Facilitated Communication: A Further Comment
I listed this study as a support for FC after having read the authors abstract. It is usually a dangerous policy to offer a review on an article having only read an abstract. I did so in this case, because I had already read many of the articles I cited in my review. And because I simply couldn’t imagine that the Weiss et al. article would be so methodologically poor as to cause me to not even inlcude it in a review.
I received a tip in the comments section of my previous post that several of the supporting research articles for FC, had significant problems. Some especially damaging points about Weiss et al. were brought. After a online link to the article was found, I took the time to review the article in depth.
I was rather horrified by what I read. Weiss et al. isn’t just a study with a few small problems, it is a study whose problem negate any worth this study may have had. I will detail these problems below. I am withdrawing my inclusion of this article in my research that supports FC section. It doesn’t merit it.
The most glaring flaw in Weiss et al. is that the participant was asked many of the same questions about the same story before the test condition. The researchers called this practice phase “consolidation”. It involved an experimenter who knew the correct answers to the questions “facilitating” for the participant prior to the test condition with the “naive” facilitator.
Here is an example in trial 1:
Consolidation question “What game did they play?”
Test question “What game did they play in the story”
I have honestly never seen contamination this bad in peer reviewed research.
There are other flaws in this research as well. Please go to the comments of my previous post and see for yourself.