Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( February 17, 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 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. The public is invited to his multi- media presentations 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 a variety of governmental committees and has done editorial work for many major psychological journals as well as Nature, Science, and other general 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 Bachelor of Arts degree at Boston University and his M. A. and Ph. D. at the 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. From 1985 through 1991 he served on the National Research Council on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance. During that time 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 and published extensively on the psychology of deception and critiques of paranormal and other fringe claims.
“ How Smart People Go Wrong!”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, defended many spirit mediums as genuine who were clearly charlatans. Our most celebrated scholars and scientists are known for their success accomplishments. However, even our best and brightest scholars sometimes blunder in embarrassing ways.
“ Smart” people typically come up with the most creative and valuable solutions to problems! But, not always true! �� From 1911 until 1953 most of the world’s top experts on human evolution accepted “ Piltdown” an as a possible ancestor to modern humans until it was shown to be a crude hoax.
Dr. Hyman will address the questions that arise when we examine some of the ways in which some otherwise brilliant and accomplished scholars have goofed. He will focus on the many cases over the past 150 years where first- rate scientists investigated and then supported the reality of paranormal phenomena. “ A person can be badly mistaken or wrong and still be competent, intelligent, sane and honest. I will use illustrations from contemporary cognitive psychology and cognitive science to show how this can be so.”
“ How We Are Fooled”
During almost every moment of our waking lives someone is trying to persuade us that a product or system will benefit us in some way all the time!
Deceivers succeed by manipulating appearances. First attempts to develop a psychology of deception used “ conjuring” as the best example of deception. The magician, it is true, deceives successfully. However, conjuring may not be the best model for ordinary deception. In magic, if the audience does not realize it has been fooled, the magician has failed.
Most swindles, however, rely on preventing the victim from realizing that deception is taking place. Dr. Hyman will use the confidence game as the prototype for understanding how deception succeeds. He will use both conjuring and the tools of the con artist to illustrate how we are fooled. Although we still do not have a general theory of deception, contemporary psychology does provide us with insights into how otherwise intelligent people can be deceived.
( I:\ univrel\ pressrele\ 0229\ Concrete Conference fax\ stwd)
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The work from which this copy was made did not include a formal copyright notice. This work may be protected by U. S. copyright law (Title 17, United States Code), which governs reproduction, distribution, public display, and other uses of protected works. Uses may be allowed with permission from the copyright holder, if the copyright on the work has expired, or if the use is fair use or within another legal exemption. The user of this work is responsible for compliance with the law.