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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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Feedback: Values in ADHD Science

Feedback: Values in ADHD Science

Chapter:
(p.115) 4 Feedback: Values in ADHD Science
Source:
Accidental Intolerance
Author(s):

Susan C. C. Hawthorne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199977383.003.0005

The sciences that study ADHD do not stand apart from the clinical and social influences embedded in the ADHD concept and its associated practices. Instead, pervasive trends in the aspects of ADHD scientsts choose to study, connotations of language used to interpret data, and values underlying common research methodologies, work together to embed social and scientific values within scientific conclusions. These influences do not constitute overt bias, and most ADHD science achieves adequate objectivity to help us analyze existing conditions and assess future possibilities. However, because many of the values embedded in its conclusions are negative, current science does contribute to sharpening negative perceptions of ADHD. The value-valenced conclusions of science also reinforce society’s choice to adopt ADHD, which in turn supports doing further research. The mutual reinforcement forms a positive feedback loop that strongly shapes current understanding and practice around ADHD—and, unfortunately, reinforces intolerance.

Keywords:   ADHD, values in science, bias in science, scientific method, operationalization, constitutive values in science, methodology, statistical analysis

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