Metacognition is missing?

Why People Deny Science. Steven Novella – “A new study further shows that people are inconsistent in how they justify their beliefs.” They key flag here is they use of “Deny” as it is used as a perjorative for those who don’t toe the ideological line. That suggests a diversion. Science denial is being substituted for the broader concepts in psychology concerning how humans deal with a reality they have difficulty accepting. This is about such topics as cognitive dissonance and grief. If that bias and diversion, which is its own example of the problems being discussed, is understood then the column’s insights gain good value.

What all of this suggests is that people do not usually engage in metacognition – thinking about their own thinking. They may have a cognitive style that they tend to use, but otherwise they engage in whatever type of reasoning serves their purpose on any particular topic. …

To counter this we cannot just teach science or explain what the evidence says. We need to teach critical thinking skills – which is metacognition. Critical thinking includes an understanding of all the various ways our thinking can go wrong. Just as important, however, is that critical thinking involves stepping back from our own cognitive process to examine it objectively, to make a sincere effort to consistently apply valid logic and the same fair and objective criteria for evidence.

Doing this is really hard, because people are very good at motivated reasoning. We are extremely creative at inventing reasons to reject logic and evidence we don’t like, and those invented reasons can create a powerful illusion of being correct – so much so that almost half of people feel comfortable saying that no new evidence could even theoretically change their mind on a topic.

The Present American Revolution. Victor Davis Hanson – “Destroying the Constitution and seeking state-mandated equality of result

“Our present revolution is more multifaceted. It is a war on the very Constitution of the United States that has not yet brought the Left its Holy Grail: a state-mandated equality of result overseen by an omnipotent and omniscient elite. The problem for today’s leftists is that they are not fighting Bourbon France, a reactionary Europe of 1848, or Czarist Russia, but an affluent, culturally uninhibited, and wildly free United States, where never in the history of civilization has a people attained such affluence and leisure.

The courts have become revolutionary. They now routinely overturn popular referenda, presidential executive orders, and legislative statutes, mostly on the principle that better-educated, more moral and experienced judges answer to a higher, more progressive calling and know what in the long run is best for the uneducated rabble.

Almost everything we have seen in just the last three months — the Kavanaugh chaos, the “caravan,” the ongoing Mueller octopus, recounting election results until they are deemed “correct,” the Beto and Gillum neo-socialism craziness, the swarming of a Fox News anchor’s home, driving public officials out of restaurants, the media circus at presidential press conferences — are symptoms of revolutionary America. In this conflict, one side believes it is not only not fair but also not allowable that it lacks the necessary power to make us all equal — but equal only in the eyes of a self-anointed elite.

Thinking about their own thinking?

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