Posted by: Chasy | 09/02/2011

Not even the Beeb can responsibly report on Psychology

This article is not only irresponsible, it could be dangerous.

I’m sure the BBC thought they were doing the right thing about warning the public about those crazy people that could be living right next door. You’ll be able to spot them, because they have given you a very helpful list of symptoms:

Personality Disorder types and the associated symptoms

Odd/Eccentric: people can be paranoid; indifferent to social relationships; unable to relate to people; have an unusual appearance
Dramatic: people can be histrionic; narcissistic; have unstable moods; fear being abandoned and self-harm.
Anxious: people can be preoccupied with orderliness and perfectionism. They may fear negative evaluation; feel inadequate in social situations; are dependent and submissive.

Sigh.

What they don’t mention is that this is not a definitive list of symptoms, and that only an experienced and, in Australia, registered psychologist would be able to make a concrete diagnosis. Otherwise, it’s the general public showing each other ink blots and laughingly determining each other crazy.

And there’s the other problem. As if those with mental illness were not stigmatised enough, the BBC would like you to be on the look out for them and, where possible, point them out on the street.

This is very important to the security of your nation, as the BBC has quite clearly pointed out:

People with personality disorders are more likely to end up in prison, commit suicide and have mental health problems.

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES. CRAZY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BREAK INTO OUR HOUSES AND COMMIT SUICIDE ON OUR COFFEE TABLES.

This is where the BBC have made what’s called a ‘Type II Error’ in statistical research – claiming significance where there is none. In this case, they say people with personality disorders are more likely to end up in prison. WRONG. What they are trying to say is that a significant number of prison inmates are likely to have a personality disorder. One is significant. The other one is just a complete fuck up.

Oh, BBC. If you can’t report responsibly on mental health issues, who will?

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Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bron T, Kitty Farrell. Kitty Farrell said: Not even the Beeb can responsibly report on Psychology http://wp.me/pyCWY-3C […]


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