Lilia Gurova: Feigned narratives do not always satisfy needs: the case of factitious disorders

The next meeting of the seminar is planned for March, 26th, at 12:00 (CET). Our guest will be Lilia Gurova (Department of Cognitive Science and Psychology, New Bulgarian University). We will discuss a draft paper: Feigned narratives do not always satisfy needs: the case of factitious disorders.

The paper abstract: When Bradley Lewis announced in 2014 that psychiatry needed to make a “narrative turn”, he backed up his appeal as follows: (1) the different explanatory models of mental disorders that are currently competing in psychiatry tell us different stories about mental health; (2) none of these stories has the privilege of being the only true one, and its alternatives the wrong ones; (3) the choice of a model in each case should be made in a dialogue with the patient in order to ensure that the model will be chosen that best meets the patient’s goals and desires and, accordingly, would best support the process of recovery. The latter suggestion however is not easy to follow when the patients’ subjective goals and desires and the goal of returning the patients to a normal way of life diverge, as is the case with the so-called factitious disorders. The problem is worsen by the theory-ladenness of the interpretations of patients’ first-person narratives. This paper argues against a common assumption that biases our understanding of abnormal behavior, in particular the behavior of those who feign stories about illness. This is the assumption that such a behavior satisfies certain, possibly unknown, psychological needs.

The seminar is focused on discussing the papers, in a reading group style. The speaker first introduces the main theses of the paper (for around ten minutes), and then the floor is open for comments. In the online version of the seminar, the questions must be first signaled briefly on the chat to manage the flow of the discussion.

Mail Przemysław Nowakowski (p.nowakowski@ifispan.edu.pl) for the Google Meet link.

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Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity

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