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Thread: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ?

  1. #1 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Do you think that there's some science in our day-to-day common sense experience ?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    You mean if there is science in our every day observations? I guess.... yes, in a way, it's science. A mixture of neurology & psychology I'd say


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  4. #3 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepthought
    Do you think that there's some science in our day-to-day common sense experience ?
    No. Not really. "Common sense" as you mean is rarely accurate.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  5. #4 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepthought
    Do you think that there's some science in our day-to-day common sense experience ?
    Of course there is. Thats why it is called sense.

    I know one study by Milgram which proves it. He wanted to refute the predjudice that people in countryside are far more friendly than people in big cities. He asked several his students to knock on a door and ask to make a phone call. And in countryside they were let in in 80% of cases while in big cities only in 20%. What Milgram believed to be bigoted opinion turned out to be a scientific fact. I believe that many more prejudices are in fact true. Alas this Milgram's study is far less known than his other experiments.
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  6. #5 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by deepthought
    Do you think that there's some science in our day-to-day common sense experience ?
    Of course there is. Thats why it is called sense.

    I know one study by Milgram which proves it. He wanted to refute the predjudice that people in countryside are far more friendly than people in big cities. He asked several his students to knock on a door and ask to make a phone call. And in countryside they were let in in 80% of cases while in big cities only in 20%. What Milgram believed to be bigoted opinion turned out to be a scientific fact. I believe that many more prejudices are in fact true. Alas this Milgram's study is far less known than his other experiments.
    Uncontrolled experiments and anecdotes do not a scientific fact make.
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  7. #6 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Uncontrolled experiments and anecdotes do not a scientific fact make.
    You mean that experiments should be controlled to get the right result?
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  8. #7 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepthought
    Do you think that there's some science in our day-to-day common sense experience ?
    No.
    Common sense is usually more based in intuition than formal logic and empirical data. Often reality is counter intuitive.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  9. #8 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepthought
    Do you think that there's some science in our day-to-day common sense experience ?
    Nice !! Question !!
    and yes, science is definitely related to our common sense, in every aspect i would say. But, its seen in people who think deeply like you or anyone else who understands what i'am trying to say. Thus, deep thinking on some topic leads to creation of thoughtful ideas.
    - What you have said "day-to-day common sense experience". This is often said as "thought experimenting process", and the same is used by many Philosophers, who do the same for describing a subject which is uncommon to us.
    :-D

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    I think there is a direct relation between science and common sense up to a point. Common sense does work, else homo sapiens and most mammals will be extinct.
    Common sense helps us to live, as simple as that. It helps us to handle most physical laws like gravity, hydrodynamics etc....

    Common sense is a sum of accumulated empirical knowledge which I will relate to stochastic laws in science. Most studies now are focusing on stochastic models even if, often, they forget to mention it. Deterministic laws like Newton laws or Dalton relations are, in fact approximations.

    Most people don't admit to live in a stochastic world, they want certainty. So, instead of saying "when you have clouds looking like sheeps, you MAY have bad weather soon" and "Mother in law COULD SOMETIMES be troublesome", they say "Clouds like sheeps are like the mood of mother in law, always from good to worse". This is not a certain law but it works in, let's say, 60-75% of the time. So, it becomes "common sense".

    In other cases, "common sense" can be very wrong. In some places in Africa, they believe that rabbies can be cured with hair of dogs, that urine can cure from a lot of sickness, that the colostrum (first milk) is a poison for new born babies !
    This last case is interesting:
    - Observation: a woman gives birth and immediatly breastfeed her child, the child dies.
    - Deduction: this is the colostrum because it smells strange and it is not like normal milk.

    We have similar stupid belief in Europe or worst in US, for example, the way we see Africa. There is there a sum of "common sense" cliches that are totally wrong and leads to death hundred of thousands of people.

