Someone says they hear voices. There are many explanations:

  • They are having auditory hallucinations that to them sound like another person.
  • They are interpreting their inner monologue as an external voice.
  • They are lying.

How can one tell the difference. And is the difference important? (To a behaviourist, would someone be classified as "well" as long as they stop telling people they are hearing voices?)

Let's suppose the treatment is electric shock therapy. Which has the following effect on the 3 cases:

  • It cures the auditory halluciantions
  • It damages their brain so they can't exprience an internal monologue
  • The person is so affraid of the electric shock they stop lying.

Or a fourth option is it doesn't cure anything but they again say they are "well" to avoid electric shocks.

This could well have been the situation before modern brain scans. Can modern brain scans show a difference between the three cases? And I wonder what percentages the three cases occur in?


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