Your brain is logically illogical and can be easily fooled.
According to Lack and Rousseau, ‘we often act and think in an understandable but irrational manner— what we are calling “logically illogical”’ (2016, p.72).
In their book, Critical thinking, science, and pseudoscience: Why we can’t trust our brains, the authors ‘focus on how the human brain, rife with natural biases, does not process information in a rational fashion, and the social factors that prevent individuals from gaining an unbiased, critical perspective on information’.
So how do you make logical, rational decisions under these conditions? Well, according to the authors, the answer is critical thinking.
But critical thinking can be difficult to engage in. Lack and Rousseau explore ‘the psychological and social reasons why people are drawn to and find credence in extraordinary claims.
‘From alien abductions and psychic phenomena to strange creatures and unsupported alternative medical treatments, the text uses examples from a wide range of pseudoscience fields and brings evidence from diverse disciplines to critically examine these erroneous claims’.
Written by a psychologist and a philosopher, this book describes ‘what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to learn and apply skills using scientific methods–that promote it’.
It will help you strengthen your ‘skills in reasoning and debate, become intelligent consumers of research, and make well-informed choices as citizens’.
Critical thinking, science, and pseudoscience: Why we can’t trust our brains is available online in the Proquest EBook Central database. Griffith University has unlimited access to this eBook.
Our librarians have a wealth of knowledge. They use that knowledge to provide support to students and staff for research, referencing, academic writing, strategies for getting published, and much more…
But beyond that, there’s another thing which they know well. Books. So we asked them a simple question: what book would they recommend you read?
Here’s what they had to say:
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Recommended by Cherie Basile, Arts, Education & Law Librarian
I found it so beautiful when I was first reading it that I did not want to ever finish it. I can remember rationing myself to only one chapter per night as I got closer to the end. It only has 91 pages and the chapters are only a few pages each long, so that was a hard thing to do, but I just wanted it to last forever. I would wish a book like that for everyone.
The Tomorrow series – John Marsden
Recommended by Rhiannon Reid, Library Services Team Member
One of the best book series I have ever read, I re-read repeatedly as a student. The Tomorrow series taught me about courage, friendship…and camping. But mostly the first two things. For students who are moving towards independence and self-sufficiency, I cannot recommend these books more highly.
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
Recommended by Anie Woskanian, Library Services Team Member
This is one of my favourite books. I think every student needs to escape reality now and then. This book offers just that!
The Talisman – Stephen King and Peter Straub & The Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
Recommended by Stephanie Ferguson, Library Services Team Member
It’s a toss up between these two. I think Harry Potter as a whole series was amazing and my husband and I read it to our children as they were growing up….until they could read it for themselves. The Talisman has so many layers and interesting characters it was hard to put down.
The Design of Everyday Things – Donald Norman
Recommended by Suzanne Bailey, Resource Discovery Specialist
Have you ever stood in front of a microwave, pausing to think, because you were not sure how to open it. After reading this book you will never look at any object (or interface) the same. Norman points out the obvious – things I took for granted and made me think about everything in a new light. The next time you fumble with a door, a tap or your mobile device, you will think back to the lessons of the book and question everything.
Elvis Presley: Unseen Archives – Marie Clayton
Recommended by Rhonda Nothling, Library Services Team Member
This is one of the best Elvis books out there, and Elvis is the King so everyone must read this book!
The First 90 Days : Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels – Michael Watkins
Recommended by Maureen Sullivan, Director of Library and Learning Services
The book is particularly relevant as the University focuses on employability and soft skills necessary to be successful in the workplace. It’s a great, short, easy to digest primer on negotiating and surviving those early weeks in any new position but especially one with supervision or management responsibilities.
Gain easy marks for your assignment by including a comprehensive reference list.
You just need to follow referencing guidelines (okay, so maybe it’s not so easy) and cite a variety of pertinent academic sources, like books, encyclopedias, journal articles, conference papers, and websites.
Remember to check your assignment criteria sheet to see what your lecturer is after and to determine what marks are up for grabs. Learning Advisers can help you decode the assignment criteria.
But we understand you’re busy, and don’t always have time to head into the library to read physical books.
Did you know that Griffith Library gives you access to online eBook databases? This means if you pull an all-nighter, you can still diversify your reference list.
Don’t limit yourself to online journal articles and websites – access eBooks from the comfort of home. The EBL eBook Library is a great place to start searching for eBooks. You can access it from the library homepage:
- Select Databases
- Type EBL Ebook Library
- Click Search
- Click EBL Ebook Library
- Click EBL (Ebooks Corporation)
Once in the database, you are able to search by topic areas, key words, or create advanced searches.
Ever wanted to Ctrl+F a book? Now you can! The EBL eBook Library gives you the option to keyword search within the book’s contents; super handy for last minute research.
How’s your brain? Is it doing all it possibly can to help you think smarter, become more focused, discover creative approaches and generate ideas?
Or maybe it’s just sitting idly by while your fingers mindlessly type word after word after word of your final assignment. With exams fast approaching, it’s time to get the most out of your gray matter. And we’ve found a book to help.
Brainhack: Tips and Tricks to Unleash Your Brain’s Full Potential (2016) by Nigel Pavitt promises to ‘help you become more productive, more creative and help you see more clearly why you do what you do’.
We read Pavitt’s enlightening section on Thinking Smarter and thought we’d share what we learnt. Here are Pavitt’s three brain hacks to thinking smarter:
1. Make a done list
Pavitt pooh pooh’s To Do Lists. He says they just create stress and anxiety about the work you have to do (or don’t do). Instead, Pavitt recommends making a list of all the things you have achieved. He says ‘a done list of things you have achieved creates positive associations and creates new connections in your brain making you feel more positive about yourself’.
