Sunday, September 25, 2011

“Psychological Aspects of 9/11 Truth”

It appears to be edited to be as unwatchable as possible, but 9/11 deniers have slapped together another appeal to authority in the form of a video called “Psychologists help 9/11 truth deniers.” Only two of the eight people in the video are actual psychologists, and each have oddly unrelated licenses. At least one is a New Age quack who runs a scam site (read on).

I worked in a behavioral sciences laboratory as an undergrad and have a few certifications of my own under my belt, so with that pointless appeal to authority, let me offer some of these people some actual data that the literature in their (nominal) field suggests about their statements.

Namely, that they’re all full of bullshit.

To the first interviewee, Marti Hopper: The evidence from the psychological literature demonstrates that trauma makes someone more, not less, susceptible to conspiracy theories. Oh, also that those effects sink in right around the time of the trauma, so a Commission Report that comes out years later is immune to the types of cognitive traps that a conspiracy theory peddled within months of the event isn’t.

To the second interviewee, Frances Shure: The evidence from the behavioral literature shows that flashbulb memory is crap, and that eyewitness testimony is wildly unreliable (in case you happen to base your beliefs on, say, “the sounds of explosions” or the words of, say, BBC journalists).

To Robert Hopper: For someone who points out that “fear and anxiety” are the most common reactions to cognitive dissonance (they probably aren’t, by the way), you sure are doing a lot of defending of a violent, aggressive movement of conspiracy theorists.

To Danielle Duperret: Your trauma therapies are crap. Stop telling people who to deal with tragedies; you’re hurting them. Oh also, don’t sell magic and tell people it’s science.

To Dorothy Lorig: David Ray Griffin lies for a living.

To David Ray Griffin: See above.

To John Freedom: Your own theories about how to change someone’s mind are wrong. “Open-ended questioning” doesn’t cut it, either.

To Robert Griffin: For someone who has accused people who know better than you of engaging in “a lack of humility,” you sure are fond of parroting the beliefs of those you agree with without providing a shred of reasoning.

Ugh, how sad. Please do check out Danielle Duperret’s website; nothing screams “fraud” louder (or with as gaudy a color scheme!). “Energy medicine,” homeopathy, and using magic vibrations to cure trauma? This sounds actively dangerous to people with legitimate problems. At the risk of shocking you: the 9/11 denier movement is employing scientific frauds to sell you something. Gasp.

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