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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( February 18, 1999)
PSYCHOLOGIST TO PRESENT PROGRAMS ON “ HOW SMART PEOPLE GO WRONG” AND “ HOW WE ARE FOOLED” DURING SDSM& T ENGINEERS WEEK
Noted psychologist Dr. Ray Hyman will be the guest speaker at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ( SDSM& T) on Monday, February 22, as part of SDSM& T’s Engineers Week activities. He will present a multi- media program entitled “ How Smart People Go Wrong” at 3: 00 p. m and another entitled “ How We Are Fooled” at 7: 00 p. m. in the Surbeck Center Ballroom. His presentations are open to the general public at no charge. His appearances are co- sponsored by the local chapter and national office of Sigma Xi, a scientific research society, and the SDSM& T.
Dr. Hyman is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Oregon. He has served on several governmental committees and has done editorial work for many major psychological journals as well as Nature, Science, and other scientific magazines. He frequently appears on television shows, with recent appearances including Larry King Live, ABC’s 20/ 20, Nightly News with Dan Rather, Scientific American Frontiers, and Nova.
Hyman received his B. A. degree at Boston University and his M. A. and Ph. D. at Johns Hopkins University, all in experimental psychology. He served as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard and later as a Behavioral Research Consultant for General Electric Company. In 1961 he joined the faculty in psychology at the University of Oregon where he remained until his retirement. While serving on the National Research Council on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance from 1985 through 1991, he published two books, Enhancing Human Performance and In the Mind’s Eye. His published research has been in such areas as pattern recognition, perception, problem solving and creativity, and related areas of cognition. He has written extensively on the psychology of deception and critiques of paranormal and other fringe claims.
In his “ How Smart People Go Wrong” program, Hyman will examine ways in which some otherwise brilliant and accomplished scholars have goofed. From 1911 until 1953 most of the world’s top experts on human evolution accepted “ Piltdown” as a possible ancestor to modern humans until shown to be a hoax. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, defended many spirit mediums as genuine who were clearly charlatans. He will focus on cases over the past 150 years where first- rate scientists investigated and then supported the reality of paranormal phenomena.
Hyman’s “ How We Are Fooled” presentation will discuss how contemporary psychology can provide insights into how otherwise intelligent people can be deceived. Most swindles rely on preventing the victim from realizing that deception is taking place. He will use the confidence game as the prototype for understanding how deception succeeds by manipulating appearances. He will use both conjuring and the tools of the con artist to illustrate how we are fooled.
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