Why are some people so much happier than others? Is it harmful for children to have imaginary companions? How might students study more effectively?
Even if you’ve never considered these questions before, you probably have some guesses about their answers. Maybe you think getting rich or falling in love leads to happiness.
Perhaps you view imaginary friends as expressions of a dangerous lack of realism. What’s more, if you were to ask your friends, they would probably also have opinions about these questions—opinions that may even differ from your own.
Today, people are overwhelmed with information although it varies in quality.
A quick internet search would yield even more answers. We live in the “Information Age,” with people having access to more explanations and answers than at any other time in history. But, although the quantity of information is continually increasing, it’s always good practice to consider the quality of what you read or watch: Not all information is equally trustworthy. The trustworthiness of information is especially important in an era when “fake news,” urban myths, misleading “click-bait,” and conspiracy theories compete for our attention alongside well-informed conclusions grounded in evidence. Determining what information is well-informed is a crucial concern and a central task of science. Science is a way of using observable data to help explain and understand the world around us in a trustworthy way.
In this module, you will learn about scientific thinking. You will come to understand how scientific research informs our knowledge and helps us create theories. You will also come to appreciate how scientific reasoning is different from the types of reasoning people often use to form personal opinions.