Talk:Phineas Gage

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Former good article nominee Phineas Gage was a Natural sciences good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 20, 2005 Good article nominee Listed
June 14, 2007 Good article reassessment Delisted
June 19, 2013 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee
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Review of content issues[edit]

Since the formatting has been largely dealt with, let's hammer out some content issues. Do not split into this list and blow them up into a mess, for this is part of my review of what should be done before the article should become a GA.

Issues list "A"[edit]

  • A4b Also, the exhumation details - which was in Fleischman's book - is entirely absent. This little episode in the Gage story is something which is important.
  • For the 100th time, this is a children's book, according to the publisher's own data [3]: "Grade Level: 4,5,6 Age Range: 9,10,11,12". Another editor's recurring claims that it's "peer-reviewed" (because the author thanks Dr. X and Dr. Y for checking the anatomical statements, and Macmillan for general assistance) are absurd. There's no debating this.
  • And no, "this little episode in the Gage story" is not "something which is important". Here's what it says:
With her son-in-law and the mayor of San Francisco, who happens to be a physician, standing by as witnesses, Phineas's coffin is uncovered and carried to a shed. There, Dr. J.D.B. Stillman, a local surgeon, removes the skull. The huge fracture on the forehead is unmistakable. Dr. Stillman removes something else from the coffin -- the tamping iron that Phineas carried everywhere, even to his grave.
These details are cited to nothing, complete fiction, and utterly trivial.
  • Tfish, I'd like your explicit concurrence, based on the link above, so we can quit wasting time on this. EEng (talk) 02:34, 8 December 2014 (UTC) I repeat that, as a science book for kids, Fleischman does a wonderful job, and I thoroughly recommend it if you have any kids, nieces, or nephews in the right age range.
<bump> EEng (talk) 08:11, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Monthly bump. EEng (talk) 03:18, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • A5 Other matters
  • A5a Analysis and actual examination of the claims and details surrounding Gage and his role in science has been well- mostly avoided by the article. Instead of proper detailing of the injury and Gage's role in history.
To the extent I can tell what this is talking about, it's covered in the Theoretical use section [4]. (Within that, the Cerebral localization subsection should certainly be expanded, and if instead of waiting for me to do it someone wants to research that and help with it, please pitch in.) Other than the cerebral localization debate Gage didn't have a role in science, and I don't know what "proper detailing of the injury" means. EEng (talk) 03:20, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Tfish, is this OK with you? EEng (talk) 08:11, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Monthly bump. EEng (talk) 03:18, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • A5b Yes check.svg Done A5b, A5d Other matters
    Only a few hundred words on Gage's mental impairments were written yet lengthy quotes are used.
  • A5c Yes check.svg Done A5c Passim etc
    Yes check.svg Done Using "passim" and other issues in citing Macmillan is also a cop-out and would merit a verifiability failure.
  • A5d Yes check.svg Done A5b, A5d Other matters
    Not even that, it doesn't even credit Macmillan when it should.
  • A6 Notes
  • A6a Discussion underway belowA6a Too much text hidden in notes
    A substantial part of the text is hidden away in these notes. These complex, rambling, and citation filled messes that only make verification more tedious.

A1a Attribute so-called speculation[edit]

A3a Paraphrase archaic language[edit]

A3b Mental impairment goes here?[edit]

A3c For Gage's time in New Hampshire, didn't he spent 18 months in a horse stable?[edit]

A3d, A3e Subsequent life and travels[edit]

A4a missing details surrounding return home, illness and death[edit]

A5b, A5d Other matters[edit]

A5c Passim etc[edit]

A6a Too much text hidden in notes[edit]

