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View Diary: Frankenstein's Children: Modern Torture's Scientific Bible (24 comments)

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  •  A caveat (0+ / 0-)

    Good and important outline of the history of methods of torture. But what about the actual current state of such studies?

    I do not in any way condone research on interrogation outside the standards of the Geneva Conventions, forced persuasion, mind control, and other coercive methods, as was funded by the military many years ago.

    However, it is important to note that psychological research today is a far cry from that funded by the military during the earlier cold war years.

    Psychology graduate programs that are nationally accredited are required to train their graduate students in ethics of research.  A good deal of the study of ethics in this training focuses on what was not done ethically in the past. In my training, for example, we made extensive study of these early and terrible research projects.  

    All research is now required to be screened in advance by institutional review boards. I cannot speak to how this is done in military research in federal laboratories, but I am well acquainted with the process in universities and hospitals. It is rigorous, involves review by a large committee of quite diverse membership (including public citizens, not affiliated with the institution).

    I am concerned that people reading this diary may think that current practice and research in psychology is the same as it was then. That is not the case.

    I would not want any person to refrain from obtaining help, or from participating in much needed research, on the basis of fear aroused via projects that took place decades ago.

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