Identifying and Preventing “Woozling” About Parental Alienation

Session : Plenary 3: Current State of Parental Alienation Research and Practice

  • Time : 7:30 am PDT To 9:00 am PDT on
  • Venue : Identifying and Preventing “Woozling” about Parental Alienation

Full Abstract

For several decades, social scientists working in the areas of domestic violence (Gelles, 1980) and shared parenting (Nielsen, 2014) have identified frequent misrepresentations and misuse of empirical research by advocacy groups for their political purposes. A woozle refers to the belief in a claim or effect that is tentatively, partially, or not supported by empirical evidence, and is presented as “the” evidence on a topic at the exclusion of all other research that would refute it. The techniques used to woozle others leads to the magnification and wide dissemination of dubious, faulty, weak, and inaccurate data, often drawn from methodologically flawed and poorly designed research studies. This talk will review historical examples of woozling from the domestic violence and shared parenting fields, and then focus on a latest iteration of woozling from research on parental alienation. Strategies for the identification and prevention of woozling will also be discussed.