lie to me

Great story on lying to your students as a way to teach  critical thinking. Imagine that, telling your students that one thing out of each lecture will be a lie, and it’s their job to figure out which thing. Brilliant! Remind me to take up this idea for next year’s intro course.

6 thoughts on “lie to me”

  1. Jerry Marwell used to tell his intro students that 10%* of everything he said was wrong. “The trouble is, I don’t know which 10% is wrong. If I did, I wouldn’t say it.” Same pedagogic point but perhaps better at helping students think about the sources of misinformation?

    * I may have the % he said wrong. But you get the idea.


  2. When I teach social psychology I lead off an early class describing an experiment, but lying about the results — telling them that the results turned out exactly the opposite of how they actually turned out. I then have the students react to the (wrong) result. They respond typically with how obvious the result was and have all kinds of reasons why the result obtained. I then tell them the result was the opposite of what they were lead to believe. I use this to teach about hindsight bias. And how ‘obvious’ results could not have been predicted in advance.


  3. scorrell: I do something similar in Social Problems. I give students a week to explain why the follow are true.

    1. Blacks drink more alcohol and do more hard drugs than Whites.
    2. Why young adults were more opposed to the Vietnam War than older adults.
    3. Why a smaller percent of people belong to a church today than in the time of the Pilgrims.

    They come back with “logical” reasons. I then produce the graphs showing the data are not true. I use it to encourage them to question and check facts.


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