Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

“Spoonfeed him and as an adult he will always need someone to lean on,” says Vatsyayan...Business Standard

Enter the Helicopter parent 
Parents these days want to control every aspect of a child?s life ? from friendships and hobbies to job interviews ? stifling his ability to make decisions
Veenu Sandhu / New Delhi Sep 08, 2012, 00:18 IST ........The extent of helicopter parenting may vary from mild to extreme but it often proves to be counterproductive, say counsellors and child psychologists. For example, when a class of eight-year-olds from Delhi went on a picnic, the parents of one child followed the bus in their car. They may have done this simply out of extreme concern for their child, given that newspapers are flooded with reports of accidents during school trips. To the child, however, this sends out a different message — that his parents perhaps do not trust him and this exposes him to the mockery of his peers. Some children, say psychologists, might also feel reassured that their parents are always there for them. Such messages take root and the child does not learn to be an independent, responsible individual who can take care of himself, cautions Suneel Vatsyayan, relationship counsellor and CEO of Connect counseling and training solutions. Vatsyayan has been working with a couple whose micro-parenting has made their son, now 26, socially isolated and bereft of the motivation to do anything.
.......“Parenting is tricky,” says Amit Sen, child and adolescent psychiatrist who runs the Children’s First Clinic in Delhi. The word, he adds, is yet to be defined in the dictionary. “A very dynamic question which a parent needs to answer is: when to be around and when to withdraw,” says Sen. “Parents feel that in this competitive world, if they are not constantly watching over the child or protecting him, he will miss the bus or not grow up to be a happy and successful individual.”
Such children, says Vatsyayan, will eventually find ways to avoid the parents or will start acting in a manner to please the parent to be able to negotiate with them. “Spoonfeed him and as an adult he will always need someone to lean on,” says Vatsyayan. “At work too, he will be able to manage only when things are spelt out or defined for him.” That is not something any parent, helicopter or otherwise, would want for the child.
Read more  http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/enterhelicopter-parent/485702/

Young India is Changing...Suneel's Blog


Interactive media for Change : Young India is Changing

A national TV show Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails ) flashed the Alcoholic Anonymous’s helpline numbers and website details in its ninth episode.
AA centers across India had received more than 31,000 calls. In my view, A.A. is a parallel social movement, which has been growing world wide in its own natural way because of strict adherence to its traditions.
With the far reaching technological advancements television, radio and social websites have become interactive with the potential to bring  in changes and work as catalysts in social transformation. With interactivity these media have helped bring into sharp focus stigmatized issues like alcoholism to overcome the barriers in reaching out to the hither to neglected groups.
I would admit that it is not for the first attempt in the use of media to bring a  change in India.  Each episode of Satyamev Jayate has a very distinct  feature like detailed post production research and ground based connectivity through web based presence and simultaneous broadcast through All India Radio, Doordarshan (National Channel ) and STAR . “Aamir Khan”  as an actor and a producer, a big brand in his own terms of  popularity, credibility and social sensitivity added a value to the program.
Alcohol was one of the several issues like Female Foeticide – Child Sexual Abuse – Every Life Is Precious etc. featured in each episode. It communicated a hope  that India is changing and they were  very well received at the grass root level.
It reminded me of  my close associate  in combating the scourge of alcohol and other drugs problems Mr.T.K.Thomas and his work on alcohol and other drug education as the author of Radio DATE (Drug, Alcohol, Tobacco Education). I met him for the first time in 1990 at Navjyoti, Delhi Police Foundation head office in Police station Sari Rohila. He interviewed me as an expert on issues related to alcohol prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Later Mr.Thomas joined Navjyoti Delhi Police Foundation as a volunteer for more than a decade. The program was an example of interactive media with a success rate of  “About 4% tobacco users in Goa and about 6% users in Karnataka quit their habit after listening to the programme. About 98% to 99% of the listeners expressed that such programmes should continue.”
Suneel Vatsyayan Suneel's Blog Published: 2012.09.11


Comments

  • # Maik D├╝nnbier | September 11, 2012, 21:16
    This is a very interesting topic and surely a very timely blogg entry, Suneel! I will go to Asia in the end of the year and hold workshops on the topic of “NGOs, social media and democracy”.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Looking for a Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Center ?