2. Reward upfront
Do you reward yourself when you achieve goals? Maybe it’s a giant Toblerone for getting a distinction on your oral presentation. Well, Pavitt is suggesting you buy the massive 4.5kg chocolate bar before starting work on your oral presentation. And then deny yourself it’s chocolatey goodness when you just miss out on your intended grade. But you won’t, because you’re far more likely to achieve your goal if you have something to lose.
3. Be more musical
Pavitt cites a bunch of studies which prove that music can help your brain to grow. Apparently, ‘Harvard neurologist Gottfried Schlaug found that the brains of adult professional musicians had a larger volume of grey matter than the brains of non –musicians’. And if that isn’t enough to convince you to learn a musical instrument, did you know that Einstein played the violin? We are hoping that kicking back with our favourite Spotify playlist has the same effect. Fingers crossed (and tapping along to rockin’ 90’s tunes).
Brainhack: Tips and Tricks to Unleash Your Brain’s Full Potential is available online in the Books 24×7 database.
Being able to understand body language is almost like reading people’s minds. And wouldn’t we all love to know what others are thinking.
If you want to learn how to use body language to enhance your personal and business relationships, you should read Body Language for Dummies by Elizabeth Kuhnke (2015).
Kuhnke teaches you how to interpret what people really mean by observing their posture, gestures, eye movements, and more. Body Language for Dummies is your guide to decoding body language, and adjusting your own habits to improve your interactions with others.
How do you know if someone is deceiving you? Here are 10 ways to spot a liar (see Chapter 17, ‘Ten ways to spot deception’, Body Language for Dummies).
Fleeting facial expressions
Look for muscular twitches, dilation and contraction of the pupils, flushed cheeks and sweating. Disregard this if your suspected fibber has just returned from running an errand outside in forty degree heat!
Suppressed facial expressions
Lady Gaga sang ‘he can’t read my poker face’. But you can! Concealing an expression or emotion takes effort. Look for narrowed eyes, a tense forehead and twitching lips.
Little or no eye contact
Possible signs of deception include eye rubbing, and an inability to look you in the eye. There’s also a small possibility they just have something in their eye, or you have remnants of lunch stuck between your teeth and they are embarrassed for you.
Covering the face
Do you typically put you hand to your mouth when you tell a porky? So do others.
Touching the nose
‘When someone lies, it releases chemicals called catecholamines, causing the nasal tissues to swell’ says Kuhnke. ‘This is known as the Pinocchio Response because the nose becomes slightly enlarged…’ And this means the storyteller will touch, tug or scratch their schnoz. On the other hand, they could have allergies, a cold or a rogue nose hair…
What are the other five signs of a fibber? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Well, for one, your academic writing will need to be precise, concise and ordered; which is why the library runs a workshop for all researchers on The Editing and Writing Process.
Book into the two-hour session to learn about the systematic rigor required for communicating in a written format for an academic audience. There is a workshop scheduled for next week. Book now!
So you’ve booked into the session, but you want some resources right now… like right this minute! No worries, we have some useful online resources that you may be interested in reading.
Check out the eBook Writing for Academic Journals by Rowena Murray. The book provides practical advice for overcoming common obstacles such as finding a topic, targeting journals, and finding the time to write.
Murray also offers strategies for good academic writing and advice on how to use social media to promote your publications.
Writing for Academic Journals is available as an eBook in the EBL EBook Library. EBL Ebook Library offers eBooks across a broad range of subject areas, such as business, information technology, education, engineering, fine arts and science.
There are also other helpful books on academic writing in the EBL Ebook Library. Take a look!
- Writing For Academic Journals
McGraw Hill Education 2013
This book unravels the process of writing academic papers. It tells readers what good papers look like and how they can be written.
- Scientific Writing: Easy When You Know How
Jennifer Peat et al
This comprehensive and practical book covers the basics of grammar as well as issues such as writing a grant application and selling to your potential audience.
- Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals: Strategies for getting published
Pat Thomson and Barbara Kamler
Taylor and Francis 2012
It’s not easy getting published, but everyone has to do it. Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals presents an insider’s perspective on the secret business of academic publishing, making explicit many of the dilemmas and struggles faced by all writers, but rarely discussed.
Open access is a term that gets used a lot, especially in the academic environment. No doubt you’ve come across it a billion times already.
And there is a reason for that. Open access really just means free and easy access to scholarly work.
We all love free stuff, right? Especially when it’s primo quality and something we can actually use. And scholarly open access publications ticks both those boxes.
The Directory of Open Access Books, an initiative of the AOPEN Foundation, is a listing of peer-reviewed open access eBooks that have been published by commercial publishers and society or university presses.
With titles from publishers such as the Australian National University Press, Springer, de Gruyter, Bloomsbury Academic and Palgrave Macmillan, the DOAB certainly delivers primo content (and did we mention free?).
But we can smell your doubt (we’ve got the nose of a hound). You aren’t convinced it holds anything for you.
Well, being the clever folk that we are, we prepared a little something to tempt you – chocolate crackles. Sorry, only joking! But they would have worked a treat, wouldn’t they?
Instead, we have prepared a list of titles from the database that you might like to have a look at (apologies if you would have preferred chocolate crackles):
- What is Diary Method?
Ruth Bartlett; Christine Milligan
Bloomsbury Academic, 2015
- What is Narrative Research?
Corinne Squire et al
Bloomsbury Academic, 2014
- What is Online Research?
Tristram Hooley et al
Bloomsbury Academic, 2012
- What is Qualitative Interviewing?
Rosalind Edwards and Janet Holland
Bloomsbury Academic, 2013
- What is Qualitative Research?
Martyn Hammersley and John L. Campbell
Bloomsbury Academic, 2012
What are you waiting for? Check out the Directory of Open Access Books today.