The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice

Objective Investigations of Controversial and Unorthodox Claims in Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, and Social Work

IS THE PSEUDOSCIENCE CONCEPT USEFUL FOR CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY?

Pseudoscience Resurgent?

A Reply

Author:
Richard J. McNally, Department of Psychology, Harvard University.

Author Note:
Preparation of this manuscript was supported by NIMH grant RO1 MH61268-01A1. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Richard J. McNally, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. E-mail: rjm@wjh.harvard.edu.

Abstract:
The commentators believe that the concept of pseudoscience is useful for criticizing questionable claims and practices in clinical psychology. In contrast, I believe that evidential warrant (or lack thereof) provides a more straightforward means for criticizing them. Attempting to diagnose pseudoscience is an unnecessary and roundabout exercise that ultimately boils down to questions of evidential warrant, anyway. Therefore, rather than asking “Is this claim pseudoscientific?” we can simply ask “What is the evidence for this claim?”


You can read the full text of this article in
The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, vol. 2, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2003).
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