I think that this point is worth addressing explicitly. I agree with the subjective parts of it. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:29, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't need to tell you when material goes in a note: when its potential value to some readers is outweighed by the distraction to most readers of including it in the main text. So all we have to do is decide which pan of the scales is heavier, for each note. (A third option, of course is -- as with all content -- to just drop it completely. However, IMO, a very convincing case would have to be made for the removal of all but the most obviously valueless content that's in a note -- in addition to NOTPAPER, there's the added point that, again, notes material comes at the very end of the article, and doesn't interrupt or clutter the main text.)
As usual, I've got some old thoughts on shelf which your comment prompts me to bring out from the shadows. There are at least a few notes which I think might be candidates for integration into the main text (with various adjustments, some bits scattered elsewhere, and so on). Note I use permalinks, without which reference to "Note A", "Note B" etc. will eventually make us crazy as the article evolves.
  • Yes check.svg Done [13] (Note C) I think this could be a new section at the very end of the article, "Contemporary receptions" or something.
  • Yes check.svg Done [14] (Note W) Move into main text?
  • Yes check.svg Done [15] (Note H) This is an example of something which, in principle, could be moved into the main text as a parenthetical. However, the point at which the note is invoked is very near the beginning of the article and therefore, I think, a bad place to add weight like this. However, it might fit really well as a parenthetical at the very end of the "Early observations" section, I just noticed.
  • Yes check.svg Done [16] (Note J) The first sentence is an excellent example of material that (a) needs to be in the article somewhere, since it explains a correction to a direct quote; yet (b) really only acts as a matter of record, and serves all but the most esoterically-minded reader not at all. However, the rest of Note J, together with Note N Yes check.svg Done [17], might make a new section on something like "Factors favoring Gage's survival/Harlow's treatment" or something. But offhand I don't see any really good way of organizing that, or where to put it.
Thoughts? EEng (talk) 05:27, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Here are my thoughts. I'm quite receptive to analyzing these issues according to your very useful metaphor of a scale, which strikes me as a good way to think about it. It seems to me, and please understand that I am saying this in good faith, that part of what is going on here is that you are putting a thumb on the scale, not because of any bad faith on your part, but because you are so close to the writing of the page that it pains you to consider shortening anything that you have labored over. I do think that just dropping some things completely is appropriate here. But I'm willing to simply say that, for now, while acceding to your preferences, for now, not to delete any of it. That way, you know what I think, but I'm not pushing you where you are uncomfortable going. Is that fair?
I've looked at each of those notes, and in every case, I'm in favor of moving them into the main text, and then assessing where we stand. I'd welcome you going ahead with that, for every note that you listed here. For some of them, it sounds like you know where you'd like to put them. For the others, I agree with you that it's best not to put the material too early in the text. For the J–N material where you are unsure, I would suggest putting it around where the page discusses Harlow's treatment, not necessarily in a new sub-section, and without worrying about whether it makes the existing section long. Then, let's step back, take a deep breath, and contemplate how that looks. I'm probably going to argue that most of the relocated material is just fine, maybe after a little tweaking for paragraph flow. I'm also probably going to argue that some of the material is just too much – but there are multiple options available to us if/when that happens: (1) you tell me you adamantly disagree, in which case I'll probably just say OK, (2) we agree to prune it, or (3) we move those smaller bits back into notes, but the notes will end up being simpler than they are now.
In a more general sense, where you refer to the side of the scale that reflects not distracting most readers, my experience as a reader myself is that such distraction can also be avoided by just skipping over passages that don't interest me. The material doesn't necessarily need to have been moved out of the way, into notes. But if it has been moved into notes, I'm likely to ignore it, so that means that it is not essential. Keeping in mind that this is the English Wikipedia and not a scholarly treatise, it seems to me that references and notes are, first, about verifiability, and not about giving the reader every source that exists. So we don't have to give readers every existing source, just enough sources to make the text pass WP:V. Of course, I would never argue that we cannot offer more than the minimum sourcing, because additional sourcing can be helpful to our readers. But I think that we can consider WP:CITEKILL without doing our readers any disservice.
And something else: it is also distracting to a reader to, first, be directed to a lettered note, and, then, be redirected to a numbered source. For the reader, that's a multi-step process. When we can, instead, make it a single step going to the numbered source, we need to really have some added value if we make the reader go through an extra step.
I want to add some more notes to the list that we are scrutinizing. Using this [18] version of the page, these are notes KYes check.svg Done, UX mark.svg Not done [see below], VYes check.svg Done, YYes check.svg Done, and ACYes check.svg Done. I picked these notes because the text within the notes is pretty much expendable, and they could each be converted into numbered inline cites, without needing the notes. I also think that notes FYes check.svg Done, LX mark.svg Not done [see below], QYes check.svg Done, RYes check.svg Done, TYes check.svg Done, and WYes check.svg Done are short notes where it would be easy to move a bit of material into the main text and no longer need the notes.
--Tryptofish (talk) 21:26, 30 September 2014 (UTC)


