Divergent interpretation

Description and type: resistance to authoritative interpretation of canonical texts as mediated by instructor. Digressive/rebellious disorder.

Symptoms and signs: offers deviant readings based on personal experience and/or recent critical articles. Vide digression, critical thinking. In extreme cases, defends divergent interpretations with theoretical sophistication. Vide casuistry.

Etiology: similar to that of critical thinking, in that an indulgent parent was usually willing to listen to the child's unchecked fantasies. The combination of lack of discipline with encouragement for the articulation of personal experience (vide personalism) produces a student who will challenge an instructor's reading of a text with a personal variant that "feels right."

Treatment: mild cases may be treatable with directalis. Acute symptomatologies indicate obedioflavin bromide (BootCamp 500) or authoritotropin (Deferentine D). Chronic persistence may necessitate aversion therapies such as isolation and ridicule.

Prognosis: generally good, except where buttressed by critical thinking, the bane of all proper academic procedure.

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Copyright 1992 Doug Robinson and Bill Kaul