Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

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buenosaires
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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by buenosaires » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:03 pm

miriam wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:23 pm
buenosaires wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:24 pm
Sorry I have to say that I find this kind of commentary really quite unhelpful. I don't know how you intend on engaging people with differing opinions when you boil down their stance to being demonstrative of a lack of "knowledge and critical thinking". Elevating yourself above others is surely a quick fire way to shut down all productive discussions?
I think that's a pernicious argument from the alt right that aims to legitimise illegitimate views. We don't say that we need to hear out people who believe in eugenics and persuade them otherwise through endless logic and proof, we just say that they are wrong. We don't say that we need to hear out people who believe that jews are secretly pulling all the strings and need to be exterminated, and engage them and bring them round. We need to state they are wrong and their views are unacceptable. We don't need to legitimise those who call for the legalising of child sexual abuse. Likewise we don't need to legitimise those who say that there are only two genders and that trans people don't deserve basic human rights, that the family can only be a nuclear family and believe women belong in the home looking pretty, where they can produce and raise children according to the rules determined by men, and that they shouldn't be allowed to be picky about partners, and that women's liberation is responsible for men who become mass shooters.
The comment that you made that I responded to was It takes knowledge and critical thinking to see the problems in Peterson's rhetoric, and this thread proves that even people with an interest in psychology often lack that. I don't think that anybody who has responded to this thread has expressed any "illegitimate views" that you speak of, so I don't see how this argument applies. Dismissing people who have taken the time to contribute to a thread and talk through their thoughts as "lacking knowledge and critical thinking" is what I find unnecessary and quite disappointing as a relatively new member of this forum.

I also disagree with JP's views, but perhaps where we differ is that I can see that there may be something of value (that people on the "other side" could also capitalise on) in the way he speaks and how he has managed to engage people with no psychological background whatsoever. It's all very well for psychologists to be respected in their field but I think that the real movement comes from how well their message is relayed to the public. That's all!!!

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miriam
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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by miriam » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:14 pm

I sometimes get asked in court, when talking about parents who have harmed their children, why I haven't mentioned the times that were fun or the elements in the contact session that were positive. I say that those are lovely to see, but even if a person is a great parent 95% of the time it doesn't undo the fact that 5% of the time they harm the child, and that is 5% too much. In the same way, I find it problematic to point out the good elements of a hatemonger like Peterson, because it means ignoring hugely problematic elements of his behaviour and rhetoric, which I don't believe that people who apply critical thinking and see the broader context can do in the way that those who agree with his politics can. I can see you disagree with that, but that's my position I'm afraid.
Miriam

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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by ell » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:52 pm

Correct me if I've misunderstood you buenosaires, but I wonder if what you're saying is that you disagree with JP's content, but you think it is important to understand how he has got such a following (I.e. the process)? If this is the case, then would that change miriam's analogy to whether or not it is of value to examine how and why the parent caused harm to the child? Hope that makes sense, I'm just trying to understand the different points of view here. It was raised by a few people that JP's methods seem to be about appealing to disillusioned angry white men, but there are a lot of people out there doing that who don't get the attention that JP does, so it makes sense to suggest that there are other factors that we could examine.

But it seems to boil down to the argument of whether it's more effective in the battle against bigoted ideas to learn about the opposing views and those that have them (which seems to run the risk of suggesting they are worth examining and therefore have some value), or to just dismiss them as wrong (which kind of goes against some of our values as psychologists, in terms of understanding human behaviour). I can see both sides and am struggling to work out what I think about it (hence my post).

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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by miriam » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:41 pm

I'd say it's always worth finding out why a parent harmed a child* and likewise it is absolutely legitimate to think about why the messages of the alt right are resonating with so many people at the moment, including Peterson's. But that doesn't mean that we have to admire him, accept what he is doing as a legitimate facet of our profession, find the bits we agree with, give weight to his opinions, or believe in his claimed oratory prowess. The key distinguishing factor of JBP is his lack of regard for evidence or the boundaries of his own competence and his high degree of confidence in expressing his opinions as facts. Plus he has intentionally marketed towards a particular market niche, and styled himself in retro suits and placed himself on alt-right channels, whilst most academics and clinicians would care more about having a positive impact in the world and representing the evidence than raising their own profile at the cost of their ethics.

