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Sound Clinical Judgment


When I was in my graduate studies we were required to conduct research with colleagues on a topic of our choosing. We were to create a hypothesis (theory), and offer our conclusions based on sound clinical judgment. So, the first thing I had to learn was what does it mean to be clinically sound or was it sound judgment I was supposed to use? Actually, it means to utilize one's judgment based on standardized practices and concepts collected from the research of others that supports our methods to prove our hypothesis. In other words, we needed support for our findings to validate those findings as truth. Or at least truth as we offered it.


Take for instance when someone offers you their opinion on a particular subject. It is only their opinion and might not be based on facts or supported by evidence because it is only their opinion. But what if they support it with 1/2 truths? Does it become valid now? No. It's still 1/2 unsupported untruth and truth must be 100% true. In research there is a term called "margin of error" and this measurement is offered by the authors to justify the research as imperfect due of a term called "bias" on the part of the researcher, the materials used, or the participants. Researcher bias is when I want my research to support my opinion, I will find ways to make that happen. I will "skew" the data, influence the participates, or phrase the questions in such a way as to determine the outcome of my "research" before the final results are revealed. Researchers can manipulate their results and those false positives can result in people doing the wrong things and following the wrong advice.


Take for instance the last time you had an argument with someone and you felt "always" did something that is hurtful to you (opinion). They defend that they "don't always" do that and can give examples of times when this was the case (evidence). The argument goes on and on because the first wants their opinion to be validated by the second who feels they can not validate a 1/2 truth. BINGO! This is the problem with every argument that is being presented in the home, across town, and in the workplace. Opinions are presented as facts (no matter how erroneous they are), which leads to feelings (based on those untruths), that leads to a need for validation of those feelings. When the other refuses to validate the others inaccurate assumptions, the first attacks the character of the second and blame, shame, and abuse follows.


In order to avert this type of argument, look for evidence to support your feelings and if you have no evidence, you have no basis for your complaint. Feelings are not fact and your feelings can be wrong. When you relate to others based on truth you will avoid the trap of biased living.



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