Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

Reality Therapy with Dr. Tom: Bad Cops

April 16, 2018

Reality Therapy with Dr. Tom: Bad Cops.

America! It’s time for a little more of Dr. Tom’s reality therapy. 

These special blogs are designed for those who are still living in a fantasy world.

Look-out, you could be one of them and not even know it!

The mass of wonderful (but fantasy-world) citizens consists of a great many of those patriots who were raised in traditional, religious or semi-religious, conservative or moderately conservative families. In some cases it will even include patriotic citizens, from various backgrounds, who consider themselves to be “traditional” or “classical” liberals.

Here is your wake-up call! It is way past-time to perceive the cultural ravages of hyper-liberalism in America and elsewhere in the world. Therefore, it is now my sad duty to rub your noses in the delayed consequences of your slumber in fantasy land. 

I promise that I do this out of pure love and kind thoughts for you, your loved ones and the future of America.

You may, understandably, get upset with me for exposing you to the truth. If you do you will be illustrating some perfectly human fundamental psychological errors: They are the denial of a threatening reality and displaced aggression. These are common defenses against anxiety, worry, fear and anger that we all must learn to  manage effectively.

Wake-Up America! Be rational: Put your anxiety, worry, fear, and anger where it belongs.

Focus these defensive emotions upon the hyper-liberal, anti-American political philosophy (progressivism/socialism) and its political practitioners: Vote the purveyors of America’s demise out of office and do not let them back in.

Here is a message about a reality, soon to become your personal nightmare if America’s police officers continue to be vilified by political forces bent on the destruction of our lawful  society.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 4/16/18

Were My Perceptions Correct?

September 15, 2009

Were My Perceptions Correct?

So this is what happened to me one day in 1983 while I was driving along the river to the YMCA. I confess that since having this private intellectual experience, I have never been quite the same. I still play and enjoy my life, and I have never been depressed by this vision—just stunned, concerned, and greatly motivated. My personal life has become an intense quest for the truth about this matter and I have focused nearly all of my spare time researching the many parts of this compelling cultural puzzle.

Was my sudden “revelation” a momentary glimpse of important underlying psychological and social mechanisms that are powering the decline of America? Have similar complex and interacting population dynamics been involved in the decline of other great societies? Was my thinking, at that moment, the clearest it had ever been, or an unfortunate intellectual hallucination with delusional repercussions?

This is the reality-testing challenge that has been the focus my scholarly efforts over the past 25 years, and it is what this book is all about.  

As a practicing psychotherapist for 30 years, I know the power of fantasy and delusion. And,  I know the markers of psychosis and other illogical thought problems. The bottom line is that I help clients to tell which of their thoughts and actions are rational and which ones are irrational and then to make needed changes in their lives.

As a professor of psychology, and a life-long student of human behavior, I know and teach the rules of scientific analysis of this subject matter. I strive to be appropriately cautious about what I judge to be true regarding the causes of human behavior. With respect to my frightening perception of our American decline strong supporting evidence has been easy to find.

To resist this seductive influence, I have redoubled my efforts and tried my best to find research-based data and theories that are not supportive of my analysis. As a professor and scholar, it has been my sacred responsibility to carefully consider both confirming and disconfirming evidence for my hypotheses. To do this, I have presented over a dozen papers on this and related topics at professional psychological conventions where I have looked to “do battle” with my critics. Indeed, there were some objections raised to my analyses, but they have often appeared to result from the objector’s personal philosophies about freedom, religion, or politics. A very few (there should have been more) also raised elementary concerns about the differences between correlation and causation in research findings. But none of these critics have presented strong data-based or scientific theory-based arguments to counter my own. Beyond a few interesting philosophical debates, there have only been troubled looks of concern, or apparent indifference.

In order to further evaluate my ideas, I taught them to my advanced undergraduate and graduate students and rewarded any of their thoughtful objections and criticisms with improved grades. I also assigned my students the task of doing library research to both support and contradict my postulates and findings. I preached the higher value of disconfirming evidence and rewarded those who brought such evidence to me.

To more stringently test my ideas against a profoundly critical and intellectually skilled audience, I published them in professional psychological journals. I have published the essence of my ideas in two articles appearing in the Journal of Behavior and Social Issues. While publishing my work, I ran a gauntlet of Ph.D. editors who’s willingness to criticize and reject ideas are as legendary as they can be painful. Still, nothing but acceptance of these ideas with relatively mild criticisms and helpful suggestions for improvement. More recently I also published a chapter appearing in an edited scholarly book on Gambling, Behavior Theory, Research and Application. In this resource book for graduate students and other research colleagues, I explained and illustrated my model and analyses in the context of the evolution of legalized gambling in the United States.

Finally, but of much less importance than preceding evaluation efforts, is the fact that my data-based research into population behavior change and America’s decline accord with my 67 years of direct observation of its stunning cultural evolutions. I am painfully aware that such personal observations can be badly flawed, biased and misleading. But I also know that personal naturalistic observations can be used to witness real-life truths that scientific analysis can also more powerfully confirm. For me, the agreement between the findings of science and natural personal observations provides the strongest of reality checks.

I have honestly tested, and continue to test, my thoughts about the reality and likely principles of America’s cultural decline in all ways that I know to do. I have tried to be responsible in my scholarship and in my writings. My most fervent desire is to help America, and other cultures, to avoid self-damaging evolutions and to live well and long. In writing of my work, I invite all my readers to continue to evaluate my thoughts against their own data sources and life experiences.

Finally, I have thought long and hard about the fact that I could still be wrong in my analyses and I have considered the possible harms that might result. I am convinced that, in all respects, it will be better to write of my concerns about America’s cultural decline and to be found wrong. Far more fearsome to me would be to someday know that I was correct, but never had the strength to publicize my concerns.

VTM, 9/15/09

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