What I will remember from this class for years to come was the section on common sense in the first chapter. There is a particular section that addresses the notion that we do not notice contradictions until they are pointed out to us. They give the following examples that, when actually read side by side, seem to be contradictions:
1. Birds of a feather flock together 6. Opposites attract.
2. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. 7. Out of sight, out of mind.
3. Better safe than sorry. 8. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
4. Two heads are better than one. 9. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
5. Actions speak louder that words. 10. The pen is mightier than the sword.
Based on common sense we tend to agree with these. The authors of the text book would have you re-evaluate the phrases in comparison to the ones across from them. I disagree that they are contradictions. For example, 3 and 8, "better safe than sorry" is about being prepared for out comes that are less favorable. "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is about taking risks. Who says the two are never both true? You can be prepared and take risks at the same time. 2 and 7, these two are used for two very different feelings towards something. "out of sight out of mind" is used for unfavorable things. "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is for things you love, or care for. They are true under certain conditions.
What I will take away from this is be critical of anything we see as common sense, and look for biases in anything you read.
source: the table of proverbs is on page 5 of the textbook for the class.
Also, I wanted to pose a question based on one of the diagrams from the first chapter if anyone can recall from the confirmation bias. When it asks you to turn over two cards of four, they are trying to prove the bias that people will look for the answer they want. When I posed this same scenario to several of my friends, I asked all of them who chose E and 5 why they did so. They all said the same thing, "well it said if it has odd on the one side it has to have a vowel on the other, and vice versa. " The actual hypothesis only said vowel means odd number on other side. They were more fooled by the wording then trying to prove it right or wrong. Does this test have a confirmation bias itself? Would differently wording the question yield the same response?
page 8 of the textbook.