Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ResearchMethods: Curiosity, Magic and Theory (U2-P2) [VIDS] Sp13

In the previous post I discussed the Critical Thinker's Creed.

Which one of the traits given in the creed is most important?  Open-mindedness? Creativity? Curiosity? Being knowledgeable?

After some careful thought, I'd have to say the key trait in the creed is curiosity.  Without curiosity, the rest don't matter. If we are not curious about how things work, then what place is there for the others?

So, let's explore curiosity a little more by way of magic. Ever watched a magic trick and became curious.  "How'd they do that?"  When you ask yourself this question you are seeking a theory to explain the trick.

Let's define a theory as an explanation of how something works.  How does that trick work?  Why do people do what they do (what's the process)? Why, if you drop a book, it falls to the floor (how exactly does that work)?  Got theory?

Back to the magic show:
To practice your curiosity muscle, check out this Lance Burton magic trick.  Ask yourself, how'd he do that?

Seriously, stop and think about how he did what he did?  What's your theory/explanation? Figure out some detail.  Write down your explanation.  Draw a diagram.

Did you think it through very carefully?  Go back, if not, and theorize.

And, only once you've carefully thought about a possible explanation, then check out the next video. This is a video that I put together to explain the trick. Or maybe it was real magic?  That's a theory, too.

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