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Exam 1 Study Guide

by: Laura Branting

Exam 1 Study Guide NSCI1050

Laura Branting

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Every question in red reflects information that will be on the test.
Science and Critical Thinking
James Wilson
Study Guide
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Laura Branting on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to NSCI1050 at University of Nebraska at Omaha taught by James Wilson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 652 views. For similar materials see Science and Critical Thinking in Natural/Physical Science at University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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Date Created: 09/07/16
Study Guide for Lectures Lecture 1.0 – Course Introduction • What are the 4 basic methods that humans have for “knowing” things? Oral tradition, personal experience and trial and error, written communication, modern scientific method. • Know an example of each of the four methods of knowing things Oral tradition, (sitting around the campfire) personal experience and trial and error,(reading livers) written communication, (Babylonian tablet) modern scientific method. • What is the major benefit of written vs oral communication? • Why did Plato make a distinction between opinion and knowledge? What is the difference between these? • Who is the first person documented to use the scientific method? Alhazen in 1040 • Who is considered the father of modern science? Galileo • How did Galileo change our understanding of our solar system? • What happened to Galileo for his ideas on the solar system? • What are the three major assumptions of the Universe? The universe has a determinate structure, we can investigate that structure, o ur knowledge is available to everyone. • What are the details of the process known as the scientific method? Make observation, Invent hypothesis and explain observation, test hypothesis, hypothesisàtheory, test theory, theoryàlaw. • What are the important aspects of science, in particular three important aspects (highlighted in blue) Falsifiable, Repeatability, Conclusions are Tentative. • What is the only reliable method humanity has for finding out true answers to how the Universe works? Scientific Method • What are some problems with science? Are they really problems? • What is an ad hoc hypothesis and why is this bad? Ad hoc means “for this case only” Things to add an exception when something doesn’t fit a larger rule. • What are the criteria for adequacy? Testability, Fruitfulness, Scope, Simplicity, Conservatism. • Why is testability so important, and what does it mean about the system being studied? It tests in context of all other knowledge. Testability implies the predictability of the system. A hypothesis must be testable. • What is fruitfulness? Must still be true in relation to previous knowledge. Predicts new and unknown facts. Can adjust previous knowledge. Darwin predicted existence of DNA 100 years before the DNA molecule was discovered. • What is scope? Amount of diverse phenomena explained by a hypothesis. More predictability, more unifying. Examples are Evolution and Theory of Relativity. • What does Occam’s Razor state? Why is this an important consideration in determining a correct answer? All things being equal, the simplest explanation is probably the correct one. Fewer ways for something to go wrong. • What is the principle of conservatism (as it applies to science) New hypothesis must work in the framework of past knowledge. It can adjust, or provide new insight into old knowledge, but cannot contradict it without substantial proof. • What is the process you would use to evaluate a claim made in your everyday life? State the claim, examine the evidence, consider alternative hypotheses, rate according to the criteria of adequacy, each hypothesis. • Is anything possible? Lecture 1.1 – Believing Brain I • What is patternicity? Association learning. The process of finding meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless connections. Used by all animal s. Anecdotal beliefs vs. Scientific Method. Knowledge vs. Superstition . P=False Positive < False Negative • What is association learning? • Under what conditions does patternicity evolve in a species? • How did patternicity express itself in the pigeon experiments performed by the famous BF Skinner? Found pattern recognition in pigeons. He programed the food to come out at different times. • How was patternicity expressed in humans during Kiochi Ono’s experiments? They developed superstitions for “gaining” points. Took longer to develop than the pigeons, but it was harder to break. • Why is the false vaccine/autism connection an example of pattenicity? • What is the difference between hard-wired and learned patternicity? What are some examples of hard-wired patterns? Hard wired patternicity are built -in behaviors. Innate knowledge that is genetically coded. EX: Feeding/nursing behaviors/ Incest taboo. • What is a SS-IRM-FAP system? What is an example of this? Sign Stimulus-Innate Releasing Mechanism-Fixed Action Pattern. Sea Gull feeding baby. Baby sees red dot, pecks dot, mom bird will give baby food. • What evolutionary benefits does patternicity give to a speices? Venemous/poisonous coloration. Let’s you identify hazards. • What problems can arise from incorrect patternicity? • What is supernormal patternicity and what is an example? Woman’s body shape • What is the measurement called “locus of control” and how does it relate to patternicity? There is a variability among people as to how much control of the environment we feel we have. • What is agenticity? Infusing meaning and intention in patterns. • What is essentialism? The belief that objects and people have an essence that makes them what they are, and can be transmitted from objects to people. • What is the “god helmet” and what effects might it produce