wils1587: April 2012 Archives

Scientific thinking

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We learned about quite a few different topics this semester. However, from attraction to abnormal psychology, the one thing that remained constant was the use of scientific thinking. The six principles of ruling of rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims and Occam's razor guided our exploration of each topic. I think these are ideas that can help you evaluate claims and situations throughout your life and this is why the book and lectures made a point of trying to ingrain them in us. We're learned a lot about how easy it is to unknowingly bias our opinions through things like the confirmation bias or availability heuristic, some examples of which are shown here. We also learned how to avoid these types of things through scientific thinking and in 5 years I hope I am still actively challenging my ideas and opinions through these methods. 285px-Mr_Pipo_Think_03_svg.png

Most people would agree that beauty is a fairly subjective thing. Everyone has different ideas about what is beautiful and find different things attractive. There are also differences between cultures on what is generally considered beautiful. This article discusses some of the more radical differences in beauty ideals around the world. A few examples include the elongation of women's necks with brass rings in the Kayan tribe or the preference for chin and lip tattoos in Polynesia. These may seem strange and even ugly to a Westerner but many of the things we consider normal and attractive would be unusual to them. We get plastic surgery to change how our body looks and wear braces for years to have straight teeth. Neither is right or better, it's like they say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
There are some things that appear to be considered beautiful around the world though. They seem to mainly apply to women and this makes sense because as we learned men care more about beauty than women do. Another article talks about things like youth, clear skin, and symmetry that men find attractive across all cultures. This suggests that there are some universal beauty standards. The-Giraffe-Women-of-the-Neck-Rings-2.jpg

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