Archive for the Dunning-Kruger Effect Category


A new comment left on a 2009 Psychology Today blog post by Stanton Peele:

Psychologist / Alcoholic / Addict / AA Member

Submitted by Anonymous on September 18, 2011 – 6:52pm.

I am a psychologist who is clean and sober 17 years. I owe my sobriety to the fellowship (the group of fellow recovering alcoholics) and the program (12 step) of AA. That’s the plain and simple truth.

It amazes me how fellow psychologists who are not alcoholics (or who are but drink their 2-3 cocktails every day freely, denying that they might have a problem) speak against the ONLY “treatment” for alcoholism that works for EVERYONE. Yes, you heard me correctly. AA has a 100% success rate for those who remain in the program long enough to 1) lose the obsession and 2) go through the full 12-step process as it outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Peele responds appropriately:

You should [lose] your license,

Submitted by Stanton Peele on September 18, 2011 – 6:57pm.

you nut.

I wonder if this psychologist thinks you have to be schizophrenic to treat schizophrenics. Maybe you have to have Alzheimer’s in order to treat other Alzheimer’s patients.

98% of Florida Welfare Recipients Pass Drug Test


Since the state began testing welfare applicants for drugs in July, about 2 percent have tested positive, preliminary data shows.

Ninety-six percent proved to be drug free — leaving the state on the hook to reimburse the cost of their tests.

The initiative may save the state a few dollars anyway, bearing out one of Gov. Rick Scott’s arguments for implementing it. But the low test fail-rate undercuts another of his arguments: that people on welfare are more likely to use drugs.

At Scott’s urging, the Legislature implemented the new requirement earlier this year that applicants for temporary cash assistance pass a drug test before collecting any benefits.

The law, which took effect July 1, requires applicants to pay for their own drug tests. Those who test drug-free are reimbursed by the state, and those who fail cannot receive benefits for a year.


More than once, Scott has said publicly that people on welfare use drugs at a higher rate than the general population. The 2 percent test fail rate seen by DCF, however, does not bear that out.

According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, performed by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, 8.7 percent of the population nationally over age 12 uses illicit drugs. The rate was 6.3 percent for those ages 26 and up.

A 2008 study by the Office of National Drug Control Policy also showed that 8.13 percent of Floridians age 12 and up use illegal drugs.

Newton said that’s proof the drug-testing program is based on a stereotype, not hard facts.

Read the whole thing…
(h/t raysny!)


Dear Abby: For some, a gift of alcohol could be devastating

DEAR ABBY: You advised “Susan in Southern Oregon,” who asked about the appropriateness of giving alcohol as a gift at an office party, that “the only time that alcohol would be an inappropriate gift is when the giver knows the recipient doesn’t use it.” As a former psychiatric social worker, I would say that the only time alcohol would be an APPROPRIATE gift is when the giver knows the recipient would use it, and do so responsibly.

People aren’t always forthcoming about their views and experiences regarding alcohol, so it’s best to play it safe. Many people abstain from alcohol because they are recovering alcoholics or have seen the devastating results that alcoholism has had on a loved one’s life. Others have religious reasons for not imbibing.

Giving alcohol as a gift may not only dismay the recipient, it could also lead to worse results if the giftee is someone who is struggling to stay sober.

– Amy in Dover, Del.

DEAR AMY: You have raised many valid points. Most of my readers disagreed with my answer, and their reasons have made me reconsider my advice to Susan. I was wrong. (Mea culpa.) Read on: Continue reading Choice

If I can be of service…

I can’t stop asking myself how on earth this woman got a blog on the Huffington Post. She really brings it this time, applying her advanced degree and expertise in addiction treatment to bear on these difficult family issues.

Oh, wait… No. It’s just another article recommending Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. And thank God for AA, or else how would vindictive, self-involved, busybodies make a living off the backs of vulnerable people?

Educating Yourself About Your Loved One’s Addiction

Here are the points she makes:

1. Do your own research on addiction.

2. Be wary of well-meaning advice.

3. Be mindful of who you talk to.

4. Attend Open Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings.

5. Attend Al-Anon Meetings.

6. Seek Professional Counseling [but not with just anyone, of course].

7. Movies […just like real life]

8. If I can be of service… [See #6]


We are getting a lot more traffic lately, and more new members, which is awesome. We’re also getting more trolls. Stinkin’ Thinkin’ is a scrappy blog, and we are provocative. I mean, “kiss my ass” is one of our tags, and we hold actual AA members publicly accountable for how they treat each other, and that is going to threaten people who have been happily tough loving each other to death.

