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[3] 020309 - Critical Thinking II

[3] 020309 - Critical Thinking II - Critical Thinking II...

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Critical Thinking II How to market a pseudoscience Psychology 101 Dave Van Valkenburg • “Given the extraordinary ability of the human mind to make sense out of things, it is natural occasionally to make sense out of things that have no sense at all.” - R. F. Smith, Prelude to Science How to sell a psuedoscience Step 1 : Create a phantom • Invent some unattainable goal and make it look real and possible • Meet aliens • Talk to deceased relatives • Improve your bowling with subliminal tapes • Or - create the fear of loss of a phantom Step 2: Set a rationalisation trap • Get the person committed to the cause as soon as possible; then they’ll be more interested in proving they were right • Free samples work well • A.K.A the-foot-in-the-door-technique Step 3: Manufacture source credibility and sincerity • Create a guru, leader, or generally likeable and powerful authority that people would be just plain nuts if they didn’t believe them • ‘Degrees’ in hypnosis or crystal therapy. • Hire a spokesperson Step 4: Establish a granfalloon (K. Vonnegut) A proud and meaningless association of human beings • “Us” and “Them” (Tajfel, 1981) • Also useful propaganda technique More on Granfaloons • Rituals and symbols: create an idea • Jargon: only the in-group understands. • Shared goals and feelings: something to rally around.
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  • Spring '11
  • Psychology, Correlation does not imply causation, R. F. Smith, Dave Van Valkenburg, A.K.A the-foot-in-the-door-technique Step, scientific language Step, Manufacture source credibility

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[3] 020309 - Critical Thinking II - Critical Thinking II...

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