Originally Posted by Gerwyn
Yes, indeed Gerwyn, there's
one of the two rubs. I just looked at your profile, and with your
background you can see this, as I can - and I am a mathematical
psychologist (meaning mostly that I got an M.Sc. in it mostly on stuff
relating to mathematics, as I'd decided most of psychology is hardly a
real science) and a philosopher of science.
Anyway, here are the two rubs with many papers about ME, and especially
those by psychologists:
1. The writers don't really understand the statistics they are using.
(They can use it because there are these days all manner of statistical
packages, that will deliver p values, z scores and what have you on
demand, in 1/100th of a second also). Much that I have seen of applied
statistics in psychology - not only as regards ME - is gobblydegook or
2. Especially with ME there are major methodological problems that are
rarely addressed in a good way.
So... what you often get is n supposed people "with ME/CS", where it is
virtually completely unclear how these have come to be selected,
followed by something that purports to be a statistical analysis that
ends in some claimed "Evidence Based" conclusions, where often the
statistics is inappropriate, ill-reported or unmotivated, and the
methodology merely a faith-based affair.
In brief, and regardless of the conclusions and the so called
scientific journal it has been published in: Superficially, it looks
like science, and maybe it is sincerely meant to be real science, but
when you look closer the methodology used must be taken on faith, while
the statistics are questionable at the very least.
It is mainly for these reasons that personally, although or because I
am a psychologist, I am not much interested in what psychologists say
about it, especially if the publications are about some claimed group
of "patients with ME/CFS" and involve "statistics".
Another reason is that some of it is mock science. Thus in Holland I
have, in the last half year, been invited two or three times to
participate in "scientific studies" ("statistical") with the explicit
aim - so far as I can see: because even the proponents of CBT and GET
cannot produce decent evidence it works in any way as they claimed - to
establish that a COMBINATION of CBT and some "physical help" is "most
And as Rachel suggested earlier in this thread, this is done by
suggesting what manner of answers proper patients should give to the
"scientific questionnaire" they answer.
It is for these and similar reasons that I am since 30 years far more
interested in the findings of real scientists - biochemists,
neuro-scientists etc. - concerning ME than in what psychologists
publish about it.