OK, so, by trolls, I mean people who really can’t hold it together or hold their own in a debate, and don’t have the wits to understand that they can’t. They just lose their shit both logically, ethically, and emotionally. There’s nothing you can tell these people, no argument, no fact, no key that will work, because not only do they not see that they can’t hold their own, they believe they’re kicking righteous ass around here. And the trolls are going to keep coming, because more of everyone is coming.

Imagine what it would look like to the casual observer of this blog to see these trolls talking to themselves in the comments. The trolls really don’t realize how far they lower the bar. They don’t recognize themselves as bullies or ragers, but it’s obvious to rational people. A new reader of this blog isn’t going to see a comment by some troll calling us all a bunch of fatheads and say to himself, “Gee, this was all making sense, but [troll] really changed my mind when he called [member] a loser.”

It’s a growing pain, I think, but we have to learn to handle it. They’re going to keep coming. We don’t have to respond every time a troll posts something. We don’t have to respond if they mention someone by name, even. We don’t have to defend ourselves against them. We  don’t have to counter every point they make, especially since “you’re an atheist!” is hardly a point. We don’t have to follow them around sniping and retorting. We don’t have to say something just because they said something. You don’t even have to read what they write.

It’s really important to me and MA that Stinkin’ Thinkin’ is blog that doesn’t censor and moderate comments for content. That’s what the 12-Step forums and blogs do. However, we now have the community pages, which has features that allow for private discussions, allow you to choose whom to invite to your forums. And we have a debate group, which I would love to see become active — I would love it if people would go over there and pick their fights. But I know that people whose intent is to “fuck with” this blog are not interested in a debate forum as much as they are interested in creating chaos here.

So, instead of trying to come to a consensus about banning people, perhaps we can come to a consensus about how to deal with trolls:

1. Don’t read their comments.

2. Don’t respond to their personal insults.

3. Don’t follow them around the blog nipping at their heels.

4. Don’t feel like you have to defend yourself against a personal attack from someone that no reasonable person could take seriously. If some stranger walked up to you on the street and accused you of being drunk or resentful, would you stand there all day trying to prove to him that you’re not?

5. If you must respond, respond only to points that can be debated, like facts and figures. Ignore the rest.

6. Don’t lower your standards in order to respond to them; they can always go lower than you can.

7. Don’t let yourself be provoked by someone who’s doing a stellar job of embarrassing himself:

Finally, I do have a troll threshold, and I have about hit it.

The Family Foundation School Investigation Update

I just received and update from the Family Foundation School TRUTH Campaign. The investigation is complete and The office of Mental Health and the Center for Quality Care for Youth with Disabilities have published their findings. I guess it’s not going to come as a shock to anyone to learn that this school is run by a bunch of 12 -steppers all suffering from a debilitating case of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
It’s an outrage, and I wonder why this school wasn’t shuttered altogether. These people have no qualifications or even the means to fulfill the promises they make to the children and their families; they use dangerous restraint practices as a matter of course; have no proper channels in place for discipline, supervision, medical or psychiatric care;  impose shockingly inappropriate responsibility upon children (requiring them to restrain each other or supervise other students who are having psychiatric problems); and provide housing that ranges from sub-par to downright hazardous.
Here’s the email I received this evening. Congratulations Kenny! Congratulations TRUTH Campaign! I hope this receives the publicity it deserves.
As founder of the TRUTH Campaign, I want to let you all know that the State investigation into the Family Foundation School has been released.
Refer to this LINK to access the investigation, or go to our homepage on our main website.
I know many of our supporters have been waiting for this day….well, it’s here.  The Family Foundation School was investigated by four state agencies.  They did not find any physical abuse during their visit, but they found many other issues that are means for serious concern.
Thanks to all those who came to Albany with us for the meeting with State officials.
Keep on keeping on,
Dedicated to exposing a more than 30 year history of abusing kids, all in the name of “TREATMENT”
Founder & Campaign Director
The Family Foundation School TRUTH Campaign