    In summary, for me, common sense is based on observations, like science. It is based on deduction, like science. The problem is that common sense deductions are often not attached to a theory. They are just fact based. And when attached to a theory, common sense becomes deadly.
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  11. #10 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Uncontrolled experiments and anecdotes do not a scientific fact make.
    You mean that experiments should be controlled to get the right result?
    No, a controlled experiment means that a control group was used to help make sure that the variable being examined is actually responsible. Although, in the experiment you mentioned I'd question whether it follows from the data that you are actually measuring friendliness. At best, it just shows that rural residents are more likely to allow strangers into their home, which I would assume is more related to risks of criminal activity in cities rather than friendliness.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_control
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  12. #11 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    No, a controlled experiment means that a control group was used to help make sure that the variable being examined is actually responsible.
    Yes. When they test drugs they give placebo to the control group. What is the relevance to the experiment in question?


    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Although, in the experiment you mentioned I'd question whether it follows from the data that you are actually measuring friendliness. At best, it just shows that rural residents are more likely to allow strangers into their home, which I would assume is more related to risks of criminal activity in cities rather than friendliness.
    Yes. The crime rate may affect friendliness.
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  13. #12 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    No, a controlled experiment means that a control group was used to help make sure that the variable being examined is actually responsible.
    Yes. When they test drugs they give placebo to the control group. What is the relevance to the experiment in question?
    All sorts of things could require being controlled for, who were the people involved, were some of the students women, maybe some of the students in the city simply looked more threatening, weather conditions, financial conditions of the neighbourhood, age distribution of the people questioned, or how the request was made. All sorts of things could have been controlled for to help strengthen the experiment.

    I still question the assumption that letting someone in to use the phone is anyway a serious measure of friendliness, or that friendliness is actually something that can be measured. Are people with different cultural behaviors less friendly, or merely different. I could see this experiment making better claims of measuring trust towards strangers.
    "I almost went to bed
    without remembering
    the four white violets
    I put in the button-hole
    of your green sweater

    and how i kissed you then
    and you kissed me
    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
    - Leonard Cohen
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  14. #13 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    All sorts of things could require being controlled for, who were the people involved, were some of the students women, maybe some of the students in the city simply looked more threatening, weather conditions, financial conditions of the neighbourhood, age distribution of the people questioned, or how the request was made. All sorts of things could have been controlled for to help strengthen the experiment.
    What do you want to say? That Milgram sent a girl to countryside and a boy to the city? Of course, he used same students everywhere. As far as I recall there were 4 of those and for each the percentage of admissions in countriside was lot higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I still question the assumption that letting someone in to use the phone is anyway a serious measure of friendliness, or that friendliness is actually something that can be measured.
    Perhaps you could wait to post untill you envent a better measure?

    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Are people with different cultural behaviors less friendly, or merely different.
    Are the pit bulls more aggressive, or just different? Nonseless illegal in many places
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breed-specific_legislation

    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I could see this experiment making better claims of measuring trust towards strangers.
    Trust towards strangers affects friendlines towards them.
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  15. #14 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    All sorts of things could require being controlled for, who were the people involved, were some of the students women, maybe some of the students in the city simply looked more threatening, weather conditions, financial conditions of the neighbourhood, age distribution of the people questioned, or how the request was made. All sorts of things could have been controlled for to help strengthen the experiment.
    What do you want to say? That Milgram sent a girl to countryside and a boy to the city? Of course, he used same students everywhere. As far as I recall there were 4 of those and for each the percentage of admissions in countriside was lot higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I still question the assumption that letting someone in to use the phone is anyway a serious measure of friendliness, or that friendliness is actually something that can be measured.
    Perhaps you could wait to post untill you envent a better measure?

    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Are people with different cultural behaviors less friendly, or merely different.
    Are the pit bulls more aggressive, or just different? Nonseless illegal in many places
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breed-specific_legislation

    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I could see this experiment making better claims of measuring trust towards strangers.
    Trust towards strangers affects friendlines towards them.
    http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm
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  16. #15 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    And why did you post this link? Is it interesting? The advice he gave to psychology student is obvious. Not wrong, just not ingenious. Such an advice could have been given by another guy
    http://www.thescienceforum.com/Einst...ler-28377t.php
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  17. #16 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    And why did you post this link? Is it interesting? The advice he gave to psychology student is obvious. Not wrong, just not ingenious. Such an advice could have been given by another guy
    http://www.thescienceforum.com/Einst...ler-28377t.php
    The link gives the perspective of one of the best physicists of all time on how science should be approached, and gives a concrete example of how it should not be approached..

