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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Annals of Academia

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:21 PM

New York  magazine’s “The Cut” —

BAD SCIENCE
JULY 14, 2016

Why It Took Social Science Years to Correct a Simple Error
About ‘Psychoticism’

By Jesse Singal

“What should we make of all of this? Partly, of course, this is
a story of conflicting personalities, of competitiveness between
researchers, of academics acting — let’s be frank — like dicks.”

Or, worse, like New York Times  reporter Benedict Carey —

A Theory About Conspiracy Theories

In a new study, psychologists tried to get a handle on the personality types that might be prone to outlandish beliefs.

By Benedict Carey, New York Times  science reporter,
on Sept. 28, 2020

. . . .

The personality features that were solidly linked to conspiracy beliefs included some usual suspects: entitlement, self-centered impulsivity, cold-heartedness (the confident injustice collector), elevated levels of depressive moods and anxiousness (the moody figure, confined by age or circumstance). Another one emerged from the questionnaire that aimed to assess personality disorders — a pattern of thinking called “psychoticism.”

Psychoticism is a core feature of so-called schizo-typal personality disorder, characterized in part by “odd beliefs and magical thinking” and “paranoid ideation.” In the language of psychiatry, it is a milder form of full-blown psychosis, the recurrent delusional state that characterizes schizophrenia. It’s a pattern of magical thinking that goes well beyond garden variety superstition and usually comes across socially as disjointed, uncanny or “off.”

In time, perhaps some scientist or therapist will try to slap a diagnosis on believers in Big Lie conspiracies that seem wildly out of line with reality. For now, Dr. Pennycook said, it is enough to know that, when distracted, people are far more likely to forward headlines and stories without vetting their sources much, if at all.
. . . .

Some elementary  fact-checking reveals that historical definitions
of “psychoticism” vary greatly. Carey forwards this bullshit without
vetting his sources much, if at all.

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