Looking for a Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Center ? Nai Kiran Drug Rehabilitation Services are caring and safe, where you can learn how to live sober, productive life and discover best of your potential.
The biggest question.. What is after "Detoxification" ?? Most of us need a structured, healthy environment where healing can continue and new coping skills can be learned. We know you can succeed in staying sober.
You just need a little help. That`s what we`re here for.

Admission Procedure
you should take prior appointment for admission.
Expenditure for boarding and extra facilities charged. This amount is to be paid in cash at the time of admission. Fees once paid will not be refunded under any circumstances.
Charges for medicines or pathological tests prescribed by the Doctor will have to be paid extra.
Besides his rehabilitation and minor medical problems, if he falls sick due to any other illness, then parents and guardians are responsible for his extra treatment. During in-house stay, the patients have to follow all the rules and regulations very strictly.
Relatives are allowed to meet their patients with prior appointment.
No one is allowed to meet the patient on any other day......
For details Helpline 09212601043
Mobile no- 09212273400
Email - naikiranindia@gmail.com
visit  http://naikiranindia.com/admission.htm

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A new approach to life

Published: August 11, 2012 00:00 IST | Updated: August 11, 2012 05:08 IST

A new approach to life

Health An alternate therapy to kick your old habits that die hard
It started with just one or two a day and now I can’t live without it. It relieves my stress and makes my mind alert.
How often do we hear people say this when asked to quit smoking or any other addictive habit? For a few, what started off casually as a stress buster grips them so gradually that they don’t realise they are getting addicted. Many people desperately wish to release themselves from a toxic practice, whether it is alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual addiction, negative thinking, insomnia or depression.
To address multiple issues on how to overcome numerous toxic habits, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol in association with 7-Radiations-SATCH (Sanctum of Alternate Therapies and Conscious Healing) will conduct a workshop for the first time in the city. The session focuses on complete wellness therapy using standardised auricular-acupuncture techniques that deal with any kind of craving or addiction or emotional, behavioral and mental restlessness. The treatment deals with both acute and chronic pains that many suffer quietly.
Suneel Vatsyayan, Chairman of NADA India Foundation says, “The therapy aims at bringing new life for those who want to overcome any kind of disorder or pathological pain through relaxation techniques.”
J. Maria Doss, a medical practitioner from Bangalore, talks of the benefits of the therapy. “Auricular-acupuncture therapy aims at treating people without using any medicines,” she says. “It is safe and globally accepted technique that has no side effects and follows simple relaxation methods. By identifying the points such as shen men, sympathetic, point zero, tranquilizer and lung point in the auricle (external ear), the urge to smoke or drink will be viewed in a different perspective altogether.” She says the person will be transformed and able to withdraw from any type of addiction.
R. Rachana, alternative therapist of 7-Radiations-SATCH, explains the methods used. “Each treatment is case specific and lies in identifying the right points in the ear. Probes help in identifying the pathological points and treating them accordingly.”
A workshop will be held by NADA protocol on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. at 7 Radiations-SATCH, Pedawaltair. The entry fee is Rs. 1000. For further details phone 9885103556 or email rachanaa.nitin@gmail.com.
RANI DEVALLA
More In: METRO PLUS | FEATURES
Printable version | Aug 11, 2012 2:59:49 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/article3752369.ece


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Benefits of Qualified Rehab Center

A good rehabilitation center plays an important role in making sure that the addiction problems experienced by you or your beloved is treated well. You need to be very careful in choosing the right rehab center for you or your beloved ones. It is because not all rehab centers can be relied on. You need to see all of the aspects of the rehab center before you make any decision about it. Maybe, you can click here if you want to know the features of a recommended rehab center that might be your alternative. It seems that after you know all the features and facilities provided, you will get peace of mind to let them handle the treatment.