Authorial Vanity

Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1931). Afterthoughts. 
  • I fully understand re author's blindness and (let's face it) vanity. I'm pretty sure I've trotted out one of my favorite aphorisms (see right) in at least one discussion we've shared in the past.
  • Beyond that... quickly... I predict you will find I agree with much more of what you say than you probably imagine I do, though it's all in the definitions and subjectives that the rubber meets the road, of course.
  • But let me jump right in and take care of some of the first group. I'm going to get interruptions, so it will be sporadic. EEng (talk) 23:44, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! That is excellent! Although it may perhaps be "the padded cell of the beast". --Tryptofish (talk) 23:48, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Are you joking about beast/breast? (A "beast/breast jest", as it were)? EEng (talk) 20:32, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As you see, I've done a few, and though some rough bits need smoothing I think it's all for the best. Continuing to add ideas I've been thinking for awhile about how to expand "Theoretical use, misuse, and nonuse". This is complicated (a) because of the complexity of the underlying theoretical frameworks (localization in its various flavors, inhibitory theories, etc. -- and I am far from an expert on this stuff); and (b) because while most of these theoretical uses of Gage were for now-defunct theories, Ferrier was right about locatization; but (c) Ferrier was mistaken in using Gage to illustrate his (correct) thesis. (Warning: oversimplified summary!) So there are a lot needles to thread there.

Anyway, assuming we can figure out how to handle that, I thought that the paragraph beginning "Thus in the nineteenth-century" could become two or more subsections: Phrenology (which could absorb Note ZYes check.svg Done -- working from your same permalink!) and Localization (which could absorb QYes check.svg Done -- not mentioned there yet is that the woodcuts were sent to England years later, so Ferrier could use them in his lectures on location), and maybe more.
I have a heave week coming up so progress will be sporadic. EEng (talk) 18:42, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Heave week: 1. (medical, rare) A week during which the patient vomits continually. 2. (commerce) A week during which much cargo must be loaded quickly, as in "Heave - HO!". 3. (civil engineering) The worst part of the winter, during which the greatest number of potholes appear on paved roads, due to heaving caused by the freeze-thaw cycle. 4. (higher education) Rush week. 20:32, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
It looks good to me, and there's no hurry. Thanks again. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:45, 1 October 2014 (UTC)


Can we close this?

  • Note U (this version [19]: I see no sensible way of working into the text (it's just too boring) but this info really should remain somewhere in the article.
  • Note L: There's a serious problem with the content here (19C medical meaning of fungus) which will need some quiet research to finish resolving. At that point we can take this us again. Trust me, I won't forget.
  • Anything else can be taken up in new threads of their own.

OK? EEng (talk) 23:20, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

<bump> EEng (talk) 08:07, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Monthly bump. EEng (talk) 03:18, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

A6b Complex callouts[edit]

A7 Image link issue[edit]

I have now transferred the inset image to commons so I will start the tidying up of the images (adding other versions, etc) when convenient. --Mirokado (talk) 00:59, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Not sure what tidying you're talking about but you always know what you're doing. BTW, have you any idea the cause of the weirdness in the rendering here [43]? EEng (talk) 03:31, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
No idea. Perhaps the software tries to parse all those pipe symbols in the ascii art by mistake? --Mirokado (talk) 14:35, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

A digression re some bug[edit]

Here's a reduced exemplar with the same failing:

+---------------------+ In the source, this text comes AFTER the ascii art.

My guess is that the ascii art with | as the first nonblank on a line is being somehow mistaken for a table. This only happens in the presence of the collapses, so God only knows what's going on. It's frightening to think that a parsing error like this can span such a long distance. EEng (talk) 15:09, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

P.S. Here we go: search the Collapse top/bottom discussion page [44] for this: most browsers, on encountering non-table content inside an unclosed table, will move it above the table. I think it's pretty clear something like this is what's happening. I'm sure the technognomes have this in hand, one way or another. EEng (talk) 15:18, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

A8 Cavendish, Vermont 1869 Map[edit]

A9 Proving a negative[edit]

A10 Removed Note[edit]

And another thing, dagnabbit![edit]

Re [53]. Tfish, you seem to have these periodic AGF lapses, in which you imply that I'm just stringing you along, pretending to indulge your concerns, and so on. I think you know that's not true, so please think twice in future before saying such things.

