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Psychology in Modules: Module 2.docx

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York University
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Module 2 Thinking Critically with Psychological Science The Need for Psychological Science "Those who trust in their own wits are fools." "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard Feynman Novelist Madeline L'Engle "The naked intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument" (1973). Three phenomena - Hindsight bias, judgmental overconfidence and our tendency to perceive patterns in random events - illustrate why we cannot rely solely on intuition and common sense and often lead us to overestimate our intuition. 1. Hindsight Bias (I knew it all along phenomena)  The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it.  Ex. "Psychologists have found that separation weakens romantic attraction." Common sense says, "Out of sight, out of mind." OR "Psychologists have found that separation strengthens romantic attraction." Common sense says, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Two opposite findings both seem like common sense which is a problem.  Good ideas are like good inventions, once created they seem obvious. 2. Overconfidence  We humans tend to think we know more than we do. We are often more confident than correct. Ex. Anagrams: WREAT > WATER. Should only take about 10 seconds to solve but most of us take 3 minutes. 3. Perceiving Order in Random Events  In our natural eagerness to make sense of our world, we are prone to perceive patterns.  Some happenings seem so extraordinary that we struggle to conceive an ordinary chance-related explanation.  "The really unusual day would be one where nothing unusual happens." The Scientific Attitude: Curious, Skeptical, and Humble  Magician James Randi exemplifies skepticism by testing a variety and psychic phenomena.  Science becomes society's garbage disposal sending crazy ideas to was
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