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Critical thinking is one of the most important skills anyone can learn. Let philosopher Kevin deLaplante introduce you to the cutting edge of critical thinking education, with this entertaining and enlightening introduction to cognitive biases and their importance for critical thinking.
Interest in Cognitive Bias Training Has Exploded
Books and articles on the impact of cognitive biases in business, finance, management, teaching, science, politics, and many other fields, have exploded in popularity in recent years. Many industries have started offering cognitive bias training to management and workers, and the trend is growing.
Benefits of Understanding and Mastering Cognitive Biases
Cognitive biases undermine critical thinking by making us vulnerable to faulty beliefs and bad decisions. Cognitive bias training is motivated by a desire to avoid disasters, improve performance, and promote social justice.
The good news is that there are proven strategies for neutralizing or minimizing the negative effects of cognitive biases. These "debiasing" techniques can be surprisingly simple and effective.
What You Will Learn in This Course
This course will get you up to speed on what cognitive biases are, why they're important for critical thinking, why cognitive bias training has become popular, and what sorts of "debiasing" techniques have been shown to be effective in improving the quality of thinking and decision-making.
Check out the free preview videos in the "Getting Started" section for a full breakdown of the topics covered in the course, and how the course is organized!
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|Section 1: Getting Started|
Welcome to the Course!Preview
Who is Kevin deLaplante?Preview
What Will I Learn in This Course?Preview
|Section 2: What is a Cognitive Bias?|
What is a Cognitive Bias?Preview
"Biased" does NOT mean "Prejudiced" or "Bigoted"Preview
An Example: The Gambler's FallacyPreview
The Most Important Discovery of Modern PsychologyPreview
|Section 3: Cognitive Biases and Their Importance for Critical Thinking|
A Central Aim of Critical Thinking
"Mindware": Tools for Smart Thinking
|Section 4: Why Are So Many Industries Offering Cognitive Bias Training To Their Employees?|
Why is Everyone Talking About Cognitive Biases?
Reason 1: Avoiding Disasters
Reason 2: Improving PerformancePreview
Reason 3: Promoting Social Justice
All of This is Just APPLIED CRITICAL THINKING
|Section 5: A Gentle Introduction to Cognitive Biases|
There Are Hundreds of Cognitive Biases
We'll Look at FOUR in Detail
|Section 6: (1) Confirmation Bias|
What is Confirmation Bias?
Biased Memory and the Lunar EffectPreview
Biased Search for Information (I): Interviews and Framing Effects
Biased Search for Information (II): How Questions Can Manipulate Memory
Biased Interpretation of Information: Mulder, Scully and Giant Alien Spiders
|Section 7: (2) Pattern Seeking|
We're Very Good at Seeing Patterns ... Maybe Too Good
We See Faces Everywhere: Why?
Cognitive Biases and Adaptive Shortcuts
Stairway to Heaven, Britney Spears, and BackmaskingPreview
Looking for Meaning in German Carpet Bombing Patterns
|Section 8: (3) The Anchoring Effect|
What is the Anchoring Effect?
How Much is This Jacket Really Worth?
The Basic Shortcut: "Anchor and Adjust"
Irrelevant Anchors: Judges Literally Roll Dice on Damages
How to Use Anchoring to Manipulate Public Opinion
|Section 9: (4) Hindsight Bias|
What Is Hindsight Bias?
How Hindsight Bias is Demonstrated
Hindsight Bias, 9-11 and Earthquake Prediction
|Section 10: Introduction to Debiasing Strategies|
Debiasing Strategies: OverviewPreview
What is Debiasing?
Debiasing the Decision-Maker
Debiasing the EnvironmentPreview
|Section 11: Why Businesses Often Resist Debiasing|
Five Reasons Why Businesses May Resist Debiasing
We Have a BLIND SPOT When It Comes to Our Own Biases
|Section 12: Debiasing Strategies that Work|
The General Problem: Narrow Thinking
(1) Consider the Opposite
(2) Make People AccountablePreview
(3) PREMORTEM Analysis
(4) The Value of Checklists
(5-1) The Benefits and Risks of Group Decision-Making
(5-2) The Debiasing Effects of Diversity
(5-3) How to Get the Most Out of Brainstorming
|Section 13: Wrapping Up|
Bonus Lecture: Other Courses I Teach and Services I Offer
I'm a philosopher of science by training, and I've taught philosophy and critical thinking at the university level for twenty years.
From 2009-2013 I was Chair of the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Iowa State University.
In 2015 I left my tenured academic job to pursue a career as an independent online educator. I produce video tutorial courses on topics in science, philosophy, critical thinking and communication skills.
I currently live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with my wife and family.