In this particular case, I really did first think this information worked best as a note [54], then really did realize that it makes sense in the main-text passage on lateralization of damage [55]. The fact that I teased you a bit, in my edit summary, about your hostility to notes, shouldn't throw you off center.

As to the material itself, I periodically get inquiries about Gage's handedness, for reasons I don't need to explain to you, so yes, I do think it belongs in the article. It is specialized material which (as seen) I thought would do best as a note, but I realized later that since the damage lateralization question is somewhat technical, it might fit in there as well. But if you really don't think it should be in the article at all, I can live with that, though I'm still puzzled why an essentially limitless amount of specialty material can't be accommodated in notes, outside the main text. EEng (talk) 04:35, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

I've been thinking about what you've said. As you know, I watch this talk page and your user talk page, so I know that those inquiries about his handedness that you get are not being posted by Wikipedia readers on-Wiki. I'm pretty sure that I can accurately infer that these are people asking you in real life, because you are a person who knows an unusually large amount of information about Gage. And that's the thing, as I see it. Wikipedia is for a general readership. If it is also useful for academic specialists, that's great, but it is not intended to be, primarily, a resource for that purpose. Myself, in real life, I'm a person who knows an unusually large amount of information about certain areas of neuroscience. And in real life, people have asked me about those things, because I'm known as an expert. But I emphatically do not write content here in order to reflect my own research, or even to be comprehensive about the research areas in which I have expertise. We have neuroscience-related pages where I could easily write a ton of content about the intricacies of research on the topic, complete with detailed notes about the fine points of issues that are not resolved to my satisfaction and with every applicable source cited, and there would be some fellow neuroscientists who would actually find it interesting to read. But it would be undue weight and contrary to WP:NOT. And I don't do it. The fact that there are some people with specialized interests who ask a specialist certain questions in real life does not mean that Wikipedia serves its readers best by answering those questions here. It's the wrong criterion for inclusion of content. Wikipedia has defined itself as a tertiary source. Personally, stuff like hyphens are not particularly interesting to me. But what bothers me about both content and format (including sourcing) is that this page is set up like it's supposed to be a definitive place for specialists to look up current scholarship, instead of an encyclopedia page for general readers. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:08, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── By "periodically" I mean maybe a half-dozen inquiries in four years, mostly from highschoolers and undergrads -- apparently there's a much-copied assignment that requires them to find this out, or something. Anyway...

I think your idea about WP's audience is too narrow -- see WP:TECHNICAL#Audience, which in particular refers to three kinds of readers.

  • The general reader has no advanced education in the topic's field, is largely unfamiliar with the topic itself, and may even be unsure what the topic is before reading.
  • The knowledgeable reader has an education in the topic's field but wants to learn about the topic itself.
  • The expert reader knows the topic but wants to learn more or be reminded about some fact, or is curious about Wikipedia's coverage.

You gotta read the whole thing, of course. The general reader has priority, but to the extent we can also serve the other two types (without significantly compromising the article's appeal to the general reader) I see no reason not to do that as well. How exactly to do that needs discussion, but can we agree on this principle?

At least once before you've referred to WP:NOT, and specifically the following points:

  • 6. Textbooks and annotated texts. Wikipedia is an encyclopedic reference, not a textbook. The purpose of Wikipedia is to present facts, not to teach subject matter. It is not appropriate to create or edit articles that read as textbooks, with leading questions and systematic problem solutions as examples. ...
  • 7. Scientific journals and research papers. A Wikipedia article should not be presented on the assumption that the reader is well versed in the topic's field. Introductory language in the lead (and also maybe the initial sections) of the article should be written in plain terms and concepts that can be understood by any literate reader of Wikipedia without any knowledge in the given field before advancing to more detailed explanations of the topic. While wikilinks should be provided for advanced terms and concepts in that field, articles should be written on the assumption that the reader will not or cannot follow these links, instead attempting to infer their meaning from the text.
  • 8. Academic language. Texts should be written for everyday readers, not just for academics. ...

But how do these apply here? Does the article read like a textbook, use advanced terms and concepts or academic language? Is it just the presence of the notes? If not, what? One or two examples, please!

