Deception Detox - using research methods and statistics to change the world

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About this course: This course will help you become scientifically literate so that you can make better choices for yourself and the world. Unlike other courses on statistics and scientific methods, we explore global challenges - such as poverty or climate change - and then discuss how key approaches of statistics and scientific methods can help tackle these challenges. We present these approaches in a non-mathematical and easily accessible way. You will leave the course being able to recognize which efforts to do good in this world actually work, and you will have used your science literacy to make some personal changes in your life. Many current attempts to do good in this world are b…

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Statistics, Psychology, Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal Skills, and Problem Analysis & Solving.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This course will help you become scientifically literate so that you can make better choices for yourself and the world. Unlike other courses on statistics and scientific methods, we explore global challenges - such as poverty or climate change - and then discuss how key approaches of statistics and scientific methods can help tackle these challenges. We present these approaches in a non-mathematical and easily accessible way. You will leave the course being able to recognize which efforts to do good in this world actually work, and you will have used your science literacy to make some personal changes in your life. Many current attempts to do good in this world are based on good intentions, but don’t work well, or are even harmful. In this course we talk to leading experts from academia, business and non-profit organizations about how we can use science to distinguish bad, good and even better ways of improving this world. We also invite you to change your own behavior to do more good. You will learn how to spot BS (bad science) in the media, how to evaluate whether a social program works or not, and how your career could have a better impact on this world. Finally, you will develop your own plan on how you are going to do good better with science. Guest speakers include Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely, Philosopher Peter Singer, and Happiness researcher Elizabeth Dunn.

Created by:  Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Taught by:  Vera Schölmerich, PhD

    Erasmus University College, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus University
  • Taught by:  Kellie Liket, PhD

    Impact Centre Erasmus (ICE) - Erasmus School of Economics
Level Beginner Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.2 stars Average User Rating 4.2See what learners said Задания курса

Каждый курс — это интерактивный учебник, который содержит видеоматериалы, тесты и проекты.

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Общайтесь с тысячами других учащихся: обсуждайте идеи, материалы курса и помогайте друг другу осваивать новые понятия.

Сертификаты

Получите документы о прохождении курсов и поделитесь своим успехом с друзьями, коллегами и работодателями.

Erasmus University Rotterdam Erasmus University: a top-100 ranked international research university based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Our academic teaching and research focuses on four areas: health, wealth, culture and governance. Erasmus University Rotterdam: make it happen.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Science literacy as a vaccine against the charlatans



We kick off this course by providing some ammunition for what the astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson said: ”Science literacy is a vaccine against the charlatans of the world that would exploit your ignorance.” Here, you will discover that you should be wary of the recommendations that you get from our governments on how to save water, from the media based on new scientific findings, and even from our doctor. At the same time, you will see that a basic understanding of statistics and scientific methods - which you will acquire throughout this course - will protect you against misinformation and bad science, and help you make better choices for yourself and for this world. At the end of this week you will create and upload a short 3-minute video pitch about global challenges and what your own role is in tackling them (if any). Please note that Erasmus University Rotterdam pursues the science of learning. Online learners are important participants in that pursuit. The information we gather from your engagement with our instructional offerings makes it possible for faculty, researchers, and designers to continuously improve their work and, in that process, build learning science. By registering as an online learner, you are also participating in research.


6 videos, 7 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: 90 second trailer
  2. Video: Water we doing?!
  3. Вопрос для обсуждения: Eating no or less animals?
  4. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Cost-benefit analyses to answer the question: should I floss or not?
  5. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Make your own cost-benefit analysis
  6. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Check your cost-benefit analysis
  7. Video: Optional video: What Morillio and his team are doing to improve access to clean water
  8. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Optional documentary about costs and benefits of eating meat
  9. Video: Dear doctor
  10. Вопрос для обсуждения: Is your life based on evidence?
  11. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Why Most Research Findings Are False
  12. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Optional reading: Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science
  13. Video: Optional video: Full-length interview with John Ioannidis
  14. Тренировочный тест: Please take 3 minutes to tell us how things are going
  15. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Ted Talk "Photos that bear witness to modern day slavery"
  16. Video: Implanting a chip in your brain


WEEK 2


Stop guessing!



"Whenever you leave behind failure, that means you're doing better. If you think everything you've done has been great, you're probably dumb." – Louis CK. Many social programs - such as efforts to reduce poverty or improve people’s health - are based on good intentions but simply don’t work, or are even harmful. This week you will discover that humans are pretty bad at guessing which programs work, and that the best way to assess whether a program works is by running randomized controlled trials. You will see that conducting multiple rigorous evaluations is how we can leave behind failure and do better in this world. And not be dumb. At the end of this week you’ll be ready to put your new skills to use by critically assessing a BS (bad science) media report.