*very rarely intentionally, in my experience, and often due to their own limited coping resources
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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by Punkgirluk » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 am

So I do agree with Ell on this. I also see a parallel with current U.K. politics (sorry...but I think it illustrates the point quite well). It is possible for me to simultaneously disagree with everything Nigel Farage says and yet acknowledge he is a very successful politician. I am interested in why such a significant amount of people feel that he (or Peterson) represent them whereas mainstream politics (or psychology) do not.
I don’t think however (and here I am in agreement with Miriam) that getting into an ideological debate is the way forward. There was a recent paper (I think by Reicher et al but I would need to check) on extremism which clearly showed that challenging people with extreme views on the basis of ideology or evidence was ineffective at best and potentially counterproductive.
I would be interested however in trying to understand why some people felt disenfranchised by mainstream approaches to psychology and I am not sure that homogenising them as ill-informed or privileged or alt-right males is necessarily helpful with that understanding.
Just my two cents 😊

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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by ell » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:50 am

Punkgirluk wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 am
I don’t think however (and here I am in agreement with Miriam) that getting into an ideological debate is the way forward. There was a recent paper (I think by Reicher et al but I would need to check) on extremism which clearly showed that challenging people with extreme views on the basis of ideology or evidence was ineffective at best and potentially counterproductive.
Good to hear there is some research on this, and interesting to hear the conclusion of that. Bit depressing though.

I've recently had a couple of FB friends (so, not close friends) posting things that I've wanted to argue against (e.g. some meme suggesting that people who are protesting against Trump wouldn't be protesting against Muslim extremists speaking). But I just couldn't think of a way to effectively counter it. I don't feel comfortable wading into arguments where I don't have the evidence to support my position, but in matters like these we generally don't have the evidence to hand, and the issues are quite complex anyway, so there is no simple piece of evidence to counter. Perhaps having facts and figures wouldn't help in that situation anyway, it seems. Not sure what else to do though, and that just feels really depressing.

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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by PinkFreud19 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:20 pm

Punkgirluk wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 am
I don’t think however (and here I am in agreement with Miriam) that getting into an ideological debate is the way forward. There was a recent paper (I think by Reicher et al but I would need to check) on extremism which clearly showed that challenging people with extreme views on the basis of ideology or evidence was ineffective at best and potentially counterproductive.
An interesting study, but the implications reminded me of several posts in this threat, and the other thread on diversity, about whether or not we should tolerate intolerance or engage with those that we are politically opposed to.

I guess my issue is that what can be defined as extreme is subjective to a degree (not absolutely subjective; nazi beliefs are undeniably extreme), and depends on the biases that stem from your own position on the political spectrum. For example, a hard libertarian is going to seem like an extreme right-winger to a marxist, but as worthy of debate to a conservative. Another example would be the suppression of communist ideas as "evil" over the last 50 years, despite marxists viewing themselves as highly morally driven.

This generates the question, where do we set the cutoff for what is 'extremist' and therefore not worthy of a platform? I can reflect myself that I have only in the past few years identified with the title 'feminist' and come to appreciate many aspects of feminist theory, and that this was only as a consequence of feminists taking the time to explain their perspective to me. Given how complex social structures are, I do not blame myself for initially feeling opposed to some of the things I was hearing from the hard left, because they were previously explained in ways that were either erroneous (i.e. implying that men do not experience adversity at all) or not acknowledging that there are other benign factors contributing to inequality of outcome in addition to systemic oppression. I'm sure my rejection of these issues at the time would have made me be viewed as an MRA to some (I never was) and that many people did not feel I was worthy of engagement in ideological discussion. Yet here I am, a strong ally to these issues.

I have watched a few videos of Jordan Peterson recently. I agree with Miriam that his idea that femininity is somehow an analogue of chaos and masculinity order is problematic. He seems to evade any explanation of why he thinks that to be the case, and to me it seems like utter nonsense.

However, not everything he says is rubbish, and I think it's important to acknowledge this. Looking at the channel 4 debate he took part in, I think the reason people have followed to him in droves is because he is cuttingly to the point in debates with people. He seems to drop his overly obfuscated use of language in these contexts and instead adopts a more concise and statistics-driven approach. I agree with him that the factors that predict outcome variables (such as the percentage of CEOs) is a multi factor solution, some of which can be explained by an aspect of discrimination, but much of it being predicted by other factors.