EEng (talk) 01:02, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

One example would be your strong opinion that the page absolutely must provide sourcing individually for every single misattributed behavior. Another would be the way the page keeps presenting information in terms of how Macmillan et al. have analyzed information and come up with newer interpretations. Note "a" gives much detail to analysis of images. Note "b" gives much detail about how to figure out Gage's date of birth and middle initial. You asked for one or two, and this is already four, but I could potentially go on like this for almost every note.
Since you are a self-professed acolyte of John Stuart Mill's endorsement of being open to the other side, let me say that I find it tedious that every suggestion that I make about improving the page leads to a wall of text. I have this unpleasant feeling that you are going, now, to argue with me about each of the four things I just pointed out, how I am partly wrong about them, how they differ in some way from your reading of WP:NOT, and on and on. I get the feeling that, when you said the other day that you are happy to be found wrong, you left out the part about you never actually being wrong. I suspect that you never will agree with me about the proper scope and audience, no matter what I say. Please understand, that I meant what I said about my view of the way the page is written too much for specialists, and if need be, I will open one or more RfCs to determine what other editors have to say about it. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:56, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Sorry to disappoint you, but no wall of text will be forthcoming. Putting aside the sourcing for misattributed behaviors, and putting aside the bit about new interpretations -- am I correct that the remainder of your concerns about academic language (etc.) are only (or pretty much only) with respect to the notes, not the main text of the article? EEng (talk) 04:27, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Putting my concerns aside, what are my concerns? Amongst other things, I would indeed be interested in de-froufrou-ing the notes. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:48, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You're having one of those AGF failures again. You mentioned three concerns two posts back:

1. My "strong opinion that the page absolutely must provide sourcing individually for every single misattributed behavior"
2. "the way the page keeps presenting information in terms of how Macmillan et al. have analyzed information "
3. 'Note "a" gives [etc etc]. Note "b" gives [etc etc]'

I simply wanted to clarify whether, other than (1) and (2), your concerns about "proper scope and audience" etc. are limited to the notes, and not the article's main text. That's not (as you imply) dismissing your concerns, so stop implying that I am. Now can you answer the question? EEng (talk) 03:49, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

From where I sit, I've been extending a lot more AGF to you than have most of the other editors who have expressed concerns to you about this page. You are very good at expressing yourself, so if you don't want me to misunderstand your intentions, then please be careful about how you say things. Putting aside the I think I understand your concerns about sourcing for misattributed behaviors, and putting aside and I think I also understand the bit about new interpretations -- am I correct that... Now to answer that question, I would say that my concerns are much more about the notes than about the main text (and you can see my discussion about Note b below, where I try to make it specific), but I don't see it as an absolute distinction, more like a quantitative one. In fact, when I attempted yesterday to edit the note on the page itself, and got totally messed up in spite of the fact that I am very much an experienced editor, it made me start to think very seriously about how the formatting and templates, in both the notes and the main text, make it incredibly difficult for me and for most editors to edit this page. As a step-by-step process however, I would be quite happy to, for now, put more effort into the notes than into the main text. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:28, 7 November 2014 (UTC)


Using Note b as an example, I'll try to illustrate what I have in mind. Here is the note as it is now:

Macmillan[M]:14-17,31n5,490-1 discusses Gage's ancestry and what is and isn't known about his birth and early life. His parents were married April 27, 1823.

The birthdate July 9, 1823 (the only definite date given in any source) is from a Gage family genealogy;[4] Macmillan[M]:16 notes that though the genealogy gives no source, this date is consistent with agreement among contemporary sources[H1]:389[5][B1]:13[H]:4 that Gage was 25 years old on the date of his accident, as well as with his age (36 years) as given in undertaker's records after his death in May 1860.[M]:108-9

Possible homes in childhood and youth are Lebanon or nearby East Lebanon, Enfield, and/or Grafton (all in Grafton County, New Hampshire), though Harlow refers to Lebanon in particular as Gage's "native place"‍[H]:10 and "his home"‍[H]:12 (probably that of his parents),[M]:30 to which he returned ten weeks[M3]:C after his accident.

There is no doubt Gage's middle initial was P‍[H1]:389[B1]:13[H]:4[M]:490[M1]:839fig but there is nothing to indicate what the P stood for (though his paternal grandfather was also a Phineas and his brother Dexter's middle name was Pritchard).[M]:490 Gage's mother's first and middle names are variously given as Hannah or Hanna and Trussell, Trusel, or Trussel; her maiden name is variously spelled Swetland, Sweatland, or Sweetland.[M]:490

Here is a modest step in what I would consider to be the right direction:

There are gaps in what is known about Gage's birth and early life. His parents were married April 27, 1823.[M]:14-17,31n5,490-1

The birthdate July 9, 1823 is from a Gage family genealogy.[4]

Possible homes in childhood and youth are Lebanon or nearby East Lebanon, Enfield, and/or Grafton (all in Grafton County, New Hampshire).

