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The Science of Everyday Thinking


Provider
edX

Price
Free

School
University of Queensland

Type
University

Instructors
Jason Tangen, Matthew Thompson, Emma MacKenzie, Jason Tangen, Matthew Thompson, Emma MacKenzie

Categories
Humanities, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Business, Religion

Duration
12 weeks

Format
Mixed

Language
English

Description
We will explore the psychology of our everyday thinking: why people believe weird things, how we form and change our opinions, why our expectations skew our judgments, and how we can make better decisions. We’ll discuss and debate topics such as placebos, the paranormal, medicine, miracles, and more. You will use the scientific method to evaluate claims, make sense of evidence, and understand why we so often make irrational choices. You will begin to rely on slow, effortful, deliberative, analytic, and logical thinking rather than fast, automatic, instinctive, emotional, and stereotypical thinking. We will provide tools for how to think independently, how to be skeptical, and how to value data over personal experience. We will examine the mental shortcuts that people use and misuse, and apply this knowledge to help make better decisions, and improve critical thinking.