical student at the university in 2004. The lecture on pain pharmacotherapy used a modified classification chart from the World Health Organization (WHO) to show oxycodone as both a “weak and strong opioid,” comparable to codeine. However, as Dr. Persaud’s report indicates, oxycodone is at least  “1.5 times more potent than morphine” a drug that the WHO lists as a strong opioid. Dr. Persaud’s study also claims that the drug’s adverse side effects were downplayed by the lecturer.

The entire story is here.

Corruption of Peer Review Is Harming Scientific Credibility

By Hank Campbell
The Wall Street Journal
Originally published July 13, 2013

Academic publishing was rocked by the news on July 8 that a company called Sage Publications is retracting 60 papers from its Journal of Vibration and Control, about the science of acoustics. The company said a researcher in Taiwan and others had exploited peer review so that certain papers were sure to get a positive review for placement in the journal. In one case, a paper's author gave glowing reviews to his own work using phony names.

Acoustics is an important field. But in biomedicine faulty research and a dubious peer-review process can have life-or-death consequences. In June, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health and responsible for $30 billion in annual government-funded research, held a meeting to discuss ways to ensure that more published scientific studies and results are accurate.

The entire article is here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Can a Jury Believe What It Sees?

Videotaped Confessions Can Be Misleading

By Jennifer L. Mnookin
The New York Times
Originally published July 13, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

The short answer is that, according to recent research, interrogation recording may in fact be too vivid and persuasive. Even seemingly neutral recordings still require interpretation. As advertisers and Hollywood directors know well, camera angles, close-ups, lenses and dozens of other techniques shape our perception of what we see without our being aware of it.

In a series of experiments led by the psychologist G. Daniel Lassiter of Ohio University, mock juries were shown exactly the same interrogation, but some saw only the defendant, while others had a wider-angle view that included the interrogator. When the interrogator isn’t shown on camera, jurors are significantly less likely to find an interrogation coercive, and more likely to believe in the truth and accuracy of the confession that they hear — even when the interrogator explicitly threatens the defendant.

The entire article is here.

Millions of electronic medical records breached

New U.S. government data shows that 32 million residents affected since 2009.

By Ronald Campbell and Deborah Schoch
The Oregon Country Register
Published: July 7, 2014

Thieves, hackers and careless workers have breached the medical privacy of nearly 32 million Americans, including 4.6 million Californians, since 2009.

Those numbers, taken from new U.S. Health & Human Services Department data, underscore a vulnerability of electronic health records.

These records are more detailed than most consumer credit or banking files and could open the door to widespread identity theft, fraud, or worse.

The entire article is here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Episode 12: Prescriptive Authority Illinois Style

Dr. Beth Rom-Rymer from Illinois speaks with John about  the recent RxP success in Illinois. Psychologists advocated passing a law to permit appropriately trained psychologist to prescribe psychotropic agents.  Beth shares many words of wisdom, including reasons for psychologists obtaining prescriptive authority, keys to advocacy, and the details of the prescriptive authority law in Illinois.  While John laments that Pennsylvania may be in the Precontemplative stage of change, Beth offers numerous suggestions to any state moving in a forward direction on RxP legislation.

The Skype connection was not the best, so apologies in advance for any technical flaws.

In terms of learning objectives, at the end of the podcast, the listener will be able to:

1.      Describe two reasons why psychologists are seeking prescriptive authority;
2.      Explain the educational requirements of becoming a prescribing psychologist in Illinois; and,
3.      Describe two important components to passing legislation on prescriptive authority.

Find this podcast on iTunes

To earn 1-APA approved Continuing Education Credit, click here.

Click to listen directly below


Updated Prescriptive Authority Law Enacted
American Psychological Association

Ethics and Psychology Resources on Prescribing Psychologists/Medical Psychologists

APA Resources on the RxP movement

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Insufficient Punishment

By Keith Olbermann

Keith slams the National Football League for its tolerance for violence against women.  Keith also highlights larger cultural problems about demeaning women in American culture.

What’s Wrong with Experimental Philosophy?

Victor Kumar
University of Michigan
July 10, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Unsatisfied with armchair speculation, experimental philosophers have responded to empirical questions with empirical answers. Efforts are not always met with success, but the best objections this research faces are narrowly methodological, e.g., improper experimental design or substandard experimental methods. Experimental philosophers, often in collaboration with scientists, are developing new and better ways of testing hypotheses in cognitive science that inform philosophical inquiry. 

Outside of philosophically relevant cognitive science, experimental philosophy studies intuitions in an attempt to contribute to philosophical discussion surrounding those intuitions. A second type is experimental philosophical analysis. Philosophers interested in knowledge, moral judgment, free will, etc., often assume that the first step of philosophical inquiry is analysis of the corresponding ordinary concepts (Smith 1994; Jackson 1998).