Pseudoscience: The Psychology of False Beliefs

Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room  { MAP } Fee: $18 in advance; $22 at the door


Lenore Szuchman

Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Barry University

Pseudoscience is, by definition, an activity that is being falsely presented as science. Prevagen is “clinically shown” to restore memory loss – and is being sued for false advertising. The vaccine crisis began with a real scientist who falsified his data. And 44% of 18-24-year-olds say that astrology is somewhat or very scientific. Our beliefs are mostly rational – but they are subject to our cognitive biases and mental shortcuts that, while usually helpful, can nevertheless fail us. How do such things as motivated reasoning, logical fallacies, and the confirmation bias misdirect our intelligent evaluation of evidence?

Lenore Szuchman is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. She is a development psychologist whose most recent book, co-authored with Joan Erber, is Great Myths of Aging. Her research and scholarly publications include the areas of social cognition in older adults and the research methods curriculum in psychology. Among her course offerings was “The Psychology of False Belief.”