Ego depletion, an influential theory in psychology, may have just been debunked.

Articles like this, for quantitative research psychologists (rat people who worship the god of Statistics) are terrifying. Qualitative research psychologists (mostly philosophers, phenomenologists, existential analysts of the human condition-referred to as “humanists” by the APA) just quietly smile. And as far as “ego depletion” goes, I am confused. For Freud the ego was the the final development in human development from prior states of Id and super-ego. Physical or mental disability, that commonly happens in older adults, may lead to a regression to prior states of super-ego or id. But as far as a “depletion” goes, I think the research subjects just got tired. How long had it been since they ate?

In research,studies are set up to either prove or disprove preconceived notions. In the end the data is subjected to statistical analysis. The discipline of Statistics is a numerical-probability game that hucksters and politicians can manipulate to sell something or get votes. Scientists and other researchers are under scrutiny by their peers and have no such freedom, hopefully. An oncologist can tell his patient they got all the cancer. His peers will want to know the degree of confidence that this is so. Even if the odds are 95 to 5 that the patient has five more years of life, the patient could be one of the five.

Rats used in research experiments are special creatures. They have been born, raised, bred, and die in controlled environments. As such they make really good creatures for statistical study. Human beings, on the other hand, are so diverse that to bring a bunch of them together for a statistical study can introduce previously unidentified or unmeasured factors into the conclusions. And as the study is replicated and replicated over time, these unidentified and unmeasured factors can pile up so that what was not considered important at the start turns out to be very important after all. In Evolutionary Genetics they differences are known as mutations.

(As you may have figured out by now I am of the qualitative school of thought. My life experiences have convinced me that when quantitative statistical research is done outside of the field of natural science, our infinite human spirits refuse to fall in step with our rational expectations.)

This article requires focused attention and I hope your egos don’t get “depleted” in the process. The video at the end can be thought of as a “reward” for your efforts.

#LGBTIEquality #Transgender #Intersex
Roberta A Westerberg, MA *Skickat från min svenska IPad.🇸🇪


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