Social Science Under Fire II
It’s generally accepted by most freethinkers that it’s very easy, and quite common for our bias to reduce our ability to perceive the world around us accurately. Accordingly, freethinkers overwhelmingly agree that we can significantly limit the effects of bias when we employ scientific method.
Surprisingly however, when to comes to understanding the human condition, freethinkers often demonstrate the same, folksy, traditional biases we all do before we consider the scientific evidence, even after they’ve consulted the research!
The picture painted of the human experience as described by scientific research is remarkably different than those folk or traditional ways of knowing ourselves; therefore, the implications for our political and economic institutions is vast. Or perhaps this is the cause of the bias, itself.
To take a look at this phenomenon we will be speaking with two scientists on the nature of social science and it’s ability to tell us who and what we are, and the big question of “human nature.”
Augustine Brannigan is Professor of Sociology at the University of Calgary in Canada. His research is in Crime and Delinquency, Genocide, Social Psychology. He is the author of The Rise and Fall of Social Psychology: the Use and Misuse of the Experimental Method (2004) and the forthcoming Criminology and the Genealogy of Genocide.
Joachim Krueger is Professor of Psychology at Brown University on Rhode Island. His research is focused on inductive reasoning in social context. Specific topics include self-perception, intergroup relations, and a game theoretic applications to social behavior. He edited a volume on The Self in Social Judgment, Psychology Press, 2005 (with M. Alicke and D. Dunning), and a festschrift for Robyn Dawes (Rationality and Social Desirability, Psychology Press, 2008). He has written a response to Brannigan’s work for Psychology Today which can be found here.
Part One of this program can be found here!