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Accidental IntoleranceHow We Stigmatize ADHD and How We Can Stop$
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Susan C. C. Hawthorne

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199977383

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199977383.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 April 2021

How Science Shapes ADHD

How Science Shapes ADHD

(p.46) 2 How Science Shapes ADHD
Accidental Intolerance

Susan C. C. Hawthorne

Oxford University Press

Science adds to our understanding of ADHD by working out mechanisms of causation, symptom production, and intervention. So far, despite alternative hypotheses, the sciences have also stood by models that align with DSM-defined ADHD. Why? In part because—allowing for significant gaps in scientific knowledge—the data fit, by and large. But science’s commitment to certain reasoning patterns and methodologies also encourages adherence. For example, sticking with the same model makes it simpler to demonstrate data convergence across fields: researchers can be more certain that they are comparing apples to apples. Similarly, the common focus on difference (typically difference of “ADHD” from “non-ADHD”) meshes well with the DSM’s categorical portrayal of ADHD. These under-recognized effects of methodology, among other factors, slow down exploration of alternatives. Common methodologies and scientific goals also encourage dichotomization, reductionistic biological perspectives, and reification of ADHD—three aspects of the predominant view that contribute to intolerance.

Keywords:   ADHD, reductionism, scientific method, operationalization, mechanisms, statistical reasoning, scientific progress, scientific hypothesis, reification

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