Gage's middle initial was P‍[H1]:389[B1]:13[H]:4[M]:490[M1]:839fig but there is nothing to indicate what the P stood for. Gage's mother's first and middle names are variously given as Hannah or Hanna and Trussell, Trusel, or Trussel; her maiden name is variously spelled Swetland, Sweatland, or Sweetland.[M]:490

Here is a more extensive revision:

There are gaps in what is known about Gage's birth and early life.[M]:14-17,31n5,490-1

The birthdate July 9, 1823 is from a Gage family genealogy.[4]

Possible homes in childhood and youth are all in Grafton County, New Hampshire.

Gage's middle initial was P‍[H1]:389[B1]:13[H]:4[M]:490[M1]:839fig but there is nothing to indicate what the P stood for.

One could even delete the note in its entirety. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:25, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Disposition of behavior citations[edit]

This was originally part of this subsection, but it looks as if this issue will be easier to follow in its own level-2 section.
Relating to this article section and its references: Phineas Gage#Exaggeration and distortion of mental changes
--Mirokado (talk) 19:03, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

... please organize the cites so that those related to Behavior A are grouped together, then those for Behavior B, etc., so that the reader only has to look one place to find out about a given behavior. This is "almost" easy, as follows. In the current version [56], sources [37]-[60] are only used for this behavior stuff, so to a first approximation we can just organize them like this

Wife and children:
  • {{cite book|author=Smith|year=1972}}
  • {{cite book|author=Jones|year=1982}}
  • {{cite book|author=Anders|year=1999}}
  • {{cite book|author=Billson|year=1998}}

where those items are what used to be in [37]-[60]. The flies-in-the-ointment are that

  • [42], [49] are used in multiple behaviors, and
  • [42], [1], [M], [M1] are used outside the behaviors list as well in it.

The trick, as I see it, is how to present those along with the simple, one-time {{cite book}} refs, in as consistent and understandable a way as possible. Good luck EEng (talk) 03:31, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I've placed the references in five groups each with a headline. I think the next step is to decide which references are not needed in order to support the list in the article body. It will be easier to decide how to present the final set of references once we have pruned them. --Mirokado (talk) 22:36, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, and well done! My suggestion as to which references to delete would be to try to have one (or two) per asserted behavior, and to base it on two considerations: primacy and expediency. By primacy, I mean to keep whichever source said it first, while deleting sources that repeated what the first one said. By expediency, I mean that we can also be pragmatic about deleting the incomplete sources (like the book about Abnormal Behaviors, where we don't have all the citation information) or the ones using "sfn" (if EEng objects to using the sfn template in this way). There is room for some flexibility here; I don't mean that we have to be slavish about it. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:11, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thanks, Mirokado!

  • Mirokado's result (mentioned just above) is here [57].
  • Here [58] I've rearranged the cites to group them by behavior. What do you think?
  • Here [59] Each behavior gets its own callout.

Thoughts? EEng (talk) 16:31, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

This is looking better than I had expected. It deals with one of the concerns I was planning to mention, which was the WP:UNDUE emphasis on these basically unsubstantiated attributions resulting from the subheadings in the reference list. Although there are a lot of callouts in the sentence, they are now each just a single number, which is a familiar idiom which someone can read through relatively comfortably. I'm quite happy to leave things more-or-less-as-they-are with that paragraph. We now have some patterns which can perhaps also help elsewhere in the article. --Mirokado (talk) 22:50, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, our work in recent weeks (the three of us) has been of immense benefit, I think. The cite/sourcing organization and presentation is really great! My aim is for the article to work on different levels for different readers -- casual, serious, and advanced -- without the content/features serving one level detracting from the experience of readers at the other levels. And I think we've now achieved that in the sourcing and citations. Thanks for fixing the cite letter thing! When you catch your breath can you take a look at #Bump? EEng (talk) 05:36, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Tfish -- you okay with this approach to the "ascribed behaviors" cites? EEng (talk) 00:33, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
<bumpity-bump-bump> EEng (talk) 08:07, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Monthly bump. EEng (talk) 03:18, 26 January 2015 (UTC)