Pseudoscience and Scientific Fraud

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Pseudoscience and Scientific Fraud by Mind Map: Pseudoscience and Scientific Fraud

1. Soal-Goldney

1.1. Two Ps performed better than others in a zener card test

1.1.1. When the results were first published they were thought to be sound and to demonstrate ESP but it was later found that results had been adapted to become positive

1.2. A personal pressure to succeed interfered with his professionalism

2. Sir Cyril Burt

2.1. Highly respected academic (he was knighted) and was the president of the BPS based on his contribution to the understanding of the genetic basis of IQ

2.2. One sited on MZ twins that were reared apart from each other showed a +0.771 correlation between their IQs - this result is exactly the same as that from his previous study

2.2.1. BPS found him guilty of scientific fraud

2.3. Scientific fraud is not just confined to anomalistic research

3. Boundaries between science and pseudoscience are often not clear

3.1. Characteristics of Pseudoscience

3.1.1. Lack of testability and empirical support

3.1.2. Inability to stand up to critical analysis and falsification

3.1.2.1. Often there is direct communication of results to the public to avoid critical assessment

3.1.3. Pseudoscientists often choose areas of study which would generally benefit the advancement of human understanding

3.1.4. Hypothesis' are often formulated to support the gathered data whilst this should occur in the reverse order

3.1.5. Quality of results is focussed on rather than quantity - this means the research lacks reliability

3.2. Characteristics of science

3.2.1. Objectivity

3.2.2. Replicability ensured through peer review

3.2.3. Empiricism

3.2.4. Should use the hypo-deductive method

3.3. Similarities

3.3.1. Similar methods will be used - a hypothesis will be used and this will be tested, following this the results will be published

3.3.2. Similar experimental methodologies will be used

4. Currently there is a divide between those who believe in the benefit of understanding anomalous experience and those who are sceptical of the explanations

4.1. Evidence to date has provided some understanding of anomalous experience

4.1.1. Radin (1997) - meta analysis of psi experiments - the incidence of anomalous ability was much greater than chance.

4.2. A majority of evidence has been proved as scientific fraud

4.2.1. Sylvia Browne

4.2.1.1. Well known American psychic who has made various predictions e.g. Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussain were hiding in caves. Many of her predictions were proven incorrect and she was convicted of fraud.

4.2.1.2. She has provided sceptics with ample evidence that anomalistic powers do not exist and this detracts from the rigour of those determined to prove its existence

4.2.2. Uri Geller