There are actually some benefits, which you can get from the right rehab center for you or your beloved ones. First thing first, if you are sure about the quality of the rehab center, of course, you will not be afraid about the details. It is because the qualified rehab center will give services that are more detailed to their clients. They will think about many things, including the clients’ needs. They will give such personalized services for each client, which means that every client will get different services from the other clients. The services are matched with the clients’ needs.

Secondly, a qualified rehab center will of course have the qualified medical staffs. It means that all the staffs are professionals that have wide experiences about treating addiction problems, either to drugs and alcohol or other kinds of addiction. They will definitely give their best to treat the addiction and to help you cure the addiction. Not to mention, the recovery time is also thought very well. During the recovery time, they will give good attention to make sure that you will be healthy and ‘normal’ again.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Next NADA Acudetox training workshop in Visakhkapatnam Andhra Pradesh on 12th Aug.2012


                        24/07/2012
Dear Friends &  Colleagues,
Greetings from Nada India…
Nada India Foundation & Indian Association of Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist (IAADS)  are pleased to announce the Training workshop on use of ear acupuncture as per NADA Protocol for addiction treatment and general well being to be held at Vishakhapatanam Andhra Pradesh on 12th Aug 2012 . The workshop is hosted by  7 Radiations - SATCH (Sanctum of Alternative Therapies and Conscious Healing) Vishkhapatanam (http://www.7radiations.org/). The workshop will be facilitated by  Dr.James Doss ,NADA, ADS.

The workshop aims to facilitate a shared understanding of importance of barrier free services and skill in use of ear acupuncture as an adjunct treatment at all stages of addiction treatment and wellness services  (pre- admission, detoxification and rehabilitation and after care).  This workshop also provides trainees with skills to use ear acupuncture (NADA Protocol three points).
This also enables trainees in building greater confidence in producing effective approach in dealing with people, who avoid treatment,  
The programme brief is discussed below. The course shall provide: 
• Class room inputs 
• Reading Material
• Rigorous hands on practice
• Complementary advisory and troubleshooting support services through electronic media or phone.

If you are interested in the programme please send an email along with dually filled registration form. The registration fee for the workshop is Rs.1000/- (One Thousand only) which includes a lunch, tea,link to online resource material, certificate and one year membership fees of Indian Association of Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. You can send the cheque in the name of “Nada India Foundation”.  Since the number of participants for the workshop will be limited, please confirm your participation by filling online form by visiting https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?pli=1&formkey=dHlUc3FNQ1M5bEFucUU2Tm85aGlSWUE6MQ#gid=0  at the earliest by calling Mr. Srikanth M. on Tel7702345606 or sriworld@7radiations.org or Ms.Pallavi 09810594544 nadaindia@gmail.com 
Venue: 

7 Radiations - SATCH (NGO)
Beside SBI Bank, 
(Next to Satyam Super Market)
Pedawaltair Main Road,
Visakhapatnam.
Conveners
1) Rachana R. -  9885103556
2) Srikanth M. -  7702345606
We shall be happy to answer any queries that you may have in this regard.
I look forward to your kind cooperation.
With best regards,
 Dr.Ajay Vats (NADA, ADS)
President,  IAADS
www.acudetoxindia.com

 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Substance Abuse Treatment Helps Mental Health

substance abuse
The accounted addiction analysis adjust centers accommodate actuality corruption analysis to the patients. This helps the patients to get convalescent and become able abundant from apperception to action the addictions. These days, alcohol, drug, cocaine, heroin, etc are the aloft addictions begin in boyish and in adults beyond the country. In case, you are one of the above, again anon acquaintance the a lot of accounted and reliable name in the booze and biologic adjust centers in the town. The bloom alignment is a non-profitable medical convention that provides assorted types of able treatments to cure all types of addictions. Actuality corruption analysis is advised as the aloft accoutrement in rehabilitating the patients.


