Letters

Praise for the Monitor redesign

Just wanted to let you know that I was very impressed with the new and improved Monitor—kudos! Unlike my usual habit of passively flipping through the Monitor and then putting it into the recycling bin, I actually read everything from front to back. I found the new design, layout and articles to be more enjoyable, practical and dare I say fun? I am a doctoral candidate and never really found the Monitor applicable to myself and my experiences as a psychology student. Well, you have definitely changed my opinion. I look forward to the next edition.

Alli B. Ventura
New York, N.Y.

The Monitor arrived today, and I read it, just about cover to cover, over lunch. I was tremendously impressed by the change in format, content and organization. You've done a wonderful job!

Dorothy W. Cantor, PsyD
Westfield, N.J.

I do like the new Monitor. I share the desires of others who want more science. I also like David Baker's "Time Capsule" on psychology history. I believe the "Letters" are excellent, especially from those who question our meds-happy culture and the RxP rights of practitioners. But I especially appreciate the larger fonts used for page numbers.

John W. Moore, PhD
Amherst, Mass.
 


Clarification on J.B. Rhine

Kudos to Nick Joyce and David B. Baker, PhD ("ESPecially intriguing," April Monitor) for paying homage to psychologist Karl Zener, PhD, and Joseph Banks Rhine, PhD, for applying scientific methods to ESP research. Yet the term "psychologist" is not an appropriate label for Rhine without some clarification. J.B. Rhine earned his PhD in botany in 1925 following his wife's (Louisa's) work and PhD in the same area in 1923 from the University of Chicago. Later, J.B. Rhine took a position in the psychology department of Duke University under William McDougall studying "psychical" questions for which he trained earlier under McDougall while at Harvard University. Herein the designation "psychologist" more likely arose (see Obituary, Joseph Banks Rhine (1895-1980) by Seymour Mauskopf and Michael McVaugh, American Psychologist, 1981, Vol. 36, No. 3, 310-311).

An insightful book by Louisa Rhine titled "Something Hidden: J.B. Rhine's Unfinished Quest" provides an in-depth account of the Rhines' lives before and during their marriage. As such the book tells a candid story with important clues into the conditions under which J.B. Rhine chose extrasensory perception and related questions on which to focus his research efforts.

William F. Viulli, PhD
Mobile, Ala.

 


You don't speak for me

I am a nature conservationist and a fan of green technology. I also have very good training in science and I therefore am troubled by the APA's uncritical acceptance of and unabashed activism regarding the anthropogenic global warming theory as reflected in the March Monitor.

In Michael Price's article, Rep. Brian Baird, PhD (D-Wash.), is quoted as saying that "Global warming is not something scientists can debate anymore." This unfortunate, arrogant statement is one of a politician with an activist agenda, not of a learned professional with scientific training. Sorry, but the science on climate is not "settled" despite what we hear from left-leaning politicians and successful musicians who are now striving to give back.

I do not wish to be counted among the psychologists who are "increasingly aware of their role in curbing the devastating effects of global warming." You do not speak for me. At least not yet.

It may be worth a pause to consider that activism before understanding, however well-intentioned, often leads to unintended negative consequences. I ask the APA to stop pressuring me, my fellow freethinking colleagues and the general public to blindly accept and behaviorally conform to the primarily political movement known as global warming or climate change.

AND WHEREFORE, the APA is now a purveyor of global warming extremism, this shall serve as PUBLIC NOTICE that the APA does not represent the professional views of J. Christopher McGinnis, PhD, on these matters.

J. Christopher McGinnis, PhD
Fort Myers, Fla.


Letters on letters

I feel I must respond to two letters from readers in the April Monitor.

Dr. Al Galves questions the practice of measuring the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs by the ability of the drug to alleviate DSM symptoms of depression. It seems to me that if you want to measure the effectiveness of a treatment for a disease, wouldn't you measure the ability of a treatment to lessen or eliminate the symptoms of that disease or the disease itself? If we test a cold remedy, don't we want to know how well that remedy lessens fever, cough, congestion, etc.? Also, Dr. Graves posits the idea that most depressions are states of being that are essentially functional and can be useful. Any person who has suffered from a major depressive disorder would likely agree that saying that most depressions are states of being and are essentially functional is like saying most cancers are just a state of being.

Dr. Samantha Wilson erroneously claims that Dr. Phil McGraw is not a psychologist. While technically she is right, McGraw holds a doctorate in a psychologically related discipline and was licensed by Texas for the independent practice of psychology for decades. He apparently retired his Texas license when he moved to California. But, I'm pretty sure Dr. Wilson won't cease to call herself a psychologist when she retires her license.

John Prosser, PhD, MBA
Frisco, Texas