Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "psychology" ...

  • Years of abuse and neglect kept secret

    News 5 Investigates discovered the Colorado Department of Human Services knew about several cases of abuse and neglect at a facility for teens and young adults with psychiatric and behavioral issues years before the center permanently closed.
  • APTN Investigates: Plastic Shamans

    Are there bizarre cults operating among the people of Haida Gwaii? This region is among the most beautiful in Canada. It is home to one of the most powerful and progressive First Nations in Canada. And yet the community is divided by the presence of outside "healers" who claim they are helping the people heal from the legacies of colonialism and residential school. But others claim, the healers are fraudsters. Laura Duthiel is among those who says she has been involved in not just one but two separate and distinct groups. There is Earth Peoples United, lead by leader Erik Gonzalez - a man who claims to be a Mayan healer. But Duthiel says he uses drugs and peer pressure to keep her under his control. The other is a group called Psychology of Vision, offering a so-called spiritual health model created by a couple from Hawaii. Duthiel says their controversial techniques don't work As a result of speaking out and sounding the alarm, she says she's been shunned by many members of her community Because some of the groups' supporters say they are genuinely helping people. But Duthiel also has defenders, band members who say the groups are doing more harm than good; that they are nothing more than plastic healers.
  • Academics and Athletics At Michigan

    A psychology professor at the University of Michigan taught at least 294 independent study courses during a three-year period, 85 percent of his time was spent with athletes. Those athletes coming close to losing academic eligibility were sent to study with John Hagen.
  • A Hidden Shame: Danger and Death in Georgia's Mental Hospitals

    This series exposed problems in Georgia's state psychiatric hospitals. At least 155 patients died under suspicious circumstances related to neglect, abuse and poor medical treatment. Furthermore, patients are often discharged to places where their continued treatment is doubtful, such as homeless shelters, bus stations and street corners.
  • Sex and the Single Sperm

    Reischel investigated Florida Atlantic University professor Tom Shackelford, who is using national science funds to study "sperm competition," which is a very controversial area of research. The basis of his research is the idea that the behavior of human sperm over the millennia has programmed humans to evolve rape and jealousy in order to survive. Even though FAU is split internally as to the legitimacy of his work, the university is promoting it as "evolutionary psychology."
  • School of Shock

    This story investigates the Judge Rotenberg Center, a residential special education school in Massachusetts that treats students' problematic behavior through the use of controversial aversive therapy -- mainly in the form of electric shocks applied to the skin. This piece traces the history of aversive techniques and explores the question of when, if ever, they are appropriate; tells the story of the school and the man who founded it; explains the tough choices facing parents who consent to getting their children shocked; and describes in detail the methods used and the concerns regulators have about them.
  • A Trustworthy Lie Detector?

    The Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) is a lie detector "said to be able to determine truth or deception by tone of voice or stress level." The machine has "been sold to hundreds of police departments and the U.S. military," with these organizations using it to put people in jail and interrogate terror suspects even though "not a single scientific study has been done to show the CSVA actually works." The Pentagon has now banned use of the machine. An ABC News investigation discovered that while the machine is sold for $10,000 apiece with claims of 98 percent accuracy, some of its convictions have been overturned. In addition, CSVA creator and National Institute for Truth Verification CEO Dr. Charles Humble is "not a medical doctor and does not have a PHD from an accredited university. Instead, he was awarded a Dr. of Psychology after taking a few hours of bible studies at a bible college which was located in an Indiana strip mall."
  • Mentally Unfit, Forced to Fight

    The series investigated mental health screening and treatment for service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Based on Defense Department records data and interviews with more than 100 mental health experts, service members, and the relatives and friends of troops who committed suicide in the war zone, we reported that the military was increasingly sending, keeping and recycling mentally troubles troops into combat, in violation of the military's own regulations, and with tragic consequences."
  • Green With Envy: Why Keeping UP With The Joneses is Keeping Us in Debt

    Author Shira Boss investigates the effect of money on our society and on the way we live. A major point is that some who put on a show of being well-to-do are actually struggling behind the scenes. She examines situations including a family living in a gated community yet racking up credit-card debt, a politician who has to sleep on a cot, and a 50-something baby boomer who's peers are set, but who has kids in college and no retirement fund. Boss also uses statistics from economics, psychology, sociology and cultural anthropology to show that sometimes keeping up appearances can be reckless financially.
  • Psychopolitics

    A six part series looked into the leader of the New York Independence Party, Fred Newman. Critics say Newman has a sordid history that parties, courting his vote, chose to ignore. Former allies say Newman leads a cult which requires members to give their lives and money to his cause. With no formal training in psychology Newman founded Social Therapy, with 9 centers around the country. Patients are told that society is to blame for their problems so the only hope for improvement is to improve society by working for one of Newman's organizations.