Ethics: Free Advice

Psychologists face discipline for diagnosing strangers

When a big story breaks, the first thing reporters do is get the news. The next thing, usually, is to round up a few experts to say what it all means. Too often, what gets experts quoted -- and called again the next time news relates to their specialty -- is not specific knowledge of a case but crisp, piquant opinion. The expert enjoys the publicity; the journalist enlivens a story. The losers are the public, who get ill-informed speculation masquerading as analysis, and the news subjects, who are assessed in intimate, knowing terms by strangers.

Many health professionals refuse to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!