Mealey Comm mcfall

From: Beck Alexandra (aeb195@psy.soton.ac.uk)
Date: Thu May 14 1998 - 13:45:37 BST


Mealey comm on Mcfall

Mcfall dissaproves of the model put forward by mealey by stating that
it could be a just story. That is, Mcfall believes that her points
about sociopaths have been made by a credible story which is a
powerful way to present a scientific theory but that the theory come
cheap at the expence of verified facts. ( anyone could make up a
story which others would believe )

These stories are:

   capable of explaining virtually any outcome; yet they really are not
   explaining anything at all.

Mcfall explains that:

   a real theory of sociopathy must do more than posit multiple input factors,
   and summarize what is known about descriptive psychopathology on the
   output side.

Therefore it must do more than just say that there are two ways of
being a sociopath i.e. genetic and environmental and saying that
these effect the persons behaviour.

   the theory should specify a set of functions linking the points in the
   predisposition space to points in the behavioural space.

Mcfall also suggests that this model does not make any predictions
that can be differentiated from a simpler model. She also does not
explain why discrete types of sociopathy should emerge.

   This model predicts that a higher prevalence of sociopathy will be
   seen in high-risk environments, but all reasonable models predict
   this.

He concludes by saying that this model is vague enough to explain any
existing data.

We need theories that predict a specific set of future results and,
equally important, forbid another specific set of future results.

Mealey's interesting review may yet inspire a scientifically useful
theory od sociopathy, but she has not provided one here.



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