Chicken or the egg?

Having read the article from New Scientist I’m left with the question which isn’t answered… Isn’t there a possibility that the people who write diaries regularly probably going to be the character type who have the medical and phsychological problems described as the consiquences of diary writing in the article?

From what I can see, the only way to prove or disprove this would be to find a large sample of non-diary writers, do a medical on them all and then get half to start writing diaries without telling them what the study is for (so as not to cause a placebo effect). Just testing those who are already writing or not writing is pointless as you can’t separate cause and effect.

Sometimes I dispair about the psychologists (and many medical researchers) who seem to be pseudo-scientists who abuse statistics to prove the conjecture they formulated before the study. A true scientist should try as hard as they can to knock down their own conjecture or theory and only if it withstands every attack they can think of start to believe it might hold some sense of truth.

3 thoughts on “Chicken or the egg?

    • Yeah, I’m sure this study has got the cart before the horse. Still, there’s nothing which can be done about people making studies to just keep their job.

      • Although I agree with you about the way the conclusions of the study were stated, I agree with them about the possibility of the link.

        I used to keep a personal diary, and I used to use it to talk my problems through with myself. They got worse, so I stopped. Then they slowly got better. I realised that I’d got myself into a positive feedback loop – my excessive introspection was causing an increase in the time I spent thinking about the problems, which caused the problems to intensify, which caused me to think about them more… it took me a very long time to just live, and stop worrying about whether I was doing it right. Sometimes I still slip into the old pattern.

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