Independent Minds, Working Together


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1189 Beall Ave.
Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 330-263-2000
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Brain Meets World

(35) Brain Meets World - Bas van Doorn, Department of Political Science

We are asked to make countless judgments and decisions every day; some momentous, some mundane.  In addition to making these discrete decisions, we develop larger theories about how the world works.  On what basis do we make these decisions, and on what premises do we build these worldviews?  Are we fully informed, clear-eyed, cost-benefit analyzing decision robots, or are we driven by prejudices, biases, and passions that might lead us astray?  Given our conclusions, how can we train ourselves and others to make better decisions?  Are there ways to structure our environments and processes in order to encourage better decision-making?  This seminar tackles these questions through engagement with research from psychology, economics, biology, and political science as well as content from movies, magazines, and TV shows.  Topics of discussion will include intuition, superstition, stereotypes, rationality, cults, holocaust denial, political decision-making, conspiracy theories, and skepticism.