Your Baby Can Read...So Can My Baby Read?

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After watching the youtube video (link above), most parents would be tempted to find the quickest way possible to get their hands on this seemingly miraculous product. As the babies in the video read the words aloud (or in some cases, point), it is difficult to doubt the effectiveness of "Your Baby Can Read". If the evidence is right before our eyes (assuming that the children are actually reading), how can we label the product as an element of pseudoscience? While watching the video, the reliance on anecdotes is extremely apparent, and the scientific reasoning behind the product is virtually nonexistent. As our Psychology book mentions, "overreliance on anecdotes" is a clear warning sign of pseudoscience. Just because the stories in the youtube video were stories of success, does not mean that every child will learn how to read through the program. According to our Psychology textbook, these anecdotes, as impressive as they may appear, do not constitute as scientific evidence.

This product could also be classified as pseudoscience by use of the principles of scientific thinking. Just because the babies in the video knew how to read and watched the "Your Baby Can Read" videos, the causation between the two events is not known. Just because these two events are correlated, it does not mean that there is causation. The parents of these children could have also spent hours reading to them every night.

Besides the issue of correlation, there is also the issue of replicability. By watching the video, little is known about whether the findings can be replicated. If the other children can learn how to read by using the product, the finding is considered to be replicable. This idea of replicability relates to the idea of "overreliance on anecdotes". Just because the babies in the video are able to read, does not mean that this finding can be replicated with all children. So, just because "Your Baby Can Read", it does not mean my baby can.

1 Comment

I think you're stating the obvious here. They honestly don't care if your baby ends up reading, or of they should guarantee their product. People will buy it anyway, and they'll make their money.

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This page contains a single entry by teiza001 published on September 30, 2011 11:13 AM.

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