    Your invalid comment and comparison with "another guy" is about what I would expect from someone who just doesn't get it -- the type who prompted Feynman to warn against junk science.

    Better read it again. Slowly this time, for comprehension.
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  18. #17 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    What do you want to say? That Milgram sent a girl to countryside and a boy to the city? Of course, he used same students everywhere. As far as I recall there were 4 of those and for each the percentage of admissions in countriside was lot higher.
    No, what I was saying is that there are a number of ways such a study could have been conducted better. Milgram likely didn't intend this to be a serious study.

    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Perhaps you could wait to post untill you envent a better measure?
    Why should I have to do that, my point is that it is not a great way to measure friendliness, the onus to demonstrate how one should measure friendliness is not on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Are the pit bulls more aggressive, or just different? Nonseless illegal in many places
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breed-specific_legislation
    It's not analogous, standards of what is friendly clearly vary between human populations. In much of Asia it is rude to look someone in the eyes while speaking to them, in much of the West it is rude to avoid eye contact when speaking to someone. If we chose eye contact as a measure of friendliness, and sampled a population of recent Laosian immigrants, would this be a fair measure of how friendly they are?

    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Trust towards strangers affects friendlines towards them.
    Towards them perhaps, but how do you demonstrate a causative relationship between the friendliness of the individual in general and this behavior. How do you determine how friendly person A is if they are really friendly to person B but mean to person C, are they less friendly than person D who is only mildly friendly to both B and C, is friendliness additive.

    The conclusion that those in the countryside are friendlier than those in the city doesn't follow from that study even if you accept the value of the data. The only valid conclusion that follows is merely that a randomly chosen individual in a rural area is more likely to let you use their phone.
    "I almost went to bed
    without remembering
    the four white violets
    I put in the button-hole
    of your green sweater

    and how i kissed you then
    and you kissed me
    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
    - Leonard Cohen
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  19. #18 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    The only valid conclusion that follows is merely that a randomly chosen individual in a rural area is more likely to let you use their phone.
    The only valid conclusion is that the individuals actually visited in the particular rural area of the study are more likely to let the specific interviewer that they met use the phone than are the actual individuals visited in the particular urban area.

    I have stopped miles from pavement to help a lady change a tire. Downtown, I have walked past an aggressive drug-dependent panhander asking for money to fix his teeth. Am I more friendly out in the boonies ?
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  20. #19 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    The only valid conclusion that follows is merely that a randomly chosen individual in a rural area is more likely to let you use their phone.
    The only valid conclusion is that the individuals actually visited in the particular rural area of the study are more likely to let the specific interviewer that they met use the phone than are the actual individuals visited in the particular urban area.

    I have stopped miles from pavement to help a lady change a tire. Downtown, I have walked past an aggressive drug-dependent panhander asking for money to fix his teeth. Am I more friendly out in the boonies ?
    well, from the present information, that would be a viable conclusion. Though, personally, I doubt it. It just has to do with the specific people who need help, whether or not they actually need help, and your mood at each individual encounter.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  21. #20 Re: 'Common Sense' knowledge: reliable ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    The link gives the perspective of one of the best physicists of all time on how science should be approached, and gives a concrete example of how it should not be approached..
    Feynman was a theoretical physicist, why what he says should be important in the field of experimental psychology? Fisher was one of the best chess players of all time. Why not quote him?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Your invalid comment and comparison with "another guy" is about what I would expect from someone who just doesn't get it
    I just think that S.T. Coleridge’s hallucinations are far more interesting than Feynman's. And the rest of Feynman's article is no more interesting or insightful.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    -- the type who prompted Feynman to warn against junk science.
    We are not discussing my science, but that of Stanley Milgram. Is his work junk?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Better read it again. Slowly this time, for comprehension.
    That would be senseless. We are uneducated, unintelligent and uncouth. We are not able to learn but are only capable to recite a short collection of ideological dogmas and slogans. We eat with our hands and afterward wipe them with our hair. In contrast, you do possess that advanced instrument of scientific inquiry - the intellect. It allows you to separate facts from bigoted delusions, science from junk, and to comprehend the refined politically correct knowledge.
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