Substance corruption analysis helps the patients to abstain and annihilate all types of disturbances, and disorders such as abasement from the mind. In added words, such treatments advice the brainy bloom abound stronger and stable. Once the date is accomplished area academician or brainy action can be control, the evidence-based programs advice patients to acquisition quickest after-effects in adjust centers. To get started, patients just charge to do the afterward four things, the credibility are listed below:

1. Buzz call: The bloom casework are accessible round-the-clock, the patients just charge to alarm and accommodate all the details. The assembly of actuality corruption analysis accommodate antecedent advices and accept the attributes of concern. Every important detail is taken during the telephonic chat accompanying to the addiction and abuse.

2. Appraisal & Planning: The appraisal helps to accept the patient's brainy bloom which is afflicted by the appulse of biologic or alcohol. Depending aloft the situation, the appraisal can be done on the buzz but the bigger way is to appointment in being to action best accept apropos to the issue. During the appraisal of actuality corruption treatment, the medical practitioners adjudge the appropriate akin of casework to cure the accession bound and efficiently. The analysis gets started by application the evidence-based programs to cure the patients calmly and effectively.

3. Charges: The patients are mostly provided outpatient treatments to save their time and money. The treatments and consultations provided in the bloom casework are provided after earning a individual accumulation in actuality corruption treatments. Therefore, accuse paid by patients to booze and biologic adjust centers are apropos to the accessories and anesthetic used. Thus, calling the treatments nominal or reasonable will be wrong. The adjust centers do not ask for any added accuse from the patience.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dr.Michael O.Smith along with other NADA ADS visited Nai Kiran a peer led Drug treatment center in Feb.2012


‘Mann Ki Baat’- Popular series on Doordarshan


‘Mann Ki Baat’- Popular series on Doordarshan 
focuses on Contemporary Psychosocial Mental Health Issues

New Delhi, 10th July, 2012 - ‘Mann Ki Baat (eu dh ckr), the series on Doordarshan handling mental health and psychosocial issues has been very well received and appreciated by public and critically acclaimed by press.  The series being aired every Saturday at 8.30 a.m. on National Network of Doordarshan and repeated every Monday at 8.30 a.m. has focused on contemporary issues like Aggression, Road Rage, Accidents, Coping with Trauma and Disasters, Disabilities, Bereavement, Chronic Illnesses and Caregiver’s stress.

The series now focuses on issues of the Elderly – Ageing and Mental Health, Memory Impairment and Dementia, Elder abuse, Gender Discrimination etc. as well as Parenting – Single Parenting, take up, Adoption, Generation Gap and Adolescent Sexuality etc.  The series would then take up special areas of children and adolescents within family and in the society, managing emotions and positive mental health.

The content for the series has been developed by Dr. Sujatha D. Sharma, a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience in mental health as well as content development for media.  Dr. Avdesh Sharma, an eminent psychiatrist is the Director and Expert anchor of the series.  He has anchored and directed numerous health programs for the electronic media for over 30 years. Ms. Kanupriya, a well known media personality for nearly two decades is the Anchor of the series.

It is estimated by WHO that a quarter of the population suffers from a mental illness sometimes in their lifetime and at least 10% suffer from serious mental disorders at any given time. The psychosocial and interpersonal problems on day-to-day basis affect us all, reducing efficiency and causing untold emotional burden. The need is not only to overcome negative states but promote positive mental health for individuals, family and society.  Thus, caring for our mind becomes our greatest responsibility to ourselves and those around. 

