Hey guys, how you doing? Okay, so we're in the week two of the course and I hope you're enjoying it. What I want to do in this video is mostly, kind of start some of the side dish video idea going. And so the way I hope this will work is that I will kind of take a look at discussion forums, see what's going on, see what people are talking about. And to the extent there seems to be interest in a particular issue that came up in the course, I will talk a little bit more about it and give you a little bit more insight. So actually, in the first week, there hasn't been as much discussion as I hoped. So I hope this will prompt a little bit more. I did see a thread though talking about the medical model versus the more scientific approach, and it was of course related to Freud specifically and his influence on psychology. So I'd like to talk about that a little bit more and maybe give you an example or two that will hopefully help make it a little more clear. Let me start with the kind of experimental approach and think about psychology more general. The idea behind the experimental method is that we will get to understand the truth through very carefully designed experiments that test possible truths and potentially weed out ones that don't seem to be so true after all. So the scientific method often begins with a theory, or preferably multiple theories, and if the person is clever enough when thinking about these theories they try to come up with a context in which hopefully, the competing theories predict different outcomes. So they would literally imagine theory A. I understand theory A and I understand theory B. Here's a very specific situation I could create where theory A predicts one thing should happen and theory B predicts another. Now typically, by the way, these theories are, and this is one of the important things I want to stress, these theories are general. They are theories about the average human being, the average human behavior. And so typically what we would then do is grab a bunch of humans, a sample, and hope that they represent the average. And we would put them in that situation, that critical experimental context. Sometimes we also have a control context of course where we're not doing some manipulation that the theories predict is important. But now we have these two groups. We do whatever we want to do with them from the scientific basis and then we look to see whether the predictions of either theory hold up but especially if the predictions don't hold up. Science is a weird thing. We don't ultimately believe we've proved anything to be true. All we've done is in any situation is shown data that's consistent with a certain theory but we always keep in mind there might be other theories out there that would also predict that data, and we just haven't thought of them yet. So we don't want to say this theory is the truth, but we will say things like this theory is doing a really good job accounting for all the available data. Which makes us think it's probably close to being true. But we never want to make that jump. But what we're very comfortable doing is saying, but this other theory predicted something should happen and that didn't happen. And therefore, that theory seems to be either in need of revision or we should throw it out, all together. That's what science is really good at, weeding out the ideas that sound good, maybe they're a neat idea. Maybe they might have been true but they don't seem to account for the data and therefore we can stop thinking along those lines. So science is often a process of weeding out bad ideas. Not bad ideas, but ideas that don't seem to account for data. All right, so with that in place, now let's imagine Sigmund Freud. When I say he has the medical mindset, there's actually more to it than I mentioned in the lecture. And I want to unpack some of this. So first of all, what I was referring to specifically was this notion of how behavior links to underlying processes. And so in the medical model, we often have symptoms, but we see the symptoms as consequences of something else. So there's some real underlying problem, some virus, some biological reaction that's going on, maybe an infection, something like that. There's some real problem. That problem is giving rise to these symptoms and so the symptoms are kind of clues but they're clues that help you figure out what the real problem is. And then if you ultimately want to help this person, you want to help that real problem, you want to fix that real problem. And if you do that, the assumption is all the symptoms will kind of disappear. So that's one part of the medical model, just that whole mindset that when we're dealing with problematic behavior and let me stress that. This is one of the things Sigmund Freud suddenly did to psychology. Up until Sigmund Freud, psychology was about how average humans work. Just trying to understand the average human. Freud first of all with a medical approach, brought in this notion that, no, I want to understand the diseased mind. I want to understand people who have behavioral problems. So that brought us into the more medical world, brought us that logic of looking at symptoms or behavioral things as symptoms of some real underlying issue, which is what, you know, he firmly believed. And it also brought us to a much more individual way which is difficult for science too. So, what I mean by that is doctor's deal with patients. One at a time, usually. And a patient comes in and has some problem. And so the doctor is trying to figure out what to do with that patient. And they try things but as soon as you have one person, it's very hard to do good science on one person. Again we like groups of people and we like the average human being. But what we have here is one person who is not average. It's one person who's experiencing some sort of difficulties. So already when you're in that sort of medical way of dealing