A curriculum to improve thinking under uncertainty


Authors: 
Beyth-Marom, R., & Dekel, S.
Category: 
Volume: 
12
Pages: 
67-82
Year: 
1983
Publisher: 
Instructional Science
Place: 
Amsterdam
Abstract: 

Recent evidence indicates that people's intuitive judgments are sometimes affected by systematic biases that can lead to bad decisions. Much of the value of this research depends on its applicability, i.e., showing people when and how their judgments are wrong and how they can be improved. This article describes one step toward that goal, i.e., the development of a curriculum for junior high school students aimed at improving thought processes, specifically, those necessary in uncertain situations (probabilistic thinking). The relevant psychological literature is summarized and the main guidelines in the curriculum development are specified: (a) encouraging students to introspect and examine their own (and other's) thought processes consciously, (b) indicating the circumstances in which common modes of thinking may cause fallacies, and (c) providing better tools for coping with the problems that emerge. Two detailed examples are given. In addition, the problem of training teachers is briefly discussed and a small-scale evaluation effort is described.

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