It is critical to recognize early signs of psychological distress and address them immediately, either through self-help or professional advice.  It would be better for a person to share his or her feelings, conflicts, problems or dilemmas with others who are sympathetic listeners and caring well-wishers. This way, an emerging psychological problem can be addressed in a timely manner and resolved early.  This would reduce the strife and psychological burden on the society as well as the stressed medical services.  Television, especially Doordarshan, with mandate for social change through infotainment is an effective way to reach out to the masses.

Mann ki Baat has offered this platform to create awareness for mental health issues – both the ordinary ones that affect our daily lives and the not so ordinary one that may not directly affect us but someone we know or care for and gives knowledge to make the difference. 


Program website:            www.mannkibaat.com

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Narconon Program for the Addicts

Recovering the drug addicts is not easy. There are so many ways and procedures that have to be done in order to get them recovered very well. Fortunately, along with the development of the technology these days, there are a lot of innovations made to help the addicts to get easy recovery from their addictions. One of the most recommended drug addiction treatments offered to people is Narconon. This program has been developed very well these days to recover the drugs addicts very easily and very quickly, so that they can get back totally to their normal lives. And of course, this will be handled by professional experts who know very well how to treat the addicts very well without causing them into new troubles anymore.
There will be two kinds of programs that will be focused on in Narconon program. The first program will focus on health improvement, while the second program will focus on mental improvement. These two aspects are the most distracted and damaged aspects that have to be recovered and treated very well so that the addicts’ lives could be normal for once again. These aspects will be the whole Narconon rehab that should be done by the addicts very intensively, because both are affecting one to another.
The health improvement will be done by improving the quality of the addict’s health through several treatments, such as detoxification that is aimed to get rid of all the toxic inside the addicts’ bodies, and also some physical exercises that are aimed to improve the physical conditions of the addicts after the drugs consumptions. Meanwhile, the mental treatment is done to make sure to prevent the addicts from being addicted to drugs anymore in the future. Moreover, mental treatment will also be the key of the physical improvement, because with good mental condition, the addicts will be able to live their lives positively which will give excellent and good feedback to them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sh. Nirmal Singh, Ex -Minister, Haryana flag off the drug prevention Rally rally

On 26th June 2012,Nai kiran Peer led Drug De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centre, Shahpur, Ambala took out a rally on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Nai Kiran is a member of Nada India network member.

Sh. Nirmal Singh, Ex -Minister, Haryana addressed the members of the Rally and encourage them by showing Green Flag to the Rally. The Rally started at 9:00 AM from Ambala Cantt., Railway Station and cover various places, Swastik Chow, Football Chowk, Vijayratan Chowk, Gud Mandi and Govt. College etc.  it took 3:00 hours to cover the total distance. 
 









During Rally, the members were giving messages like "Nasha Ek Bimari hai, Iska Elaj Jarori hai". (Addiction is disease and treatment is possible   Prof. Satish Mudgil, (Volunteer of Nai Kiran), Sh. Mandeep (Ex-addict and volunteer of Nai Kiran), Sh. Tarif Singh, Treasurer Nai Kiran, Sh. Parveen Sharma, Link Officer Nai Kiran, Sh. Satbeer Dabas, Peer educator, Nai Kiran lead the Rally.





