Potential debate

F. Reid Creech (fcreech@nunic.nu.edu)
Thu, 21 Mar 1996 21:48:48 -0800 (PST)

Dear PCPers:

As you know, I am a major lurker on this site. To give you a bit of my
background, I am a psychometric methods specialist (following L. L.
Thurstone) and a Cognitive Behavioral therapist. I am neither a
constructivist nor a theoretician, but a methodologist. For some time I
have been observing the ongoing conflict between Dr. Chambers and
Dr. Neimeyer. I see two primary issues involved here:

1. A "good old boy network" exists which operates to maintain
strongly held beliefs, and to exclude access to "membership" and
publication to those who are not believers. I know this to exist, and
that is a primary reason why there are so many different journals in
psychology: Those with differing belief systems, having been denied the
opportunity to voice their opinions in existing journals have started new
journals. Dr. Chambers' view that the "good old boy" network has shut
him out and damaged him may well be true. I've known it to happen to
others. And I've known it to happen that people who fly in the face of
the "good old boy" network have been blacklisted by the simple
transmission to others that "this guy is not to be trusted," or that "he
is not one of us." I think many of us know that this happens.

However, I don't think that this system (the "good old boy" network) can
be proven, demonstrated, and perhaps, even be challenged. I think that
it is there and that it is real; however, it is a byproduct of the way in
which we conduct business. We create a journal or a forum as a vehicle
to discuss _our_ issues. If a newcomer attempts to use our journal/forum
to express views which are distinct from our own, then we may deny access,
partly to maintain our own views of what our theory promulgates, partly
not to have to change our position, etc. And, at times, I think this
censoring occurs unconsciously so that, if challenged, defensiveness and
rationalizations arise.

Therefore, I see an attempt to attack the "good old boy" network as a
battle difficult to win. I very much doubt that my data which
uniquely demonstrate the splitting defence in borderline people would find a
home in the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. They would not want to hear it.

2. There are strongly held positions regarding the value,
strengths, and weaknesses of certain pieces of research. THIS I find to be
a _very_ striking opportunity for those of us on the Internet! How many
of us are there on the PCP forum? 500? 1,000? More?

What a wonderful forum to produce a debate between opposing theoretical
forces! A debate which takes place nearly in "real time," with the rest
of the network in a position to observe and monitor the debate. Before
the Internet, such a process would have been ABSOLUTELY impossible! Now
it is before us!

I know of no other debate in history which can do what this could do -- a
serious debate on scientific issues -- in real time, with the
scientific world looking on.

I can forsee that a referee (or a panel of referees) might need to be
present to receive comments from the rest of us, so that our multitude
does not disturb the debate. The referee/panel would have the
responsibility of processing the incoming mail from the multitude
regarding the debate; to point out to the debaters points not challenged,
or incorrectly challenged, points not covered, etc., and to share their
viewpoints with the multitude.

NEVER, IN THE HISTORY OF MAN have we had such an opportunity to produce
such a debate in the spirit of scientific inquiry! The technology has
never before existed!

Dr. Neimeyer, whom I terribly respect, has said that he does not wish to
engage such issues; however, I believe him to be in an optimum position
to mount such a debate.

And Bob, I understand the press of time and related issues -- I live with
them myself, and I suspect that Dr. Chambers does, as well.

I repeat that I am not a Kellian, and may be unqualified to make this
observation, but from my lurking, it appears that both Dr. Chambers and
Dr. Neimeyer are personal construct psychologists, neither of whom "own
the truth" in PCP. These learned men possess opposing views.

WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY for the engagement of a wonderful debate! This has
never been accomplished before! NEVER! What an opportunity! What a

Does anyone else on the pcp-network agree with me?


F. Reid Creech, Ph.D.
30504 Lilac Road
Valley Center, CA 92082

Fax to above number, but with an earlier call to let me know that a fax
is incoming.

email to fcreech@nunic.nu.edu