9 videos, 10 readings, 4 practice quizzes expand


  1. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Week introduction
  2. Video: A big fat problem
  3. Вопрос для обсуждения: What lifestyle changes would you like to make, and how?
  4. Video: Video testimonial: hear how your fellow learners are doing
  5. Video: Optional: Full-length interview with Dan Ariely
  6. Video: Poverty, Bills & Cash
  7. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Giving Game
  8. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Charity overview
  9. Тренировочный тест: Initial Charity Choice
  10. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: PlayPumps
  11. Тренировочный тест: Reflect on PlayPumps
  12. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Doing good
  13. Video: Poverty, Bills & Cash Continued
  14. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Charity Details
  15. Тренировочный тест: Final Charity Choice
  16. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: About the Giving Game
  17. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Giving well
  18. Вопрос для обсуждения: Challenge your charity
  19. Video: Optional video: full-length interview with Paul Niehaus
  20. Video: 2 minute excerpt from the interview with Dan Ariely
  21. Тренировочный тест: Dan Ariely's panda express experiment
  22. Video: Micro Creditis
  23. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Ted Talk: Why medicine often has dangerous side effects for women
  24. Вопрос для обсуждения: Is the medicine you drop OK for you?
  25. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Pay it forward
  26. Video: Our interviewees talk about being annoyed
  27. Вопрос для обсуждения: Recap Q & A

Graded: Calling Bad Science (BS)

WEEK 3


Putting it all together



15 videos, 7 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Week Introduction
  2. Video: Buying happiness
  3. Вопрос для обсуждения: Giving what you can?
  4. Вопрос для обсуждения: Fooled by correlation
  5. Вопрос для обсуждения: Changed your mind?
  6. Video: Optional video: full length interview Elizabeth Dunn
  7. Video: Optional video: full-length interview Peter Singer
  8. Video: Measuring your own happiness - question 1
  9. Video: Measuring your own happiness - question 2 & 3
  10. Video: Measuring your own happiness - question 4
  11. Video: Measuring your own happiness - question 5 - 8
  12. Video: Measuring your own happiness - question 9
  13. Video: Measuring your own happiness - question 10
  14. Вопрос для обсуждения: Main Take-aways
  15. Video: Some final comments on happiness
  16. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Optional video: Want to find out more about measurement validity?
  17. Тренировочный тест: Thought Experiment
  18. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Thought Experiment Conclusion
  19. Video: In the best of wealth
  20. Тренировочный тест: How rich are you?
  21. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Arctic expedition
  22. Вопрос для обсуждения: Thinking rationally about charity
  23. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Doing Good Better
  24. Вопрос для обсуждения: Will you make any changes to your current career?
  25. Video: Optional video: full-length interview Robert Wiblin
  26. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Optional: Beth Barnes on how to save the world
  27. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Optional: Want to find out more about how organizations can calculate cost-effectiveness
  28. Video: 9 to 5
  29. Вопрос для обсуждения: Share your frustration with us
  30. Video: Imagine. You are almighty - what would you do?
  31. Вопрос для обсуждения: Share your personal #deceptiondetox
  32. Вопрос для обсуждения: What are your major take-aways?
  33. Video: Optional: full-length interview Marcel Fafchamps

Graded: Graded multiple choice quiz: measurement matters
Graded: Doing Good Done Better

WEEK 4


Yes but wait



5 videos, 10 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Week 4 Introduction
  2. Тренировочный тест: Existential Risk
  3. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Existential Risk
  4. Video: Innovating to zero
  5. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Optional: Ted Talk Bill Gates
  6. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Optional: Video of the Ocean Cleanup Project
  7. Video: Optional: Full-length interview Karen Maas
  8. Тренировочный тест: What's your carbon footprint?
  9. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Other existential risks
  10. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Expert risk assessment
  11. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Existential Risk Conclusion
  12. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Comparing potential for impact
  13. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Podcast: How can we prioritize global challenges?
  14. Video: Fishy finance
  15. Вопрос для обсуждения: We haven't got an answer for this one. You?
  16. Video: Optional video: Full-length interview Helen Toxopeus
  17. Материал для самостоятельного изучения: Optional videos: mini tutorials by Dirk Bezemer
  18. Video: Know this tune?


WEEK 5


Capstone
You have watched many videos that we made on tackling global challenges with science. Now it’s time to create your own video on how you are going to tackle a global challenge with science.




    Graded: Capstone project
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