LSO750 - I Might Be Wrong: Falsity and the Fallible Mind

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Last revision date Mar 16, 2020 8:51:04 AM
Last review date Mar 16, 2020 8:51:34 AM

Subject Title
I Might Be Wrong: Falsity and the Fallible Mind

Subject Description
Why is it easier to believe falsehoods when they're voiced by celebrities and powerful authority figures? How can we avoid falling for unsupported and often dangerous medical advice? Why is it so hard to acknowledge weaknesses in our own social and political perspectives while effortlessly finding faults in the views of others?

As humans, much of our thinking is fast, intuitive, and relatively effortless--we take mental shortcuts by necessity, and this often results in predictable mistakes. Cognitive errors shape who we vote for, what we fear, and our responses to emergency situations. To better cope with and thrive in our increasingly complex social environment--a world of virtually unlimited information and connectivity--we need to understand the limitations of our miraculous yet fallible minds. By developing greater awareness of pervasive heuristics and biases, this course aims to lay the foundation for identifying, avoiding, and responding to some of the errors to which we regularly fall prey.

Credit Status
One upper-level Liberal Studies Option credit in the Social Sciences category

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Discuss common fallacies, heuristics, and biases that affect human judgment and decision-making.

2. Explain the social and psychological conditions that can increase the likelihood of cognitive errors.

3. Analyze circumstances under which cognitive errors may be of greater and lesser consequence to establish when we should be attentive to possible mistakes.

4. Evaluate judgments, beliefs, and arguments to assess their validity.

5. Assess the effectiveness of strategies for overcoming cognitive errors to increase accuracy of judgment and effectiveness in decision-making.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.