chapter  6
9 Pages

Explaining Gullibility of Service Providers Toward Treatment Fads


It is not surprising that people with cognitive limitations are often gullible or credulous, but it is important to understand that all human beings-even people who are generally very competent-are capable of being duped. Evidence can be found in the many works of fiction devoted to the topic, such as Shakespeare’s Othello and Melville’s The Confidence Man, and in several works on investment manias, such as the 19th-century classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay (1841/ 1980). It can also be found in the large numbers of human services workers who jump on the bandwagon of the most ridiculous, unproven, and dubious of treatment fads. Can there be any other term to describe professionals who subscribe to such fad therapies than “gullible”?