Friday, October 17, 2008

Null Hypothesis

I recieved this email from a friend who is finishing a detailed research project that shows common sense can not be applied to the practice of medicine. He gives the example of several of his patients who seem to prove the Null hypothesis.

A patient who has low self esteem, who was always yelled at as a child and gets very anxious when talking to others just got a job as a telemarketer.
A patient who tells me they can't afford to buy medication even for just 4 dollars always has a cell phone and smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day.
A patient who has social anxiety and panic disorder who tells me they stay in their bedroom all the time at home and go nowhere except to come to my appointment can manage going somewhere to score some pot.
A patient who dropped out of school in the ninth grade and gets angry with everyone especially when it is a job where a boss tells them what to do wants a job where he makes all the decisions.
A patient with 15 piercings states that he is afraid of needles and has a low pain tolerance.
A patient who is disabled due to low back pain currently has a 3 handicap in golf.

1 comment:

SeaSpray said...

Interesting post.

I think human behavior is fascinating. While some people would seem to be much so they are stereotyped... there are others who it would seem that based on similar histories should follow suit; but they break out of the mold, they overcome and achieve. Why?

I think it's learned behavior/environment -past and present, the inability to visualize the future..what it could be, values, excuses to maintain a behavior, free ride mentality,lack of motivation, fear, low IQ - either mental or emotional or both, inability to think in the abstract, an irony of life, (regarding needles-some people are phobic about blood and medicine), and the telemarketer... well they probably aren't comfortable face to face (more pressure in their mind) whereas they control their environment on the other end of the phone, there isn't the emotional investment of a physical encounter and whatever causes them to feel insecure in concealed through distance...feels safer for them. Ha! They could always hang up! Disengage without consequences.

I'm fascinated by the people that rise above circumstances and can still see the good in things and chose to do things differently (for the better) than continue in what could've been a learned negative behavior.

I don't think one could ever exhaust the study of human behavior.

Back to politics... (your post on behavior reminds me of this)one of the Docs had a link to the LA Times in which there was an article about a study of left wing-right vs right wing brains.

"Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain
Even in humdrum nonpolitical decisions, liberals and conservatives literally think differently, researchers show.
By Denise Gellene, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 10, 2007 "

"There is ample data from the history of science showing that social and political liberals indeed do tend to support major revolutions in science," said Sulloway, who has written about the history of science and has studied behavioral differences between conservatives and liberals."

Interesting article... but What about the independent? ;)