Canberra Skeptics Lecture: CRITICAL THINKING AND COGNITIVE BIAS

Speaker: Dr Karen Macpherson

Date: 14 March 2012

Time: 6.00-7.30pm

Venue: Optus Lecture Theatre, CSIRO Discovery Science Centre, Clunies Ross Street, Acton, ACT 2601

Members Free/Non-Members Gold Coin Donation

The chances of winning Lotto are 8,145,060:1. Many newspapers carry astrological forecasts. Most people think they are above average drivers. And astoundingly, most university academics think their research is more important than other academics’ research.

It is generally assumed that professionals know how to think – but overall, we have limited insight into the thinking process, and we have limited training in critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is sabotaged by a range of cognitive biases; by the availability of resources; by personality; even by motivation. As one researcher put it, if our car engines were as erratic as our deliberate intellectual efforts, most of us would not get home for dinner.

In this seminar, Dr Karen Macpherson talks about the nature of critical thinking; how it can be taught; and its complex relationship with its evil twin, cognitive bias.

Dr Karen Macpherson is a Professional Associate with the Faculty of Education at the University of Canberra, where she was a full-time academic for a number of years. Her PhD thesis investigated the development of critical thinking and information literacy skills in tertiary students, in the context of end-user computing for information retrieval. Her post-doctoral research has examined critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills in medical students, and in emergency medicine interns and specialists.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue tbc). To RSVP for dinner please email: mail@nullcanberraskeptics.org.au

For further information about Canberra Skeptics please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org.au