Change your language–and maybe change your world

You know, I gotta tell you that to see this sort of statement, “relatively high-functioning community-dwelling women (mean age 66.3 years)” is astonishing.

There must be a lot of people out there who are very different from the people I know who are in their 60s to even occasion the use of the phrase “relatively high-functioning.” I don’t care what the scientific definition is; it’s a reductionist approach to defining human beings.

You don’t have to be a full-fledged subscriber to so-called New Age techniques (which, by the way, are gaining ever-increasing favor among traditional western medical practitioners–never mind if it’s just about money) to understand that the way you talk about things–especially people–influences not only the way you’re going to interpret your findings, but even the way your “subjects” will act and react in your studies.

What you believe is pretty much what you’re going to find. So my advice is to stop referring to people you study as something less than the vibrant, whole, multi-faceted creatures they are.