No one can know everything. Thus, the important thing is to be able to find and evaluate the information you need. This course, rather than giving students more content to learn, teaches them how to find out what they need to know.
or because they are misguided.
(As illustrated by the Dilbert cartoon that you can see by following the link below, you will not always be thanked for telling the misguided that they are misguided.)
Without being able to separate fact from fiction, sense from nonsense, science from pseudoscience, we can easily become confused.
(If we don't become confused, we may become close-minded, adopting Stephen Colbert's stated philosophy: "The problem with evidence is that it doesn't always support your opinions." This lack of scientific thinking may be threatening our democracy.)
Largely because common sense alone has been the
science has proven to be an effective tool.
Click here to see some common nonsense (myths) that psychological science has disproven.
Although students aren't all enthralled with the scientific approach, they see its merits when compared to quackery.
Unfortunately, they may not see science as necessary to rid us of quack notions. They may believe that common sense would be enough to effectively combat quackery. Point out that today's common sense will be tomorrow's quackery. To shake their faith in common sense, you can have them evaluate some proverbs --and their opposites-- (as we do in
Table 1.1 on page 21). To shake their faith in "social proof" (if everyone knows it, it must be true), you can also ask them some questions that everyone "knows" the answer to, but that are wrong. For example, although everyone "knows" that George Washington was the first president of the United States, he was, in fact, the eighth (as
this link explains).
For more current and clear-cut examples of debunking commonly held myths, see
Truth or Fiction, and
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