Scholarly rumors: Citation analysis of vast misinformation regarding parental alienation theory

Misinformation is widespread in political discourse, mental health literature, and hard science. This article describes recurrent publication of the same misinformation regarding parental alienation (PA), that is, variations of the statement: “PA theory assumes that the favored parent has caused PA in the child simply because the child refuses to have a relationship with the rejected parent, without identifying or proving alienating behaviors by the favored parent.” Ninety-four examples of the same misinformation were identified and subjected to citation analysis using Gephi software, which displays the links between citing material and cited material. The recurrent misinformation reported here is not trivial; these statements are significant misrepresentations of PA theory. Plausible explanations for this trail of misinformation are the psychological mindset of the authors (i.e., confirmation bias) and the authors’ writing skills (e.g., sloppy research practices such as persistent use of secondary sources for their information). The authors of this article recommend that publications containing significant misinformation should be corrected or retracted.

Author: Linda Turner

Coaching and Therapy Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy. Qualified NLP, EMDR and CBT therapist. REIKI Master. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

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