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ADHD Diagnosis: Emergent Thinking Explained

Posted Jun 07 2011 12:00am

Diagnostic Labels: On Clouds and Clocks
Current ADHD labels chase the illusion of mind-clockworks, and miss the dynamics of cloud-think. Have I lost you?

If you’ve been following CorePsych Blog, even for a single posting, you will find this embedded video from David Brooks via Big Think of considerable interest. Philosopher Karl Popper first outlined the static conceptual process associated with limited thinking about our ADHD diagnostic problems. These challenges, which lead to ineffective treatments, regularly appear in our offices downstream from reductionisitic, diacritic [black and white] thinking regarding ADHD diagnosis. Said Popper quite simply: Humans are not clocks. Current ADHD DSM4R terminology creates mind-clocks, even pieces of clocks, rather than addressing the complexity of mind and body interactions.

DSM5 promises no change in reductionistic thinking – past path dependence persists with thinking patterns in spite of dramatic advances in ADHD biomedical understanding.

David Brooks Weighs In: Must See Brief Video [Only 01 min 32 sec!]
Brooks simplifies the concept of emergent thinking. Consider this: will changing ADHD label formats help us take the next step with ADHD diagnostic accuracy?

David Brooks writing for the NY Times recently outlined more emergent thinking details:

A few months ago, of Harvard asked a smart question: What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?

The good folks at organized a symposium, and 164 thinkers contributed suggestions. , a linguist at Columbia University, wrote that people should be more aware of path dependence. This refers to the notion that often “something that seems normal or inevitable today began with a choice that made sense at a particular time in the past, but survived despite the eclipse of the justification for that choice.”

For instance, typewriters used to jam if people typed too fast, so the manufacturers designed a keyboard that would slow typists. We no longer have typewriters, but we are stuck with the letter arrangements of the qwerty keyboard.

Path dependence explains many linguistic patterns and mental categories, McWhorter continues. Many people worry about the way e-mail seems to degrade writing skills. But there is nothing about e-mail that forbids people from using the literary style of 19th-century letter writers. In the 1960s, language became less formal, and now anybody who uses the old manner is regarded as an eccentric.

Evgeny Morozov, the author of “The Net Delusion,” nominated the , the idea that we often try to solve problems by using solutions that worked in the past instead of looking at each situation on its own terms. This effect is especially powerful in foreign affairs, where each new conflict is viewed through the prism of Vietnam or Munich or the cold war or Iraq.

[Ed NB:] If I were presumptuous enough to nominate a few entries, I’d suggest the Fundamental Attribution Error: Don’t try to explain by character traits behavior that is better explained by context. [I love context - see any ADHD diagnostic relevance in this astute remark?]

I’d also nominate the distinction between emotion and arousal. There’s a general assumption that emotional people are always flying off the handle. That’s not true. We would also say that Emily Dickinson was emotionally astute. As far as I know, she did not go around screaming all the time. It would be useful if we could distinguish between the emotionality of Dickinson and the arousal of the talk-show jock.

Public life would be vastly improved if people relied more on the concept of emergence.

ADHD Medication Rules are changing, and diacritic thinking – in contradistinction to emergent thinking [noted in my first book Deep Recovery in 1992] often proves inadequate as together we address the complexity of ADHD and brain physiology. Stay tuned for my second, significantly improved second edition of ADHD Medication Rules [coming out soon], – it will be forwarded to everyone who already purchased it.

Make sure you take a look at these pages!
ADHD Medication Rules Purchase
ADHD Medication Video Tutorials
“Rules” Affiliate Link
Neuroscience Details

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