rourk016: December 2011 Archives

Six Principles to Remember

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If there is one thing I will remember from psychology, it is the six principles of scientific thinking. Not because every single online quiz's first question involved them, or that they were drilled into our heads in lecture, but because of there practical use in everyday situations. Everyday there are commercials with products claiming to help you miraculously lose weight, clean any possible stain, and many other hopeless promises. It easy to believe these products do what the claim to, but many of them break the principals of scientific thinking. Take, for example, Weight Shield, a pill that claims to help you lose weight. First, one cannot draw conclusions that this pill is the causation that an individual loses weight. Although people have claimed to lose weight when taking this pill, it could be due to many different things such as dieting or working out. Second, we do not know that this product has yielded replicability. Although the infomercial has numerous individuals who have claimed to lose weight, we do not know for sure that they were ever using the product or if they were paid actors. Furthermore, no scientific study or experiment was ever conducted on the product. Finally, this claim requires extraordinary evidence that the infomercial does not provide. Whether it is ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation isn't causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, or Occam's razor, many of these products fail to acknowledge at least one of the six scientific principals. If everyone used the six principles of scientific thinking I believe products like Weight Shield would be far less successful. By knowing these six principles I think I will be able to make smarter decisions both personally and finically.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by rourk016 in December 2011.

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