On the evening of Friday, October 12th, the Ohlone Psychology Dr. Carol TavrisClub Speaker Series
continued its three-year tradition of providing top-name speakers in science and skepticism by hosting renowned social psychologist Dr. Carol Tavris.
Dr. Tavris’ talk was based upon her book “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)”
which she co-wrote with Elliot Aronson. The book focuses on cognitive dissonance, a psychological phenomenon in which we feel uncomfortable due to conflicting behaviors, opinions, thoughts, or beliefs. Coined by Leon Festinger, one of the true geniuses in the field of psychology, the influence of cognitive dissonance on our behavior is one of the most powerful, yet least recognized, phenomena.
Festinger’s now-classic 1956 book, “When Prophecy Fails,”
On Monday, July 9th, all five hosts of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe
(SGU) podcast attended a meet-and-greet cosponsored by the Bay Area SGU at Ohlone College
Skeptics and the Psychology Department at Ohlone College. Many people have asked me how on earth we were able to pull this off, so I thought I'd share the story.
I was introduced to Evan Bernstein several years ago while attending "The Amaz!ng Meeting"
in Las Vegas, NV. I had never heard of the SGU, and casually asked Evan what brought him to TAM. He replied, "Oh, I thought you knew. I'm Evan from the SGU." I said, "Oh? What's that?" He said, "The Skeptics Guide to the Universe." I said, "Okay. And what's the Skeptics Guide to the Universe?" Evan looked a bit taken aback and laughed, saying, "I'm sorry if I look surprised. It's just that I don't usually
As many of you know, this year's SkeptiCal 2012 conference was a rousing photo by Heather Applebury
success! Hundreds of skeptic-minded guests converged upon the Berkeley Doubletree Hotel to hear talks on what toddlers and children can teach us about being better scientists, the neuroscience of Out-of-Body Experiences, doomsday predictions for 2012, the importance of vaccination, and many other topics.
Please CLICK HERE
to read an excellent article about the conference by LaRae Meadows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In addition to being exceptionally well written, Meadows' article contains brief descriptions of each speaker and break-out session, links to more information on the speakers themselves.
Keep your eyes peeled for details about next year's SkeptiCal Conference
, and we hope to see you there!
On Wednesday, November 9th, 2011, we were treated to an excellent talk entitled “End of the World Predictions” by Dr. Patrick O’Reilly, psychology professor from U.C. San Francisco.Patrick O'Reilly
Dr. O'Reilly delivered a detailed and interesting one-hour talk about the phenomenon of predicting the end of the world, some religiously motivated, some not. This talk was particularly timely, you'll note, since the popular media has become so interested lately in feeding us stories about such predictions.
O’Reilly's lecture began by focusing on religiously based end-of-world predictions. He provided some basic terminology which also helped explain some historical and theological facts necessary to understand those who make end-of-world predictions. Paramount to this effort was his definition of Christian Eschatology, a branch of Christianity concerned with the final events in the history of the world, or of humankind. This involves the Second Coming of Jesus, the resurrection