This more nuanced narrative about why we do not see equality of outcome is one that people were waiting to hear, in my opinion, because of the common misrepresentation that feminism does not acknowledge this (blame is on both sides for this in my opinion) or a genuine representation that we should use affirmative action to ensure equality of outcome (a debate worthy of a platform in my opinion). It's therefore seen as a breath of fresh air to see someone with strong debating skills cuttingly stand up to, what they see as, a growing dominance of left extremism (i.e. a straw-man of feminism) in mainstream media.

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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by miriam » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:08 pm

I'd agree with that, PinkFreud19. I think a decade ago I was persuaded to not identify as feminist because of the pervasive narrative of the straw feminist, and it has been a long journey to make me clear enough about my views (and the extent of the problems) to be this outspoken.
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buenosaires
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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by buenosaires » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:17 pm

ell wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:52 pm
Correct me if I've misunderstood you buenosaires, but I wonder if what you're saying is that you disagree with JP's content, but you think it is important to understand how he has got such a following (I.e. the process)? If this is the case, then would that change miriam's analogy to whether or not it is of value to examine how and why the parent caused harm to the child? Hope that makes sense, I'm just trying to understand the different points of view here. It was raised by a few people that JP's methods seem to be about appealing to disillusioned angry white men, but there are a lot of people out there doing that who don't get the attention that JP does, so it makes sense to suggest that there are other factors that we could examine.

But it seems to boil down to the argument of whether it's more effective in the battle against bigoted ideas to learn about the opposing views and those that have them (which seems to run the risk of suggesting they are worth examining and therefore have some value), or to just dismiss them as wrong (which kind of goes against some of our values as psychologists, in terms of understanding human behaviour). I can see both sides and am struggling to work out what I think about it (hence my post).
Yes exactly Ell. When I look to JPs following, I don't just see blatant misogynists, racists, generally backward people that are usually attracted to alt-right groups. He seems to ALSO appeal to people who are intelligent and fairly moderate in their views, which I think is really interesting. If you can convince people who - by all intents and purposes - are generally pretty reasonable to ascribe to such a rhetoric then in my view that is definitely worth examining!

buenosaires
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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by buenosaires » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:33 pm

miriam wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:14 pm
I sometimes get asked in court, when talking about parents who have harmed their children, why I haven't mentioned the times that were fun or the elements in the contact session that were positive. I say that those are lovely to see, but even if a person is a great parent 95% of the time it doesn't undo the fact that 5% of the time they harm the child, and that is 5% too much. In the same way, I find it problematic to point out the good elements of a hatemonger like Peterson, because it means ignoring hugely problematic elements of his behaviour and rhetoric, which I don't believe that people who apply critical thinking and see the broader context can do in the way that those who agree with his politics can. I can see you disagree with that, but that's my position I'm afraid.
I don't see at all how it means ignoring the problematic elements of his behaviour - it just leads to a more layered and nuanced analysis. As I said in my previous post, nobody who has contributed to this discussion has suggested that there aren't issues with JP's manner and ideology, which is why I found your comment regarding posters lacking critical thinking and knowledge so out of place. Everyone can see what the problems are and have acknowledged them.

I personally find it really interesting (and worrying) that despite aaaaall these issues, he has still amassed a huge following and it's really important to question why people who aren't forces for good are picking up momentum. In order to answer this question effectively, surely there has to be some acknowledgement of some things that he is doing well (to have garnered such attention and gained popularity)?

buenosaires
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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by buenosaires » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:36 pm

PinkFreud19 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:20 pm
Punkgirluk wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 am
I don’t think however (and here I am in agreement with Miriam) that getting into an ideological debate is the way forward. There was a recent paper (I think by Reicher et al but I would need to check) on extremism which clearly showed that challenging people with extreme views on the basis of ideology or evidence was ineffective at best and potentially counterproductive.
An interesting study, but the implications reminded me of several posts in this threat, and the other thread on diversity, about whether or not we should tolerate intolerance or engage with those that we are politically opposed to.