Monday, June 25, 2012

Substance Abuse Treatment Helps Mental Health

http://www.lcdp.org/images/photo/mental%20health%202.JPGThe reputed addiction treatment rehab centers provide substance abuse treatment to the patients. This helps the patients to get cured and become strong enough from mind to fight the addictions. These days, alcohol, drug, cocaine, heroin, etc are the major addictions found in adolescent and in adults across the country. In case, you are one of the above, then immediately contact the most reputed and reliable name in the alcohol and drug rehab centers in the town. The health organization is a non-profitable medical institute that provides various types of efficient treatments to cure all types of addictions. Substance abuse treatment is considered as the major tools in rehabilitating the patients.
Substance abuse treatment helps the patients to avoid and eliminate all types of disturbances, and disorders such as depression from the mind. In other words, such treatments help the mental health grow stronger and stable. Once the stage is attained where brain or mental condition can be control, the evidence-based programs help patients to find quickest results in rehab centers. To get started, patients just need to do the following four things, the points are listed below:
1. Phone call: The health services are available round-the-clock, the patients just need to call and provide all the details. The representatives of substance abuse treatment provide initial advices and understand the nature of concern. Every important detail is taken during the telephonic conversation related to the addiction and abuse.
2. Assessment & Planning: The assessment helps to understand the patient's mental health which is influenced by the impact of drug or alcohol. Depending upon the situation, the assessment can be done on the phone but the better way is to visit in person to offer best understand concerning to the issue. During the assessment of substance abuse treatment, the medical practitioners decide the right level of services to cure the addition quickly and efficiently. The treatment gets started by using the evidence-based programs to cure the patients efficiently and effectively.
3. Charges: The patients are mostly provided outpatient treatments to save their time and money. The treatments and consultations provided in the health services are provided without earning a single profit in substance abuse treatments. Therefore, charges paid by patients to alcohol and drug rehab centers are concerns to the equipment and medicine used. Thus, calling the treatments nominal or reasonable will be wrong. The rehab centers do not ask for any extra charges from the patience.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Substance Abuse

http://www.clearviewtreatment.com/files/2009/08/Treatment-Dual-Diagnosis.jpgDual diagnosis rehab centers are the kind of rehab centers that provides treatment for both drug and alcohol addiction. According to a recent survey, 53% of the people who are addicted to drugs also suffer from a mental illness. Likewise, about 50% people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are diagnosed with some kind of mental disorder. It is a proof that substance abuse is directly related to mental disorder. For such people nowadays there are dual diagnosis treatment centers available. These centers provide treatments for people who are suffering from both mental illness and some kind of addiction. People who are suffering from these two problems have problems in maintaining emotional and psychological stability. In these rehab centers the patients go through various stages to recover from their addiction and mental disorder.
The first stage of this treatment includes complete detoxification of the addicted person. The patients are carefully purified of all the drug and alcohol residues present in their bodies. During this procedure the patient may suffer from severe withdrawal but with proper care and medication, they are able to deal with it. After the patient is cleared from foreign residues, the next step is to evaluate the mental disorder from which the patient is suffering from? This process includes collecting data by way of question and answer sessions, psychiatric evaluations, behavioral monitoring etc. Diagnosing the correct mental disorder is crucial to cure the patient.
After this the patient is treated with proper medication and counseling. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines are provided to the patients if its necessary. Along with proper medication and treatment, the patients are also given a good amount of love, care and affection so that they get motivated to deal with their addiction and recover from it. The success rates of these rehab centers differ as they are dependent on various factors. These factors are the patient's illness, its history, nature and most importantly the patient's willingness to get out of his addiction. Patients who are treated in a well known and capable dual diagnosis rehab center are able to attain full recovery provided they cooperate with the doctors and try their best to recover from his addiction to some kind of drugs or alcohol.
But you should be aware of the fact that this treatment is often longer in duration and more complex than other traditional rehab centers. It is mainly because of the added complexity of the mental health treatment. A good such a treatment is comprised of an intensive 12 week course which includes medication, therapy, counseling and various other components. Till now a good number of people have been benefited from this program and the number is increasing with each passing day. Since there are many such service centers available nowadays, doing some amount of research will be beneficial for you to get information about a good such treatment center. Getting admitted there will help the addicted person to overcome from the trauma and sadness that is associated with drug and alcohol addiction.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beware Stimulus Effects in Psychology

Recently I've blogged about methodological problems in neuroscience research but just to even things out a bit, here's a paper that highlights a potentially serious issue for psychologists - Treating Stimuli as a Random Factor in Social Psychology: A New and Comprehensive Solution to a Pervasive but Largely Ignored Problem

Suppose you want to find out whether people react differently to stimuli from two different groups. The reactions, stimuli, and groups could be anything: maybe you want to see if people prefer listening to sound clips of cats as opposed to dogs. Or maybe you show people photos of blonde men vs dark-haired men and see whether people judge guys with one colour as less trustworthy.

