Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: How do you decide what to trust?

Posted by Mitchell on October 31, 2001, at 7:22:53

In reply to How do you decide what to trust?, posted by Dr. Bob on October 30, 2001, at 1:56:11

> 1. From the perspective of someone looking for information, how do you decide what information to trust? What leads you to trust a web site? Another group member?

Most information can be trusted to reflect the unique perspective of the information provider. For better or worse, this site can be trusted to reflect a perspective of individuals who prefer a pharmacological approach to treatment of mental health problems. In reading this site, I might develop more trust for that approach as a valid choice more than I might otherwise, in so far as I better understand the ambitions and limitations of psychopharmacology. The site also tends to confirm my suspicions about the limitations of a pharmacological approach. At its best, for me, this site inspires further research.

As long as the site substantially conforms to its claims, I consider it a trustworthy forum. I don't trust the claims of the site to represent the middle ground or a consensus opinion of what is civil or acceptable on the Internet or in society. The standards of the site don't reflect society's standards but rather the standards of the individual administrator. And the reliability of the forum does not infer reliable information - rather it infers that the information substantially reflects the unique perspectives of the participants. I presume that the forum has tended to self-select a group of participants who share common ideas, so this site cannot be trusted to represent a complete consideration of the full spectrum of all possible valid approaches.

I would trust some people here to drive my car, if I were in the passenger seat. I wouldn't trust anyone here enough to loan them my car, unless I had further information about their background and their intentions. I would not trust anyone here enough to accept their recommendation of an appropriate medication for me. I suspect much information I find here is provided to reinforce the providers' individual preferences more so than it is to help me achieve my unique personal goals. But understanding others' experiences can help me improve my social skills and thereby to improve my personal coping skills.

> 2. From the perspective of someone providing information, do you just pass it on, or do you try to present it in a certain way?

I try to provide information in a form that I hope will promote critical thinking. I also tend to present information in a way that responses will help me better understand the information, and better understand why the information was important to me.

"If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself."
-Bob Dylan




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