Monday, December 3, 2012

Fraud Detectives!

This blog post and video about "The Legendary Dr. Fox Lecture" got me thinking about the general topic of fraud detection, and how it might be used in an intro psych class.

The Legendary Dr Fox Lecture - Footage Found!

In this demonstration, an actor effectively "fools" a group of medical experts into thinking that he is also a medical expert and maintains the facade over an hour long talk. He based this deception on one scientific american article and one day of preparation.

Much of what we teach in psychology can be helpful when detecting fraud: research methodology, statistical reasoning, compliance techniques, etc. Fraud detection tasks could be great "project based learning" activities: students could find claims of truth and act as "fraud detectives," using all their skills and knowledge to try to test claims of truth, and labeling the psych. concepts they are using along the way.

This Dr. Fox lecture might also be useful when discussing change blindness. There are so many great video examples of change blindness available, and some students start to generalize this very powerful phenomenon to just about every example of errors in perception. The Dr. Fox lecture can be a "test case" - is it an example of change blindness or not?

posted by Rob McEntarffer

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