A lot of psychology studies amount to this.

Going with the blonde vs. dark example, suppose you take 1000 volunteers, show them some pictures of blonde guys and dark guys, and get them to rate them on trustworthiness. You find a significant difference between the two groups of stimuli. You conclude that your volunteers are hair-bigots and submit it as a paper. The reviewers think, 1000 volunteers? That's a big sample size. They publish it.

Now that study I just described might be perfectly valid. But it might be seriously flawed. The problem is that while your sample size may be large in terms of volunteers, it might be very small in another way. Suppose you have just 10 photos per group. Your 'sample size', as regards the sample of stimuli, is only 20. And that sample size is just as important as the other one.

It might be that there's no real hair difference in perceived trustworthiness, but there are individual differences - some men just look dodgy and it's nothing to do with hair - and in your stimuli, you've happened to pick some dodgy looking blonde guys. Or whatever.

Now you can run your statistical analyses taking these possible stimulus variation effects into account. But according to Judd, Westfall and Kenny, authors of this paper, this is rarely done. They show with both real and hypothetical data, that unless you take care of this, you can find "statistically significant" differences from pure random noise. This is not a new argument, but they say it's been ignored for too long.

The worst part is that increasing the number of volunteers actually makes it more likely that you'll fall foul of this, not less. Only increasing the stimulus sample size can prevent it.

The paper goes into lots of detail, and tackles various hot potatoes, including one of Daryl Bem's notorious precognition "retroactive priming" experiments. Bem claimed that college students were able to predict the future - they responded differently to different pictures... before the pictures appeared on the screen. The effect was statistically significant and he published it. But Judd et al say that accounting for stimulus variation removes the effect.

ResearchBlogging.orgJudd CM, Westfall J, and Kenny DA (2012). Treating Stimuli as a Random Factor in Social Psychology: A New and Comprehensive Solution to a Pervasive but Largely Ignored Problem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology PMID: 22612667

Monday, June 18, 2012

The PR Crisis of Democracy



What will "democracy" mean, for the next generation?

At the moment, Western democracy has a pretty good image. It’s associated with things like: freedom, prosperity, wealth, justice, progress. I'm not saying that democracy actually causes those things; I'm not saying it doesn't. What I mean is that when most people think of democracy, those are what springs to mind, I think. Democracy today has a pretty good image.

Many people assume that democracy will always be attractive, although only a few have been bold enough to say it. But this wasn't always true, and maybe it won't be. 10 years from now, what will people think of when they hear the word “democracy”?

That all depends what happens. Suppose things get worse in:
 
Egypt, Libya: Democracy (at least in theory)… violence, extremists, civil war.

Europe: Democracy… riots, poverty, panic.

America: Democracy… deadlock, paralysis, decline.

I'm not saying democracy really caused those problems or would be responsible if they get worse. Correlation isn't really causation, but psychologically, it feels like it is (that's why we need reminding so often that it isn't.) I'm just summarizing the news headlines from the past couple of years and assuming they continue.

I'm not saying those headlines are justified, either; the media exaggerate, but this is all about perception, and like it or not, people see headlines. And of course there are other old and new democracies around the world that are doing fine - but good news doesn't make the front page.

Put it all together and it doesn’t look so attractive.

This matters. The USSR ended because the people of the USSR looked West and saw a better life. Now there's an assumption that something similar is bound to happen eventually in those countries that are 'still' not democratic. We assume that they will look at democracy and think: me too! For that matter, we assume that most people in a democracy would not vote to end democracy.

But what if democracy loses face?

This hasn't happened yet. It has only just begun, and hopefully can be prevented. Europe today, even Greece today, is surely more attractive than the USSR 1989... but things could get worse, and then where will democracy be?