YOUR DECEPTIVE MIND: Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills (Units 19-21)

  • February 27, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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Our current Great Courses lecture series is entitled "Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills," presented by Steven Novella, M.D., an Academic Neurologist at the Yale School of Medicine. In this course, Prof. Novella explores the innate flaws, assumptions and biases built into our brains which tend to warp our perceptions of the world and the way we think about it. Dr. Novellla will also detail the tools of critical thinking designed to counter these natural flaws, assumptions and biases. This course consists of 24 30-minute lectures, which I will present in eight 90-minute sections.

The three lectures we will be watching during our sixth session will be: 

19. The Trap of Grand Conspiracy Thinking

Theories about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The existence and power of the Illuminati. The Roswell incident. Grand conspiracies such as these are cognitive traps that result from our attempts to make sense of our complex world. Examine both the compelling nature of conspiracy thinking and ways to determine which theories are true and which are just pseudoscience.

 

 

20. Denialism - Rejecting Science and History

Dr. Novella introduces you to denialism, a subset of pseudoscience that seeks to deny established science. By exploring the features and tactics of denialism, as well as

extreme examples of it at work, you’ll shed light on how critical thinking helps you sidestep the more subtle forms of denialism we’re all susceptible to. 

 

 

 

21. Marketing, Scams and Urban Legends

Ever since its creation, the Internet has revolutionized our access to facts and become a veritable “Wild West of Information.” Gain tips for using critical thinking to filter the wealth of information out there in chain emails, popular scams, and other everyday outlets that exploit human psychology.

 

 

Upcoming in session eight are:

22. Science, Media and Democracy

23. Experts and Scientific Consensus

24. Critical Thinking and Science in your Life 

Hope to see you at our seventh session!

 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Wayne, what's a good time to swing by and get the videos?

    February 28, 2013

    • Wayne T.

      David -I'm so sorry I missed you last night. I got hung up at work and didn't get home until after 8. I will be home tonight, though. I am screening Apollo 13 at 7:00, so if you come by between 6 and 7 that would be fine.

      March 1, 2013

  • Stu H.

    Fascinating discussion on conspiracies, denialism, marketing. We agreed that that not all conspiracies are without substance. Thus the distinction of "grand" conspiracy. We also discussed the social factors that play into conspiracies.

    February 27, 2013

  • Wayne T.

    After work on Thursday will be fine.

    February 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      He may be closer to 7 than 6, though.

      February 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    We had prior plans to bowl this Wednesday. David can't make it either; he's confused.

    February 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We will want to do that! Could we get them perhaps after work tomorrow (Thursday)?

      1 · February 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds good. David will fetch them for us! :)

      February 27, 2013

  • Andrea N.

    Wayne, I'm sorry I've been such a flake lately. I've gotten an extra project on top of my already overburdened workload and it's wearing me out. I am planning to come on Friday to Apollo 13.

    February 27, 2013

    • Wayne T.

      It's better to be overworked than underworked! See you Friday.

      February 27, 2013

  • Sharry

    Can I slip out during the 3rd one?

    February 24, 2013

    • Wayne T.

      No problem. We'll try to start right at 7:00, so you can see as much as possible.

      February 24, 2013

    • Sharry

      Do whatever is convenient for the others. I'll be good :-)

      February 24, 2013

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