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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Feb > Feb 5

Re: 'Standard Abduction Experience'

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2011 10:04:26 -0600
Archived: Sat, 05 Feb 2011 11:37:08 -0500
Subject: Re: 'Standard Abduction Experience'


>From: Cathy Reason <CathyM.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
>Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 18:46:46 -0000
>Subject: Re: 'Standard Abduction Experience'

>>From: Nigel Watson <nigelwatson1.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 11:36:36 +0000
>>Subject: Re: 'Standard Abduction Experience'

>There's no way I can let this one go.

>>At least psychological and psychiatric research has far better
>>standards than anything used by alien abduction researchers
>>(hypnosis over the phone - gasp of horror, naming no names).

>This is laughable, given the degree of conceptual muddle which
>prevails in psychological research (the confused understanding
>of "operationalization" which is exactly the reverse of what
>Bridgeman intended, the subjectivity and lack of rigor in the
>interpretation of evidence, the regurgitation of paradigmatic
>assumptions in the guise of "experimental" data); and the
>appalling standards of methodology which have afflicted
>psychiatry for decades (lack of control groups, clinical
>judgements based on opinion instead of evidence, the dominance
>of pseudoscientific fads such as psychoanalysis).

>I have no experience Of Abduction Research, So I Can't Comment
>On Its Deficiencies one way or the other. But anyone who is
>claiming some special quality for psychological and psychiatric
>research is selling snake oil.

It's even worse when handed over to the amateur psychologists
and sociologists who comprise the pretentiously titled
"psychosocial ufology." For specific examples of the (surely
predictable) intellectual incoherence, see pp. 749-59 of my UFO
Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. (1998).

I'll cite one, from my examination of the writings of a
prominent and influential psychosocial ufologist, author of
several books of advocacy. Because I am fond of him personally,
I remove his name from what follows (p. 757):

"He proposes that entity-generating psychological states [such
as those that lead people to believe aliens have abducted them]
include relaxation and excitation, boredom and ecstasy,
isolation and participation in a group, concentration and
distraction, questioned faith and unquestioning faith, anxiety
and peace of mind.  When none of these conditions obtains - if
that is conceivable - the weather, the phase of the moon, or the
individual's diet may trigger the imaginary encounter.  [X] may
as well have argued that the psychological state in which one is
most likely to have an entity encounter is being alive."

None of this excuses the blunders and excesses of some abduction
proponents and researchers, but psychosocial ufologists are
always far more keen to trumpet those than their own, about
which - if they're aware of them at all - they remain tactfully
silent.


Jerry Clark



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