in the human brain? Michael Persinger designed a helmet with electromagnets to affect the temporal lobes. Produces “supernatural” episodes in users like out of body experiences. • What is the sensed presence effect and when does it occur? Feeling that there is another entity present. Occurs among high -peak mountaineers, long distance bikers, Antarctic explorer Shackleton. • What is the autonomic vs voluntary nervous systems and what do they control? Major pathways of thinking. During extreme conditions there may be a conflict between these processes. Autonomic progressively takes over with increasing extreme conditions. Autonomic is involuntary, don’t have to think about it. Controlled is the opposite. • What does the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system control? Work together, but in opposition of each other versus what they do. • Know the major functions of important sections of the brain: o Parietal Lobe: 3D space orientation of body o Brainstem: autonomic function o Cerebellum: balance, body coordination o Diencephalon: Homeostasis, melatonin o Prefrontal Cortex (PC): deciding opposites o Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC): Determines “correctness” • Know how a nerve functions: o Resting state of the nerve Maintained by the constant tran sport of Na and K. When at rest, negative charge on inside, and negative on the outside. Ion responsible for the positive charge on the outside is Sodium. o Generation of the action potential More sodium or more potassium being exchanged within the inside an d the outside of the cell. o Action potential Changing of the charge of a cell. o What ion is responsible for the action potential • How does nerve reaction time differ between true and false statements? o Reaction time for True was faster Lecture 1.2 – Believing Brain II • What are afferent and efferent nerves? Afferent= Bring sensory information from the body t o the brain, Efferent = carry the response from the brain to the body, • What is Troxler’s effect? How does it apply to the Bloody Mary fable? Neurons adapted to detect movement and new stimuli, new stimuli/new movements are potential threats to your health, and then the retina retains image after it is gone. • What is the Caputo Effect? How does it apply to the Bloody Mary fable? Mirror image of face chang es over time, brain is adapted to constantly search for faces. Brain knows there is supposed to be a face in the mirror and fills the missing face. Magnified in dim light. • What are the functions of the major components of the eye? o Cornea : protective layer of the e e o Pupil o Lens o Retina: layer that has the cells that absorb photons of light and it sees vision. o Optic Nerve: goes to your brain. Sends all vision information. Blind spot where optic nerve is • What do the rod and cone cells of the eye do? Both detect light. Cones detect the wave length (colors) • What is weird about the structure of the eye with respect to the placement of the nerve cells and the rod/cone cells? • What is the function of the three major sections of the inner ear o Cochlea: detects sound o Semi-circular canals: detects motion o Macula: detects gravity • How do the semi-circular canals work? • How does hearing in the cochlea work? • What are the major sensory receptor cells in a human? Pressure (light and heavy), heat, cold, and pa . • How does light as a feather/stiff as a board work? Distribution of weight over many hands • How does a Ouija board work? Distribution of work, and troxler’s effect. What happens when you blindfold the people working a Ouija Board? • REPEAT – What are the major sections of the brain (see previous lecture) o Cerebrum: Voluntary thinking o Frontal Lobe: Thinking o Parietal Lobe: Sensory and Tactile o Sensory and Motor Cortex: Body sensation and reaction/control o Hindbrain: medulla oblongata, cerebellum (keeps upright and balanced) o Midbrain: tectum, or vision center (optic lobes o Forebrain: thalamus (sensory centers where information comes in and it routes it to the brain), hypothalamus( thermostat, measures hot cold, thirsty) , cerebrum(thinking brain). • How does the brain use Cognitive Heuristics to help itself? Mental method of solving a problem through intuition, trial and error, or informal methods. Often called Rule of Thumb. Distorts reality to fit preconceived ideas, reinforced with rationalization. Simplifying rule. • What is confirmation bias and how can it affect our beliefs? Tendency to seek out confirmatory evidence or reinterpret disconfirming evidence. Our brain puts emphasis on facts that confirm what we already believe. • What is hindsight bias and how can it affect our beliefs? Tendency to reconstruct the past to fit with present knowledge. Sporting event fans. • What is self-justification bias and how can it affect our beliefs? Tendency to rationalize decisions after the fact to convince ourselves that we did the best thing possible. Once we make a decision we filter out evidence that it was the wrong decision. Frequently stated as “things happen for a reason” • What is inattentional blindness? Failure to notice an unexpected stimulus. Typically when visually focusing on something. Factors involved are conspicuity, mental workload, expectation, and capacity. Lecture 1.3 – How to Evaluate • What is the most important question? Why? Haha, see what I did there? Yeah, that’s some witty humor right there. • What makes an assumption absurd, and what are the most common absurd assumptions? One person’s reality cannot be different than another person’s reality.Here are some assumptions: We make our own truth/reality. There’s no such thing as objective truth/reality. If something feels r eal/right, it is. • What are the following definitions: o Paranormal: Phenomena that are supposedly beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding. o Supernatural: Phenomena that are beyond the laws of nature. o Pseudoscience: A collection of beliefs mistak enly regarded