Talk:Emotional Freedom Techniques

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Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Four groups

Please don't pretend this page is neutral[edit]

I made some very reasonable edits to this page to reflect new research and eliminate the obvious bias against EFT, and now those changes have been undone.

This page now has empirical statements that can't possibly be supported, e.g. "EFT has no benefit as a therapy beyond the placebo effect or any known-effective psychological techniques that may be provided in addition to the purported "energy" technique." There are reams of evidence that this claim is false, but even if were true, it would be impossible to know. Science simply does not tell you "x has no benefit." This is an unfalsifiable claim.

EFT is used to treat many ailments and has been proven to be effective; this fact is tacitly admitted by the page when it attributes these benefits to known mechanisms ("...placebo effect or any known-effective psychological techniques"). Whether the benefits derive from the placebo effect and other known mechanisms is a side issue. For example, look at the page for ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy). It states:

"Despite decades of research, the exact mechanism of action of ECT remains elusive.

In other words, ECT has been widely used for many years despite the fact that its mechanism was unknown. Does that qualify ECT as "pseudoscience" as well?

The way the rebuttals to the empirical evidence for EFT are handled is laughable, i.e. use of a single source to multiple studies showing positive effects, and use of passive voice ("was also criticized") to hide the tenuousness of the rebuttal. Additionally, every study cited against EFT is left to stand on its own, while those showing effectiveness of EFT are followed up with a rebuttal, giving the con side the "last word" in every case.

There are unsupported statements ("Their work, however, is flawed and hence unreliable") and negative results that are offered as negation of hypothesis ("high-quality research has never confirmed that EFT is effective.") There are citations of the "Skeptical Inquirer" as authoritative. There's a citation of a 10-year-old poll of psychologists calling EFT "discredited."

Beyond all these flaws, however, there's the simple fact that we've got an encyclopedia article that is 70% claims that the topic is bullshit. Why? What is the point? Is this an encyclopedia article or a religious tract? Is the Wikipedia article on life on other planets comprised 70% of skeptics telling us there definitely is not life on other planets? Or would that be not only wrong, but hilariously inappropriate? Is the article on Vishnu made up of 70% arguments that there is no Vishnu and that nobody should believe in Vishnu and that believing in Vishnu is irresponsible and dangerous? Or is the article on Vishnu actually concerned with, oh, I don't know, maybe explaining what is known about Vishnu?

If you want to see a fairer way of handling a controversial topic like this, check out the article on chiropractic, e.g.:

There is no good evidence that chiropractic is effective for the treatment of any medical condition, except perhaps for certain kinds of back pain.[9][10] Generally, the research carried out into the effectiveness of chiropractic has been of poor quality.[86][87] There is a wide range of ways to measure treatment outcomes.[88] Chiropractic care, like all medical treatment, benefits from the placebo response.[89] It is difficult to construct a trustworthy placebo for clinical trials of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), as experts often disagree about whether a proposed placebo actually has no effect.[90] The efficacy of maintenance care in chiropractic is unknown.[13]

Blanket claims are not made. Statements are qualified and supported by multiple sources. The placebo effect is noted, but not in a disparaging way. Et cetera. Personally, I'm a big believer in chiropractic; I know for a fact that it's relieved me from a great deal of pain. Yet despite this personal bias, I can read the Wikipedia article on chiropractic and feel like (1) My intelligence is not being insulted; (2) There is an effort to avoid unsupported claims and blanket generalizations; (3) I'm not being preached at; and, most importantly, (4) The authors are making a genuine effort to educate me about the topic. None of those are true with this article. This article is somebody's emotion-driven grudge against methods of treatment he or she is personally opposed to on irrational grounds. As such, it has no place in an encyclopedia.

PriyaQuandry (talk) 03:58, 10 May 2016 (UTC)PriyaQuandry

We reflect what good sources say - please see WP:MEDRS and WP:FRINGE for two relevant policies here. Alexbrn (talk) 05:33, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
You're exactly right, Priya, but you're wasting your breath. (talk) 16:01, 24 May 2016 (UTC)HelenChicago