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Prince Georges Community College Significant Defect of Pseudoscience Discussion


I’m working on a psychology discussion question and need a sample draft to help me understand better.

Please provide a comment/aside to the below post:

  1. An important part of research is separating the good from the bad. Research shows that even the best and brightest students may hold some beliefs in pseudoscience. It also shows that if discussions about pseudoscience are not handled correctly, there can be a backfire effect where the example of pseudoscience is remembered but not that the claim is actually false (Impey, Buxner, & Antonellis, 2012; Lewandowsky et al., 2012). Describe pseudoscience and give a detailed example (PLEASE DO NOT USE ASTROLOGY AS AN EXAMPLE). Explain how you would teach about your example so that it is clear that it is pseudoscience.

People believe in some pseudoscience’s. These are projects and beliefs that people say are scientific and may look to be scientific at first, but they later prove to be false.

An example of a pseudoscience is the show Ancient Aliens. This show has the theory that Aliens/extraterrestrials have come to earth for millions of years and have left their mark through cave drawings and plot and crop farms. Each episode shows the crop farms or cave drawings and how the ancient aliens have left their mark on the earth, as well as giving a detailed piece of history to make it more believable. The episodes also describe the “evidence” and make it extremely specific to each tailored episode.

The way I would teach that Ancient Aliens is a clear example of a pseudoscience is first, the show exclaims that scientists have no true evidence about how the Bermuda triangle happened or how airplanes disappear. This is false, and given that information leaves room to believe there could be multiple false statements needed in the shows dialogue to “prove” the points they are tying to make.

Archeologists also have an issue with pseudoscience because Archeologists dig up the facts and try to present it in a way that seems interesting yet also is very factual. Since Ancient Aliens can be more interesting and authors can spin information to keep you hooked, it is a lot harder for real archeologists to improve their writing to keep it as entertaining. Therefore this leads to people watching shows that may not be very factual, although with the right exaggerations, can lead to outstanding reviews and beliefs.

I would also teach this in a way where I would encourage students to read about Archeology, go to ancient history museums that include dinosaurs, and learn about uncovering fossils to further their understanding of ancient times.

Saylor Academy. Research Methods in Psychology. Chapter 1, “The Science of Psychology,” page 4.


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