Casual Discussion Science Forum @scivillage
The problem with the pampered generations' claims of “lived experience” - Printable Version

+- Casual Discussion Science Forum @scivillage (
+-- Forum: Science (
+--- Forum: Junk Science (
+--- Thread: The problem with the pampered generations' claims of “lived experience” (/thread-10664.html)

The problem with the pampered generations' claims of “lived experience” - C C - Jul 21, 2021

EXCERPTS: . . . Then came the pampered generation, described in the book, The Coddling of the American Mind.

The essence of pampering is the insistence that people don’t have to be subjected to ideas that they don’t like. Some students insist that the classroom should be a “safe” space, where “safe” means a panic room where disruptive ideas are kept out. They insist on being complimented for already knowing and they treat instruction as an attempt to humiliate them. They accuse professors of “gaslighting” them if professors say things they don’t understand because they feel discomfited by new ideas, and discomfort is understood as an assault on their well-being.

I’m not talking about all students or even most of them. A small percentage of students is enough to take over the culture of a cohort if they intimidate other people [...] typically by not standing up for free speech or academic freedom or the tenure system that protects free thinking.

The latest iteration of pampering is the promotion of “lived experience” over critical thinking. By citing “lived experience,” some students make claims of expertise about their own lives that are not subject to dispute. In this context, critical thinking means open-minded consideration of whether the person’s narrative fits what actually happened and whether that narrative is a productive way of thinking about it. “Lived experience” can be a claim that what the person is aware of is all there is, with no allowance for the way the narrative may be self-serving or just plain wrong.

The claim of “lived experience” coupled with threats of cancellation is similar to Nero singing in public. Who dares to tell him he’s not nailing it? (That is, when he's not; critical thinking can also validate a personal narrative and its utility.)

The essence of psychological-mindedness is the recognition that no system speaks with one voice, and this includes the system of the individual personality. [...] This generation is extremely anxious—by their own report: I suspect they are not as anxious as they think they are because they tend to catastrophize their anxiety, believing they are not supposed to feel anxious.

I don’t pretend to know what to do about rampant perfectionism, its exacerbation by devices and social media [...] But when people pay us to instruct them or to treat them, we have an obligation to question their “lived experience.” With psychotherapy patients, we have an obligation to get them on board with the process... (MORE - details)