The Origin of Myths | Where Do Misconceptions and False Beliefs Come From
September 25, 2020


Myths in the context of this article are conceptualized as misinformation, misconceptions, false beliefs, or erroneous claims. Myths can be found in virtually every field. Sometimes myths can be relatively harmless, while other times they lead to bad decisions and negative consequences. Myths contribute to epistemic irrationality: holding beliefs that are not supported by evidence …

The Allure of Neuromyths & Brain Science
August 28, 2020


The media have become fascinated with brain images—and the use of those images to explain almost everything. Neuroscience (the scientific study of the nervous system, in many cases focusing only on the brain) has made a mark in mainstream media and everyday conversation. You have probably seen headlines such as “This Is Your Brain on …

How Many Neurons Are In The Human Brain? A Journey To Find The Answer
July 21, 2020


When I was an undergraduate in graduate school, I learned the human brain consists of 100 billion neurons (Kolb and Whishaw 2009). This number was reported in scholarly journals, textbooks, and in college lectures. It was accepted as fact. I never saw a citation of an original source to support the claim, nor did I …

Is Bullshit the Normal Condition?
June 26, 2020


What does it mean to label someone a bullshitter? Does it mean they are a liar? Does it mean they are guilty of talking too much? Does it mean they have something to say about everything, even if they know little or nothing about it? The term bullshit, as used in everyday conversation, is generic …

The Truth About Nootropic Brain Supplements and Brain Power
May 29, 2020


Nootropic substances—from the Greek words meaning “mind-bending” –are ingestible chemicals often promoted for their cognitive enhancing properties (Jasanoff 2018). According to companies selling nootropic products, benefits of using the products include prevention of cognitive decline, enhanced memory, increased learning, improved concentration, and rapid cognition. Nootropic drugs include stimulants like amphetamine and methylphenidate, marketed under the …

Can Machines Detect Lies?
March 24, 2020


Most everyone lies from time to time. In most cases, lies (deception) are no big deal. College students admit to lying twice a day on average, and others in the community admit to lying once a day on average (Lilienfeld et al. 2010). Knowing whether or not someone is lying is hard, but what if …

Why We Use More Than 10 Percent Of Our Brain Power
February 28, 2020


A large body of research has shown humans tend to be cognitive misers (Stanovich et al. 2016). We can’t afford to engage in hard thinking all the time because it isn’t efficient. In our daily lives, we need to think at different levels in different situations. Too much thinking when engaging in trivial situations may …

Scientific Mindware
February 10, 2020


It is common for popular science articles and books to misrepresent science, a practice that isn’t limited to popular publications. Textbooks, peer reviewed publications, and college courses sometimes promote misinformation. To avoid being bamboozled, think for yourself or go to the source and evaluate the evidence for yourself. Science is hard; methods and statistics used …

Depression, The Chemical Imbalance Myth, and What Causes Depression
December 17, 2019


Depression affects a relatively large portion of Americans. It is normal to feel depressed on occasion, but severe negative moods and lack of interest in what was once considered a pleasurable activity, for a prolonged length of time (everyday for 2 weeks), may reflect major depressive disorder. Approximately 16% of Americans will experience major depressive …

Sagan’s Candle In The Dark
November 13, 2019


Carl Sagan’s book The Demon-Haunted World was published in 1996. The contents reveal Sagan’s passion for critical thinking (scientific thinking) and dislike for popular media misrepresentations of science. He warns and provides examples of the negative impacts associated with pseudoscience. The contents cover a wide range of topics and illustrate his love of finding the …