I guess my issue is that what can be defined as extreme is subjective to a degree (not absolutely subjective; nazi beliefs are undeniably extreme), and depends on the biases that stem from your own position on the political spectrum. For example, a hard libertarian is going to seem like an extreme right-winger to a marxist, but as worthy of debate to a conservative. Another example would be the suppression of communist ideas as "evil" over the last 50 years, despite marxists viewing themselves as highly morally driven.

This generates the question, where do we set the cutoff for what is 'extremist' and therefore not worthy of a platform? I can reflect myself that I have only in the past few years identified with the title 'feminist' and come to appreciate many aspects of feminist theory, and that this was only as a consequence of feminists taking the time to explain their perspective to me. Given how complex social structures are, I do not blame myself for initially feeling opposed to some of the things I was hearing from the hard left, because they were previously explained in ways that were either erroneous (i.e. implying that men do not experience adversity at all) or not acknowledging that there are other benign factors contributing to inequality of outcome in addition to systemic oppression. I'm sure my rejection of these issues at the time would have made me be viewed as an MRA to some (I never was) and that many people did not feel I was worthy of engagement in ideological discussion. Yet here I am, a strong ally to these issues.

I have watched a few videos of Jordan Peterson recently. I agree with Miriam that his idea that femininity is somehow an analogue of chaos and masculinity order is problematic. He seems to evade any explanation of why he thinks that to be the case, and to me it seems like utter nonsense.

However, not everything he says is rubbish, and I think it's important to acknowledge this. Looking at the channel 4 debate he took part in, I think the reason people have followed to him in droves is because he is cuttingly to the point in debates with people. He seems to drop his overly obfuscated use of language in these contexts and instead adopts a more concise and statistics-driven approach. I agree with him that the factors that predict outcome variables (such as the percentage of CEOs) is a multi factor solution, some of which can be explained by an aspect of discrimination, but much of it being predicted by other factors.

This more nuanced narrative about why we do not see equality of outcome is one that people were waiting to hear, in my opinion, because of the common misrepresentation that feminism does not acknowledge this (blame is on both sides for this in my opinion) or a genuine representation that we should use affirmative action to ensure equality of outcome (a debate worthy of a platform in my opinion). It's therefore seen as a breath of fresh air to see someone with strong debating skills cuttingly stand up to, what they see as, a growing dominance of left extremism (i.e. a straw-man of feminism) in mainstream media.
Great post PinkFreud... nothing to add just wanted to acknowledge :lol: !

KalEl
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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by KalEl » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:22 pm

I actually quite like Jordan. To me, he seems like quite a decent chap, trying to do the right thing, and that is quite admirable. He certainly seems more honorable than some Clinical Psychologists I have worked with in the past, and continue to meet to this day. I certainly don't agree with everything he says, but there are some things he discusses that I do agree with like the debate around the authenticity of the gender pay gap, the (Canadian) government's right to forcing compelled speech, the devolution of feminism and the MeToo movement, and the emerging crises facing young men in society. I think these are important things to be considered, and there is some evidence to support them as well. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but that does not mean we should judge him so harshly, discard his points of view and paint him as a member of the alt-right just because they're different.

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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by miriam » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:58 pm

KalEl wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:22 pm
I actually quite like Jordan. To me, he seems like quite a decent chap, trying to do the right thing, and that is quite admirable. He certainly seems more honorable than some Clinical Psychologists I have worked with in the past, and continue to meet to this day. I certainly don't agree with everything he says, but there are some things he discusses that I do agree with like the debate around the authenticity of the gender pay gap, the (Canadian) government's right to forcing compelled speech, the devolution of feminism and the MeToo movement, and the emerging crises facing young men in society. I think these are important things to be considered, and there is some evidence to support them as well. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but that does not mean we should judge him so harshly, discard his points of view and paint him as a member of the alt-right just because they're different.
This is really worrying. Your views are entirely discrepant from the facts. There is no "forcing compelled speech", that's a straw man entirely of Peterson's creation to justify his transphobic, homophobic and regressive views. He blatantly courts the alt right. The rest is a list of issues I saw neatly summarised "what happens when a false sense of superiority combines with a false sense of victimhood".
Miriam

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Contrarian
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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by Contrarian » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 pm

He's full of beef.

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Re: Jordan Peterson - why do practitioners not like him?

Post by lakeland » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:57 am

Contrarian wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 pm
He's full of beef.
Con! A very on brand post for you. Hope everything is going well.

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