The Science of Everyday Thinking

Learn how to think better, argue better, and choose better.

About The Course

*Note - This is an Archived course*

This is a past/archived course. At this time, you can only explore this course in a self-paced fashion. Certain features of this course may not be active, but many people enjoy watching the videos and working with the materials. Make sure to check for reruns of this course. 

We will explore 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 discuss and debate topics such as medical diagnosis, paranormal phenomena, placebos, miracles, and more. You will learn how 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. The course provides tools for how to think independently, how to be skeptical, and how to value data over personal experience. We will examine the mental shortcuts and rules-of-thumb that people use and misuse, and apply this knowledge to everyday situations to help make better decisions.

The Think101 team has travelled far and wide to film conversations with some very clever people including: Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel in economic science; Elizabeth Loftus who pioneered the study of false memories; and even the MythBusters about testing claims and distinguishing between fact and fiction. We met 21 leading thinkers from across the world and combined hundreds of hours of conversations, demonstrations, and assessment into short episodes on how to evaluate claims, learn and remember information better, and improve everyday thinking.

Recommended Background

None.