Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

No matter what you do, "Any intervention in a complex system may or may not have the intended result, but will inevitably create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes". Human behavior is a "complex system" and so any thing you do in social psychology will be subject to the law.

An example is in an article I just came across which suggests that all the drug counseling we do for teens may do more harm than good..Here is a quote

Increasingly, substance-abuse experts are finding that teen drug treatment may indeed be doing more harm than good. Many programs throw casual dabblers together with hard-core addicts and foster continuous group interaction. It tends to strengthen dysfunctional behavior by concentrating it, researchers say. "Just putting kids in group therapy actually promotes greater drug use," says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The article is here, for those who want to see the other side of the story.

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