subject
Intro

edX: The Science of Everyday Thinking

 with  Matthew Thompson and Jason Tangen

HIGHEST RATED MOOC

This course is a Top 50 MOOC of All Time based on thousands of reviews written by Class Central users. It's guaranteed to be good!

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We will explore the psychology of our everyday thinking: why people believe weird things, how we form and change our opinions, why our expectations skew our judgments, and how we can make better decisions. We’ll discuss and debate topics such as placebos, the paranormal, medicine, miracles, and more.

You will use the scientific method to evaluate claims, make sense of evidence, and understand why we so often make irrational choices. You will begin to rely on slow, effortful, deliberative, analytic, and logical thinking rather than fast, automatic, instinctive, emotional, and stereotypical thinking.

We will provide tools for how to think independently, how to be skeptical, and how to value data over personal experience. We will examine the mental shortcuts that people use and misuse, and apply this knowledge to help make better decisions, and improve critical thinking.

Syllabus

EPISODE 1 - A TASTE
A taste of things to come, a few questions, and information about the course.

EPISODE 2 – ILLUSIONS
The way we perceive the world and remember events is, in a very real sense, shaped by the sum of our experiences. As a result, we tend to see what we expect to see.

EPISODE 3 - KNOW THYSELF?
Who knows why we do what we do, what’s important to us, and how we feel, better than ourselves? But it seems that we’re largely oblivious to the determinants of our own behaviour.

EPISODE 4 - INTUITION AND RATIONALITY
In order to improve everyday thinking, we need to understand the difficulties we’re operating under. We need to understand the shortcuts that people use (and must use).

EPISODE 5 - LEARNING TO LEARN
Improving everyday thinking also involves improving the way we learn and retain information. We discuss some evidence-based learning strategies that boost learning and memory.

EPISODE 6 - THE EXPERIMENT
In dealing with the complexity of everyday life, we have the same jobs to do as scientists and statisticians: We have to look through noisy data and misleading accidents to figure out what basically is going on.

EPISODE 7 - FINDING THINGS OUT
Testing claims and finding things out can be fun, but also empowering. We discuss prediction problems, the difficulty in changing our mind, and provide some checklist tools to figure out what information is missing.

EPISODE 8 - EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS
We discuss the paranormal, coincidences, baloney detection, red flags, fallacies, and advice for distinguishing between fact and fiction.

EPISODE 9 - HEALTH CLAIMS
The placebo effect is yet another example of prior experience shaping our perception. We introduce several reasons for this effect along with beliefs that “natural” is better, and perceived risks of vaccination.

EPISODE 10 - APPLIED THINKING
We apply our thinking to significant topics that affect the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable groups. We discuss the importance of testing potential treatments and measuring the abilities of self-professed experts.

EPISODE 11 - EXPLOIT THE SITUATION
People are much more likely to explain someone’s behaviour in terms of personality rather than thinking about the situation. Learning to appreciate the power of the situation is a valuable tool in critical thinking.

EPISODE 12 - CHANGE THE WORLD
We hear from each of our guests about how to improve everyday thinking. You have the tools to make a real difference. Now let’s see what you can do with them.
38 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Self Paced
Subject Science
Provider edX
Language English
Calendar 14 weeks long
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MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
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38 reviews for edX's The Science of Everyday Thinking

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
Rajiv completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This was my first MOOC and I was blown away by the presentation by the course instructors. This course compels us to rethink about our own thinking, why we do things that we do and how can we improve our thinking and thus enhance our decision making and quality of life. I would strongly recommend everyone to do this course.
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a month ago
Muhammad Saad Khan completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
**Beware: This course has the potential to change YOU** When I saw the trailer for his MOOC, it was nothing short of awesome, so I enrolled right away. Today, I am glad I did that. This course is a great example of what MOOCs should be and can be. This course talks about the biases that prevent us from making informe Read More
**Beware: This course has the potential to change YOU**

When I saw the trailer for his MOOC, it was nothing short of awesome, so I enrolled right away. Today, I am glad I did that. This course is a great example of what MOOCs should be and can be.

This course talks about the biases that prevent us from making informed decisions. Therefore, it has roots in Science and Psychology. We live in a world where politicians, salespeople, and marketing agencies (to name a few) use different psychological factors to influence our thought process and we end up making bad choices (unintentionally) . This course informs you of those so that you can make better decisions. Decisions that are backed by reason and not just your intuition. This is your guide to knowing a little more about your mental limitations and how you can be more aware of them.

It will help you develop a rigorous method of finding stuff out using the Scientific Method on your own.



The professors follow a very interactive mode of instruction. You never feel as if they are university professors because they 'run the show' as if it were a program on National Geographic or the History channel. They have tried everything to make the content engaging and interesting. They visited notable people across the globe so that the students can learn from the masters themselves and that surely would have taken a lot of their time. The interviews, exercises and discussions were interesting.

I strongly recommend this MOOC

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
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Jan Stajnko completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course was seriously one of the best I have taken. Explaining concepts through dialogue and interviews with many different (also high-calibre) thinkers made this course really worthwhile. Would recommend it to anyone.
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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Arthur is taking this course right now, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
The 'instructors' are so young ! but this doesn't mean they didn't teach well. I was surprised that this course isn't taught by someone with lots of PhD. The two instructors use discussions to lead us to every topic,thus, the atmosphere is comfortable! Though I really have a hard time answering the questions and I am s Read More
The 'instructors' are so young ! but this doesn't mean they didn't teach well. I was surprised that this course isn't taught by someone with lots of PhD. The two instructors use discussions to lead us to every topic,thus, the atmosphere is comfortable! Though I really have a hard time answering the questions and I am sure I can't pass this course, but I really learn a lot about it! So I give five stars!
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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
I loved this course. It was my first MOOC. The lectures were done in a dialogue style, I found them easy to listen to. The content is very interesting, but also founded in the scientific methods. They were very pro-science, so that's something you should keep in mind.
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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
My first online course.I spent about 6hours per day and completed in 10days!!incredible!!I recommend it to everyone who wants to ameliorate their way of thinking
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9 months ago
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Aleksandra Walus completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Great great course! I was waiting impatiently for the next weeks materials to appear online. If you thing that everyday thinking is a blunt subject you couldn't be further from the truth. Highly recommended, one of the best and most interesting MOOCs I took part in.
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a year ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
I do agree that we all think in our everyday life but do you know that most of it are our incorrect intuitiveness and fallacies. This course will take our thinking a step ahead. I highly recommend this course if you love knowing and thinking.
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2 months ago
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Luis Ribeiro completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Great course for anyone interested in becoming a critical thinker.

The topics were comprehensive and the examples provided very interesting.

The instructor is knowledgeable and charismatic. A must-do.
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a year ago
Robert Ndungu completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Fantastic course! So much has already been said about the course that I don't have anything substantial to add.

Great for learning about how a human being's mind works.
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6 months ago
Satya Siddharth Dash is taking this course right now, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
Woohoo one of the best courses on the human mind just take it if you are interested..... And also read the books recommended they're awesome
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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
David Aspinwall completed this course and found the course difficulty to be medium.
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10 months ago
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
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7 months ago
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2 years ago
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
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Miyuki Tellez completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
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a year ago
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2 years ago
Pavel is taking this course right now and found the course difficulty to be medium.
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2 years ago
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