Scientific research is a way of gaining knowledge through applying principles of critical thinking to real-world questions.
Critical thinking requires that we be able to:
Accurately define a problem or issue of concern
Evaluate assumptions, biases, or perspectives held by oneself or by others
Assess the quality and logic of arguments and evidence presented in support of information
Formulate valid implications and conclusions about the problem or issue of concern
This exercise will demonstrate how to do critical thinking about a set of claims that have been around for a very long time in one form or another, but recently came to the attention of the general public through a book and movie by the name of “The Secret”.
Watch the following video on “The Law of Attraction”
Write the answers to the following after viewing the video:
List the basic claims being made in the video about the Law of Attraction.
On a scale of 0% to 100%, state what number represents how much you personally believe in the Law of Attraction (100 is completely certain it’s true, and 0 is completely certain it’s not true)
Identify at least one argument that supports the claims made in the video about the Law of Attraction; in other words, give one reason why the Law of Attraction might be true.
Identify at least one argument against the Law of Attraction; in other words, give one reason why the Law of Attraction might be false.
After answering the previous questions, watch this video from the Street Epistemologist as he talks with 2 men, one of whom believes in the Law of Attraction (Colton), and one who does not (Kenneth).
Write your answers to the following questions after viewing the video:
What reasons did Colton have for his belief in the Law of Attraction, and was his belief based on sound logic?
How did the street epistemologist get Colton to think about/question his belief in the Law of Attraction?
If you personally believe in the Law of Attraction, briefly describe one experience or situation that would make you NOT believe in it; OR, if you personally do NOT believe in the Law of Attraction, briefly describe one experience or situation that WOULD make you believe in the Law of Attraction. (These situations can be purely hypothetical if needed, for example, “space aliens attacking the planet”, is a hypothetical situation that would make me believe in UFOs.)
Briefly describe your personal conclusions about the Law of Attraction. Describe your thought process, and if your thinking has changed in any way as a result of watching the Street Epistemologist video.
One a scale of 0% to 100%, state how confident you are that the Law of Attraction is true.
Describe a different personal belief that you might reconsider based on what you have learned from this exercise in critical thinking.
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