Presented by Bo Bennett, PhD
In this course, you will learn a new cognitive bias, effect, or heuristic each day and understand why others (and you) make poor decisions, bad arguments, and hold false beliefs. All cognitive biases in this course are involved in the reasoning process and can lead to accepting bad arguments. The first and most important way to combat the negative effects of cognitive biases is to recognize them. This course will help you do that.
Mitigate the Effects of Cognitive Biases and Become More Reasonable
Passive microlearning: receive an e-mail a day on a cognitive bias for 125 days
Become a better debater
Improve your critical thinking skills
Ditch your false beliefs
Become smarterBecome a Cognitive Bias Whiz and Understand Logical Fallacies Better
In the early 1970s, two behavioral researchers, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky pioneered the field of behavioral economics
through their work with cognitive biases and heuristics, which like logical fallacies, deal with errors in reasoning. The main difference, however, is that logical fallacies require an argument whereas cognitive biases and heuristics (mental shortcuts) refer to our default pattern of thinking. Sometimes there is crossover. Logical fallacies can be the result of a cognitive bias, but having biases (which we all do) does not mean that we have to commit logical fallacies. Consider the bandwagon effect
, a cognitive bias that demonstrates the tendency to believe things because many other people believe them. This cognitive bias can be found in the logical fallacy, appeal to popularity
.Everybody is doing X.
Therefore, X must be the right thing to do.
The cognitive bias is the main reason we commit this fallacy. However, if we just started working at a soup kitchen because all of our friends were working there, this wouldn’t be a logical fallacy, although the bandwagon effect would be behind our behavior. The appeal to popularity
is a fallacy because it applies to an argument.
When we understand cognitive biases, we understand the reasons behind countless bad arguments, bad reasoning, and bad ideas.
AudienceThis course was designed for students 13 and up.
Learning ResourcesFor this course, text, audio, and video resources are used. All of the resources are compatible with virtually all modern web-browsers and mobile devices.
PrerequisitesThere are no prerequisites for this course.
Required ResourcesThere are no required resources for this course.
Optional ResourcesThere are no optional resources for this course.
Student ExpectationsAs a self-paced course, there are no time expectations. However, student support is limited to 6 months from the start of the course date. Students are expected to communicate with instructors and other students in a professional and respectful manner.
This Syllabus May Be UpdatedThe contents of this syllabus may change from time to time. All students will be notified by e-mail of any significant changes.
Lessons in this Course
Click on any lesson below to see the lesson details. If you are a student and logged in, or if the lesson is a sample lesson, you will be able to go to the lesson.
About Your Instructor
Bo Bennett, PhD. Bo Bennett's personal motto is "Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime." Much of his work is in the area of education—not teaching people what to think, but how to think. His projects include his books, The Concept: A Critical and Honest Look at God and Religion, Logically Fallacious, the most comprehensive collection of logical fallacies, and Year To Success, a full year course in success. Bo has a podcast/blog called "The Dr. Bo Show" at http://www.TheDrBoShow.com where he takes a critical thinking-, reason-, and science-based approach to issues that matter with the goal of educating and entertaining.
Bo holds a PhD in social psychology, with a master's degree in general psychology and bachelor's degree in marketing. His complete bio along with current projects can be found at BoBennett.com.
Passive Microlearning Course:
This is passive course where you are sent one lesson per day by e-mail. There is no required interactivity. Each lesson averages just a few minutes.
- 126 days of lessons delivered to your e-mail, one per day—just minutes per day
- 126 videos
- upon successful completion of this course, students will receive an authenticated certificate of completion
A total of approximately 4 hours 42 minutes of student learning.
Limited Time Offer: FREE
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This course is ideal for people who like to think for themselves and who are not puppets and slaves to the inconsistent and sometimes absurd thoughts of others. You have your own mind—use it. This course is stimulating, easy to understand, and should cause you to learn more about these topics. It is definitely worth the time and effort, whether you are a professional or not.