I'm good enough. I'm smart enough... and doggone it, I just might be wrong about something! Can self-affirmation make you more receptive to correcting misinformed beliefs? A recent article I read (check it out below) completely geeked me out by mashing up infolit, psychology, and faith/belief. "I Don’t Want to Be Right" examines why people persist in believing misinformation even when they are presented with evidence to the contrary. According to the article, "if information doesn’t square with someone’s prior beliefs, he discards the beliefs if they’re weak and discards the information if the beliefs are strong," which is not too surprising. However, the interesting twist to this story comes next: "False beliefs, it turns out, have little to do with one’s stated political affiliations and far more to do with self-identity: What kind of person am I, and what kind of person do I want to be? All ideologies are similarly affected." It's our conception of self that determines our willingness to accept or relinquish a belief. So, could positive self-image really help us to open our minds to the possibility of change? Check out the article: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/mariakonnikova/2014/05/why-do-people-persist-in-believing-things-that-just-arent-true.html?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email
This week's blog post comes to us from Abraham Wheeler, health science librarian.
I just came across a fantastic website where the author has written a program that find correlations between completely unrelated sets of data. This is then turned into funny and sometimes frightening charts. The charts demonstrate a couple of really important things to keep in mind about data. The expression “correlation does not imply causation” is a good one remember when examining claims being made by an author. Discovery of correlations can be a good way to generate a hypothesis, but is a weak proof of a hypothesis. The discovery of a correlation is the beginning of a scientific inquiry into a subject, not the endpoint.
It also raises a potential problem with the concept of “Big Data” or large data sets. It is very possible for spurious statistical relationships to appear. The more data points you examine, the more likely you are to have coincidences appear and possibly seem meaningful.
Thank you, Abe, for bringing this site to our attention. How we introduce the use of data and statistical analysis to students at the undergraduate level matters.. check out the website yourself for charts you could use in your classes.
A colleague recently sent a link to a very interesting NPR story about a new topic being taught in some K-12 schools – grit. Grit was defined in the story by Angela Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania who won a MacArthur "genius grant" for her work on grit, as "this quality of being able to sustain your passions, and also work really hard at them, over really disappointingly long periods of time, that's grit." Grit is often thought of as persistence, determination, and resilience, and according to Duckworth’s research, can actually be “a better predictor of success than IQ or other measures when it comes to achievements as varied as graduating from West Point or winning the National Spelling Bee.”
So why is grit now being taught?
Part of the answer may come from a recent report from the US Dept. of Education that shows that students are learning to “do school,” while not really acquiring the skills need in life. Students learn just enough to get through school, and to succeed in many cases, but they don’t learn the skills needed to push through when things get difficult or they encounter a hurdle too high.
By teaching grit in the classroom, and for students to be “grittier,” educators hope to help those kids who don’t apply themselves because they don’t think they have the "gift" and also help kids who've skated through their early schooling, but then crumble when they hit their first challenge.
So what do you think, can grit be taught?
We are so proud of you! You've done it... survived another semester of college. Finals (and final papers) are wrapping up and your brains, albeit tired and worn-out, have soaked up tons of new information. For those of you who are graduating (Hi Ben!), you REALLY did it!
So, as you drift off into summer... to vacation or to internships or to jobs or, well, where ever you're going... we hope that you keep those critical thinking skills honed and sharp. Remember, just because you're not in a classroom (or a library!) doesn't stop the information from flowing in. Think about it what you're hearing and seeing, weigh it, critique it.
Happy summer and we'll see (some of ) you in the Fall!
For those of you who have been following the development of the new ACRL Information Literacy Framework, you can now read comments on Part I, here: http://www.acrl.ala.org/value/?p=665#more-%27
Part II is also now available and includes two new threshold concepts: "Authority is Constructed and Contextual" and "Searching is Strategic." You can read Part II and leave comments here:
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