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establishment psycho-bunk 3 —


a briefing document

‘dyslexia’—usually a euphemism for poor teaching and slow learning
marker at abelard.org   establishment psycho-bunk 1—'Lie detection'   establishment psycho-bunk is a sub-set of documents, within this document set. This document set shows how to apply empiric reasoning to social and psychological problems..
marker at abelard.org   establishment psycho-bunk 2 —Ritalin and junk science   Intelligence: misuse and abuse of statistics drugs, smoking and addiction
marker at abelard.org establishment psycho-bunk 3 —'Dyslexia'  

establishment psycho-bunk cause, chance and Bayesian statistics
marker at abelard.org establishment psycho-bunk 4 —The myth of repressed memory   misuse and corruption in science
marker at abelard.org psycho-bunk 5 —What is memory, or intelligence? Incautious claims of ‘IQ’ genes   For related empiric reasoning documents, start with
Why Aristotelian logic does not work
marker at abelard.org psycho-bunk 6—‘Traumatic’ ‘syndromes’ or ‘curing’ P.E.S.Ts marker at abelard.org psycho-bunk 8—Sexual differences in childhood behaviour - socialist science: the result first, the study after
marker at abelard.org establishment psycho-bunk 7 —‘asperger’s’ and ‘autism’ marker at abelard.org psychobunk 9—Dyspraxia


The word, ‘dyslexia’, is widely used as a euphemism for poor teaching and slow learning. ‘Real’ ‘dyslexia’ is quite rare and probably involves actual brain trauma. Its symptoms tend to be highly specific and ‘bizarre’ (e.g. spelling with only a very few of the letters, for instance, kangaroo spelt as kgo).

However, such anomalous classification of this educational disfunctionality (and of other behavioural phenomena) is generating some interesting ways of tackling, what are essentially behavioural problems, as if they are physical. (Of course, the brain is physical and it learns, there is no substantive distinction. But one does not normally teach reading by means of brain surgery.)

This new investigation, unintentionally, highlights a very widespread logical error in this type of approach.

Naturally, if the individual does not know how to read, the appropriate areas of the brain for processing written language will not be active when reading ability is assessed!

The link between university funding (in this case Stanford University) and the commercial product described in the article should be clearly spelled out. While there are notes related to this at the end of the item, I regard those notes as insufficiently detailed.

The software details referred to can be accessed here (with 3 subsidiary pages).

The company concerned are attempting to license this product to schools at $850 a go, as far as I can follow from their rather coy site. They are also attempting to sell a tranche of related items.

These items describe skills that any high-grade teacher should already use.

However, such software is a potential substitute for widespread, inadequate teaching skills. The obscure claim that it is ‘patented technology’ is odd. Just exactly what it is about their ‘product’ that they are claiming as ‘patented technology’ is (possibly purposefully) unclear.

associated documents at abelard.org:

how to teach a child to read using phonics
a phonetics chart for british english
Reading test and related information
Book reading lists


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