The Psychology of Reasoning

Clark Chinn (Education Psychology)

People may try to think rationally and make sound decisions, yet they often fall short. For example, people are sold on the latest diet fad even though evidence indicates the diet is unsafe. Businesses cling to traditional incentive plans even when evidence shows that these plans hinder creativity and innovation. When we make mistakes evaluating evidence, we may make decisions that harm our health, well-being, and happiness. In this seminar, we will examine research in psychology and education to learn practical techniques to evaluate evidence and improve our reasoning and decision-making ability. At the same time, we will apply what we learn to analyze the reasoning of middle school students who are also learning to improve their reasoning skills. Our work will culminate in one or more presentations at the annual Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium.