Scott Lilienfeld has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Emory since 1994. He wrote a brilliant article a while back, published in "Observer" Vol.18, No.9 September, 2005. Aimed at fellow teachers of psychology, he lays out some desperately needed groundwork.
Lilienfeld's focus is teaching his psychology students how to distinguish science from pseudoscience in a methodical fashion. Once learned, I daresay, these are skills would benefit literally every individual in the public.
Stories of his experiences in class kick off the article and show why these skills are much needed.
The beef of the article is also the title of the article:
"The 10 Commandments of Helping Students Distinguish Science from Pseudoscience in Psychology"
Read the actual article for an eloquent paragraph on each of these commandments.
Thou shalt delineate the features that distinguish science from pseudoscience.
Thou shalt distinguish skepticism from cynicism.
Thou shalt distinguish methodological skepticism from philosophical skepticism.
Thou shalt distinguish pseudoscientific claims from claims that are merely false.
Thou shalt distinguish science from scientists.
Thou shalt explain the cognitive underpinnings of pseudoscientific beliefs.
Thou shalt remember that pseudoscientific beliefs serve important motivational functions.
Thou shalt expose students to examples of good science as well as to examples of pseudoscience.
Thou shalt be consistent in one’s intellectual standards.
Thou shalt distinguish pseudoscientific claims from purely metaphysical religious claims.
Association for Phychological Science on Lilienfeld: "Much of your current work focuses on revisiting old controversies in the field of psychology and debunking commonly believed myths."
My overview pales in comparison to the actual article, which you can find here.
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