with things, it's challenging to operate in a very scientific manner. Now, let me take another step with respect to Freud, and clinical psychology for a while. The other thing that made Freud's approach very unscientific in the minds of others, was that his theories did not make clear, testable predictions. So he described these complex interactions, between the ego and the superego, and talked about all these defense mechanisms that could, sort of moderate, how his internal battles kind of play out in behavior. So there was all this complexity in his theory. And when you read it, it's really kind of cool, you'd like it. It's, most scientists would say it's great science fiction. And not fiction as in wrong, but fiction as in it's not a theory. And it's not a theory because it doesn't say, okay, if Freud is right, then if we look at something in this situation, this is what we should see happen. It doesn't make those clear predictions. In fact, in just about anything that happens, Freud can tell a story about the interactions of these mechanisms that explain it. So that's another problem, from a scientific perspective, of the Freudian approach is that we don't have a theory that makes clear predictions and therefore we can never show that his theory is wrong. We can never falsify. And so hopefully, you're getting a sense of the horror here, the horror from a scientific perspective if this is, if you've invested yourself in the study of psychology. And then suddenly someone is representing psychology as Freud is, as a sort of study of the diseased mind with individual patients using a theory that doesn't make testable predictions, and not ever really doing the scientific process anyway. So Freud never looked at groups, and had a control group and an experimental group, where he did something to the experimental group and not to the control. Instead, what he did is worked with individuals and kept trying different things. And then he would ask the individuals every now and then, is this helping? Do you feel better? And the evidence for Freud that his ideas had merit were that he could make people feel better or at least they would tell him they felt better. And that was sort of all Freud needed. Okay, now everything I just said makes Freud sound bad or negative. And so let me retreat from that a little bit. What I'm trying to say is that his approach was just not viewed as scientific and therefore not viewed as useful in helping us really understand the diseased mind because we can't figure out truths or not. However, it's very important to highlight the positive contribution Freud had. Which is, I mean, if anywhere you live now you see mental illness is extremely common. And Freud was really the first one to make people think of mental illness as illness. And to apply a medical mindset, which is suggesting that these are people we need to help. And so in developing clinical psychology, Freud actually had a huge positive service to the community. And the nice thing is, even though Freud's theories may not have been so scientific themselves, they have evolved into a clinical practice that has in fact become quite scientific. So now there are multiple theories. Freud's psychoanalytic theory is one of them that's out there. But if you look at something, for example, like cognitive behavior therapy, that's an approach. It's an approach to helping people change the way they think about things. And it's been very successful in helping some mental illnesses, including depression, which is one of the one that's having the largest effect on society and literally takes the most lives on a regular basis. With cognitive behavior therapy, you can help people who suffer from depression and that's not just something now that they're telling you. There have been really good controlled studies that show that cognitive behaviour therapy is a powerful therapeutic method. None of that would have happened without Freud beginning that sort of process. So, as things develop further, and we can now do things like measure brains in awake, alert people. See blood flow through different parts of the brain, that kind of stuff. That could be a good chapter. Lecture eight. Sorry. Week eight lecture. Brain technology, imaging technologies, and everything they show. But as we do that, now clinical approaches are becoming much more scientific. So while Freud may have sort of splintered psychology into this different direction, and caused a lot of scientists to freak out a little bit, it's kind of come full circle and the clinical approach is coming back to the scientific method. And this is really the best of both worlds I think because we are getting that caring mentality. We are trying to help these people who have mental illness issues, but we're trying to do it in what we now call an evidence-based way. We're not just subjecting them to a bunch of theories, many of which are good ideas but don't work. That's a waste of everyone's time and you're not helping them, but rather we're subjecting them to therapies that we have good reason to believe have merit and that have had a successful track record. So, that's a really good thing. So hopefully that kind of helps a little bit with that distinction between the medical approach to things and the scientific approach. And how those two things, yes, can diverge but can also converge and have very powerful effects when they do. All right, so now let me step back and say that's all an example of my reaction to that discussion forum thread that I saw. And to the extent that there are other issues that you find interesting, post something on the discussion forum. If it's something that others are interested in and talk about, then I will happily post a little side dish video like this to kind of take it to the next step, all right. Cool, excellent. I hope you're enjoying the course. I will see you back on a semi-regular basis. All right, bye-bye.