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Talking Point and Summary: Week 6

It has been a huge pleasure for me to have been part of this online course.

It has been a huge pleasure for me to have been part of this online course. I hope I have been able to help you look at your own mind differently, take a different perspective on the people around you, and at least begin to wonder about some of the possible implications for society and politics.

You will, I am sure, have picked up something of the sense of controversy and excitement in the behavioural sciences. There are so many fascinating findings, exciting ideas, but, as one might suspect, the data and theories also contain their share of inconsistencies and puzzles. Psychology certainly is not physics!

The project of understanding our minds, our culture and our society is one of the most exciting adventures that we can engage in and, as human beings, we are inevitably struggling to understand ourselves, each other and the society we live in. ’The Mind is Flat’ does not, of course, give you all the answers; indeed, in psychology, there are very few universally agreed answers on just about anything. But I hope this course has provided an interesting and challenging perspective, and provides a useful stimulus for you to continue thinking about minds, language, society, and how to make the world better place (if we can quite decide what that means!).

In this video, I talk with Jess about the common themes of the sixth week. Jess has also summarised the week’s themes here.

Week 6 Experiment

In this week’s experiment we are going to look at your judgements of the art market, can you tell a masterpiece from a monstrosity?

Week 6 experiment

This experiment ran in 2013 and, now that the results have been processed, the website is no longer maintained, so may not be fully accessible or current and technical support is not available. Participants are encouraged to try the experiment in order to test this week’s theories in practice and see how their results compare with the overall findings. However, participation in the experiments is not essential to the learning outcomes of the course.

Talking Point

Before we close this final week we’d be really interested to know how you found the course, so please leave a comment or share some part of your experience so far in the discussion below:

  • What is a ‘good’ society?
  • Were your answers in the experiment, about the art you like, influenced by the rating of other people? Did you say you liked something, when you really didn’t, just because other people said they liked it?
  • Do you understand the concept of a ‘flat’ mind now?

Now we’ve finished, let’s go back to your answers for the question “on a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you now subscribe to the idea of a ‘flat’ mind?” What has been the change, in any direction, to your answers in either your understanding or appreciation of the idea or concept of a flat mind?

End of the Course

We hope that you have enjoyed this course and that it has helped to inform and stimulate your thinking about the concepts of human behaviour and decision making.

Nick

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The Mind is Flat: The Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology

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