Related to Disguised Queries:

Concept Creep: Psychology's Expanding Concepts of Harm and Pathology by Nick Haslam

Many of psychology's concepts have undergone semantic shifts in recent years. These conceptual changes follow a consistent trend. Concepts that refer to the negative aspects of human experience and behavior have expanded their meanings so that they now encompass a much broader range of phenomena than before. This expansion takes “horizontal” and “vertical” forms: concepts extend outward to capture qualitatively new phenomena and downward to capture quantitatively less extreme phenomena. The concepts of abuse, bullying, trauma, mental disorder, addiction, and prejudice are examined to illustrate these historical changes. In each case, the concept's boundary has stretched and its meaning has dilated. A variety of explanations for this pattern of “concept creep” are considered and its implications are explored. I contend that the expansion primarily reflects an ever-increasing sensitivity to harm, reflecting a liberal moral agenda. Its implications are ambivalent, however. Although conceptual change is inevitable and often well motivated, concept creep runs the risk of pathologizing everyday experience and encouraging a sense of virtuous but impotent victimhood.

Report about the paper in The Atlantic.


Reminds me professional opinions that avoiding trigger warnings exacerbates pathology whereas exposure diminishes is. Haslam is from my university, too, and I've chatted to him! I tend to think in black and white, and catastrophise when I think of the past. Maybe I wasn't actually 'abused'.. just overly sensitive :P I mean there was god, and there was bad.

0ChristianKl4yIt interesting given that we frequently see complaints that LW should reuse more concepts from the outside instead of making up it's own concepts. Concept creep automatically comes with reusing concepts.

Open thread, Apr. 18 - Apr. 24, 2016

by MrMind 1 min read18th Apr 2016176 comments


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