The exam will be March 6 in class. It will have 3 kinds of questions:
1. Given examples, identify in 1 or 2 sentences the kinds of error tendencies that may be present. 10 points.
2. Short answer: Many of these will be taken from the review questions below. 30 points.
3. Short essay: this will concern evaluating some medical or paranormal claims. 10 points. To prepare for this, take some medical and paranormal examples and (1) consider what error tendencies contribute to the acceptance of false beliefs and (2) what reasoning strategies can help avoid false beliefs. Your answer should be an essay, not just a serious of points.
Gilovich, ch. 8,
1. How does motivated reasoning encourage beliefs in some health practices? How does confirmation bias have the same effect?
2. How does the representativeness heuristic encourage some beliefs about health?
Gilovich,. ch. 9.
1. What is self-handicapping?
2. Why do ineffective personal strategies persist?
Gilovich, ch. 10,.
1. What is wrong with the evidence for ESP?
2. How does everyday experience encourage people to believe in ESP?
Gilovich, ch. 11.
1. How can dubious beliefs be overcome or prevented?
Scihick, ch. 2.
1. Does the lack of evidence against a claim constitute evidence for it?
2. What is the difference between possibility and reality?
Schick, ch. 6.
1. Why is it important to look at all the relevant evidence when evaluating a claim?
2. What error tendencies can lead us to misinterpret the evidence?
Schick, ch. 7.
1. What is the difference between science and pseudoscience? (See also Web notes, Week 5).
2. What are the criteria that should be used in evaluating hypotheses?
Schick, ch. 8.
1. Why are controlled experiments needed to assess medical claims?
2. What are the characteristics of the best clinical trials?
Schick, ch. 9.
1. What are the four steps in the SEARCH formula?
2. How does the SEARCH formula apply to parapsychology and other unusual claims?
What are the key steps in evaluating a medical claim?
Updated March 3, 2003
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