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View Full Version : 2018: Stop Pseudoscience, Encourage Critical Thinking (new paper)



Roger E. Moore
2018-Sep-30, 09:58 PM
Entire article is available: a college course succeeds in improving critical thinking. A path to follow?


https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11191-018-9956-0

Reducing Pseudoscientific and Paranormal Beliefs in University Students Through a Course in Science and Critical Thinking

Wilson, James A. Science & Education, Volume 27, Issue 1-2, pp. 183-210 (03/2018)

This study measured the relationship between student's religion, gender, and propensity for fantasy thinking with the change in belief for paranormal and pseudoscientific subjects following a science and critical thinking course that directly confronted these subjects. Student pre-course endorsement of religious, paranormal, and pseudoscientific beliefs ranged from 21 to 53%, with religion having the highest endorsement rate. Pre-course belief in paranormal and pseudoscientific subjects was correlated with high scores in some fantasy thinking scales and showed a gender and a religion effect with females having an 11.1% higher belief across all paranormal and pseudoscience subcategories. Students' religion, and frequency of religious service attendance, was also important with agnostic or atheist students having lower beliefs in paranormal and pseudoscience subjects compared to religious students. Students with either low religious service attendance or very high attendance had lower paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs. Following the critical thinking course, overall beliefs in paranormal and pseudoscientific subcategories lowered 6.8-28.9%, except for superstition, which did not significantly change. Change in belief had both a gender and religion effect with greater reductions among religious students and females.

The Backroad Astronomer
2018-Oct-01, 12:01 AM
I have known some people who could use this course, they probably still do.

WaxRubiks
2018-Oct-01, 12:19 AM
what is critical thinking exactly?

I would say it is just an intelligent way to examine ideas, set in the context of various types of evidence.

Too often it is framed as a rejection of ideas of the paranormal, regardless of the level of intelligence that has been applied.

Roger E. Moore
2018-Oct-01, 12:39 PM
If the paranormal claims lack documented and verifiable evidence that I could drop onto a table in a court of law, then yes, rejection is on the way.

WaxRubiks
2018-Oct-01, 03:15 PM
If the paranormal claims lack documented and verifiable evidence that I could drop onto a table in a court of law, then yes, rejection is on the way.

you would reject witness testimony then?

Roger E. Moore
2018-Oct-01, 03:20 PM
Other sorts of evidence help. People are too subject to lying, hallucinating, and making errors. If one person says he has a flying dog, I remain skeptical. Ten reports of a lake monster might be a small-scale conspiracy to get tourists to come to an impoverished hamlet. If there is film of the flying dog with a hundred eyewitnesses, and an actual egg laid by the lake monster, then we have something different. You have to doubt to get anywhere.

The Backroad Astronomer
2018-Oct-01, 03:34 PM
WaxRubiks, get a copy of Demon Haunted World by Sagan, also there is book coming out tomorrow called the skeptics guide to universe, I think they might have a podcast it only take a few hours to listen to all of them.

The Backroad Astronomer
2018-Oct-01, 03:39 PM
By the way right I am reading A demon haunted world again, and writing an essay on how it could of affected my life it existed, hopefully be done soon.