Research Topic

Novel Approaches to Teaching Scientific Thinking: Psychological Perspectives

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With unprecedented access to both accurate and inaccurate information, students and the general public must develop thinking tools to distinguish science from non-science or pseudoscience. Anti-vaccination campaigns, questionable claims made by alternative medicine practitioners and New Age therapies are ...

With unprecedented access to both accurate and inaccurate information, students and the general public must develop thinking tools to distinguish science from non-science or pseudoscience. Anti-vaccination campaigns, questionable claims made by alternative medicine practitioners and New Age therapies are just some examples of dubious science that are increasingly pervasive in the public forum.


Numerous students enter their undergraduate and graduate careers with a belief in some form of pseudoscience. Unfortunately, recent research in educational psychology shows that simply teaching research methods and the nature of science alone are rarely sufficient to alter pseudoscientific beliefs. Dispelling pseudoscientific claims can be particularly difficult given that the line between pseudoscience and science is often murky. In addition, individuals’ beliefs in pseudoscience are often value-laden, and as such, can be highly resistant to change.


The aim of this Research Topic falls under two main goals: (1) to explore novel and promising educational strategies to help students and the general public to distinguish science from pseudoscience; and (2) to explore novel and promising strategies to promote broader skills of scientific thinking and scientific skepticism in the classroom and among members of the general public. We welcome original research, reviews, commentaries and perspectives on topics dealing with these issues, with a focus on advancing science education and confronting pseudoscience. In addition, we are especially interested in psychological perspectives on new but empirically supported approaches to teaching skepticism within specific areas of pseudoscience and otherwise unsupported science, such as alternative medicine, paranormal abilities, and questionable therapies.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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