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Attempts to psychoanalyze fellow users

Noto Emoji Pie 1f4c4.svg This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Attempts to psychoanalyze fellow users are fairly common in the wikisphere. People seek to determine what motivates a user to engage in undesirable behavior x, and to either thwart his ability to derive pleasure from that activity, or to expose his motives as being in bad faith. Alternatively, people seek to infer what a user's underlying way of thinking is, and to criticize that thinking pattern as suboptimal, rather than criticizing the actual reasoning that he set forth.

E.g., suppose a user says, "Because of A, B. Therefore, we should create a new policy C." A user may say, "You bring up these kinds of proposals because of D, when really the way you should be thinking about this is E." This critique does not address whether A actually leads to B, or whether that link between A and B actually justifies policy C. It brings up irrelevant issues that may not even be valid.

Examples of psychoanalysisEdit

No shrines to vandals is a policy that assumes that vandals are motivated by a desire for notoriety. It therefore seeks to remove that incentive by deleting content that may not have been harmful in and of itself.

See alsoEdit