Introduction to theResearch Unit
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.- Carl Sagan
“Buried deep within each and every one of us there is an instinctive, heart-felt awareness that provides – if we allow it to – the most reliable guide.”- Prince Charles, 2000
Are our instincts our“most reliable guide?”
Which is further east:Reno, NV or Los Angeles, CAAtlanta, GA or Detroit, MI
Which is further north:New York, NY orParis, France?
“The naked intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument.”- MadeleineL’Engle, 1973
Hindsight BiasThe tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that you could have foreseen the result.“I knew it all along”
Common sense more easily describes whathashappened that whatwillhappen.
OverconfidenceThe tendency to be more confident than correct – to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgmentsTogether with hindsight bias, can lead tooverestimateour intuition
How good are you at solving anagrams?
WREAT = WATERETRYN = ENTRY
GRABE =OCHSA =
We humans tend to think we know more than what we do.
How much confidence do you have in world facts?Hand outResearch in Psychology w/s
Perceiving Order in Random Events
We have a natural eagerness to make sense out of our world, so we perceive patterns.
1 in 2,598,960
1 in 2,598,960
The Scientific Attitude
Three main componentsCurious eagernessSkeptical testing of ideasOpen-minded humility
Critical ThinkingThinking that does not blindly accept arguments andconclusions
These factors are why we need toengage inresearch.
Scientific American Frontiersexcerpts from episode 8(13 minutes)
Concepts to Remember
Hindsight BiasOverconfidencePerceiving order from random eventsThree aspects of a scientific attitudeUse of critical thinking
Ticket Out The Door
How does the scientific attitude contribute to critical thinking?
The scientific attitude combines curiosity, skepticism, and humility to evaluate evidence, assess conclusions, and examine our own assumptions.