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Lecture 26

PSYC 1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 26: Persi Diaconis, Frederick Mosteller, James Randi


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 1010
Professor
Agnieszka Kopinska
Lecture
26

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PSYC 1010 Lecture 26 Notes
Introduction
Demonstrate ESP
Some happenings, such as winning a lottery twice, seem so extraordinary that we
struggle to conceive an ordinary, chance-related explanation.
But with a large eough saple, ay outrageous thig is likely to happe, ote
statisticians Persi Diaconis and Frederick Mosteller (1989).
An event that happens to but 1 in 1 billion people every day occurs about 7 times a day,
2500 times a year.
The point to remember: Hindsight bias, overconfidence, and our tendency to perceive
patterns in random events often lead us to overestimate our intuition.
But scientific inquiry can help us sift reality from illusion.
The Scientific Attitude: Curious, Skeptical, and Humble 1-Underlying all science is, first, a
hard-headed curiosity, a passion to explore and understand without misleading or being
misled.
Some questions (Is there life after death?) are beyond science.
Answering them in any way requires a leap of faith.
With many other ideas (Can some people demonstrate ESP?)
The proof is in the pudding.
Let the facts speak for themselves.
Magician James Randi has used this empirical approach when testing those claiming to
see glowig auras aroud people’s bodies: Randi: Do you see an aura around my head?
Aura seer: Yes, indeed. Randi: Can you still see the aura if I put this magazine in front of
my face?
Aura seer: Of course. Randi: Then if I were to step behind a wall barely taller than I am,
you could determine my location from the aura visible above my head, right?
Randi once told me that no aura seer has agreed to take this simple test.
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