as being based on the scientific method o Impossible: Not able to occur or exist o Improbable: Not likely to occur or exist • What is a paradigm? A typical example, pattern, or model of something. • What are the following Laws of Thought? o Law of Contradiction: You cannot have a property and not have that property at the same time. o Law of Identity: You are identical to yourself o Law of the Excluded Middle: For every property that exists, you either have it or you do not. • What is the Appeal to Ignorance: Credibility is measured not in terms of evidence in favor, but as lack of evidence against.This is the #1 violation that paranormal claims use for support. • What are some of the problems associated with perception? o Color o Size • What is the Moon illusion and what causes it? The moon illusion is when the moon looks larger when it is lower on the horizon. This is caused by our brain changing our perception based on the rules and experiences it has from life. • What is pareidolia? Seeing a vague stimulus as something it is not. (Seeing objects in clouds, wood grain, static, etc.) • What is “truth” and how might it change? Truth depends on what a person believes, it must be subjective. Society, not the individual, determines what is true. th • What is the 100 Monkey Hypothesis • What is the difference between knowledge, belief, and evidence? Lecture 1.4 – Baloney Detection Kit • What does it mean to have critical thinking? Ability to construct and understand a reasoned argument. • What is the Baloney Detection Kit, and who described it in the first place? o Independent confirmation of facts. Encourage debate on evidence. • What are the major tenets of the Baloney Detection Kit? • Be able to define and give an example of the common fallacies of logic: o Ad hominem: means “to the man” Logic of attacking the messenger and not the argument. Ex: (Obama to Mitt Romney ) “Don’t believe him, he’s a Mormon .” o Argument from authority: Trusting someone’s argument because they hold a position of authority. People in authority can make mi stakes. Ex: A police officer stating you were speeding. o Argument from adverse conditions: claiming that if an argument is not followed then serious consequences will happen. Future events are uncertain and have nothing to do with the validity of an argume nt. Ex: If we let one murderer go free, then it encourages everyone to murder. o Appeal to ignorance: Whatever has not been proven false, must be true. Whatever has not been proven true, must be false. You need evidence. o Special pleading: creating a special condition to keep a general argument alive. Ex: “I never smoke cigarettes! Except when I am at the bar with my friends.” o Begging the question: Assuming the answer. Using an unproven answ er to answer the argument. Ex: People say we need the death penalty to stop violent crime. Does data support that claim? o Observational selection: Counting the hits and forgetting the misses. This is a natural tendency in humans, used a lot in physics. Ex: The target of a psychic reading will remember when a psychic gets so mething right, but will forget the things they got wrong. o Statistics of small numbers: Failing to understand that statistics can be reduced for ease in reading, but that they don’t mean what they literally say o Inconsistency: You do not apply the same re asoning to all subjects, you accept opposites as both correct. Ex: Accepting one subject, while rejecting another equally supported subject. o Non-sequitur: Means “it does not follow” Premise and conclusion are not connected. The conclusion is not necessari ly the logical conclusion. Failure to see alternative conlcusions. Ex: I studied biology last night and woke up sick, therefore studying biology makes you sick” o Post hoc, ergo propter hoc: Means “it happened after, so it was caused by” Putting two things together as cause and effect just because they come after each other in time. Causality has to be proven first. Ex: “Before women got the right to vote, there were no atomic weapons.” o Meaningless question: Asking a question that has no answer or does not make sense. Ex: What is North of the North pole? o Excluded middle/False dichotomy: Simplifying an argument to only two choices, when there may be several possible choices. Usually presents a choice between two extremes. Creates a false choice between two alternatives. Ex: It’s either A or B, no in between. o Short vs Long term: Only looking at a subset of data instead of the entire set. Only caring about immediate effects, when long term effects might be better. Ex: In the news when a reporter stands in a sn owy street and says “so much for global warming” o Slippery Slope: Taking an argument to the fullest possible example. A form of exaggeration. Ex: “If we allow people to get a concealed gun permit then everyone will get guns and it will be the Wild West and everyone will get into gun battles on the streets.” o Correlation vs Causation: People confuse correlation with causation. Correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Correlation means two things happen together, but they may not happen for the same rea son. Causation is where one thing causes another to occur. o Suppressed Evidence vs Half-truths: Leaving out important evidence. Evidence usually refutes your position. Ex: “Officer, I only had 2 beers” (and 3 shots and a mojito) o Straw Man: Making a caricat ure of a position in order to make it easier to attack. Making an argument so simple it seems silly. Ignores the details of opposing argument. This also does not provide support for your argument, it only attempts to knock the opposing view. Ex: Al Gore’s climate change book in the snow. • What is Social Darwinism? Why is this such a bad part of history? o People tried using Darwin’s theories as proof that one race was superior to others. Several people tried to collect data to prove the superiority of whites .


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