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By Scott O Lilienfeld; Steven J Lynn; Laura L Namy; Nancy Jean Woolf

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Science deals with testable claims about the natural world that can be answered with data, whereas religion deals with untestable claims about moral values that can’t be answered with data. Although not all scientists and theologists accept Gould’s model, we adopt it for the purposes of this textbook. (Source: Gould, 1997) Answer: Image on the left is probably pseudoscientific because it makes extreme claims that aren’t supported by evidence. Image on right is metaphysical because it makes a claim that science cannot test.

1019). ╇ There are a host of reasons why so many of us are drawn to pseudoscientific beliefs. Perhaps the central reason stems from the way our brains work. Our brains are �predisposed to make order out of disorder and find sense in nonsense. This tendency is �generally adaptive, as it helps us to simplify the often bewildering world in which we live (Alcock, 1995; Pinker, 1997; Shermer, 2011).

Our intuition comes in handy in many situations and sometimes guides us to the truth (Gigerenzer, 2007; Gladwell, 2005; Myers, 2002). For example, our snap (fivesecond) judgments about whether someone we’ve just watched on video is trustworthy or untrustworthy tend to be right more often than we’d expect by chance (Fowler, Lilienfeld, & Patrick, 2009). Common sense can also be a helpful guide for generating hypotheses that scientists can later test in rigorous investigations (Redding, 1998). Moreover, some everyday psychological notions are indeed correct.

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