Data Analysis & Statistics: 3 Approaches For Beginners and DIYers

One of the questions I get a lot these days is, “How can I learn data analysis without actually taking a statistics course?” In this post, I will relay my answers to that question.

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Debiasing in Administration, Advising, & Teaching

I recently published a paper about implicit bias and debiasing. The paper argues that implicit bias is probably associative, but that debiasing is not fully unconscious or involuntary. As with all of my papers, you can find the free preprint of the paper on my CV. Anyway, while I was working on that paper, it occurred to me that my views about implicit bias and debiasing had implications for institutions like universities. Specifically, my views implied that it should be relatively easy for education administrators, advisors, and teachers to incorporate debiasing into what they do. I tested my prediction in my own classroom and the results were promising. Nonetheless, I wanted to hear my colleagues’ ideas about debiasing. So, I created a workshop about it. In this post, I’ll share the materials for the workshop. If your employer or your organization would like me to host this workshop, they can contact me.

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New Paper: What We Can (And Can’t) Infer About Implicit Bias From Debiasing Experiments


Synthese has just published one of my papers on implicit bias. As with all of my papers, you can find a link to the free preprint on my CV: byrdnick.com/cv. The final, corrected, and typeset version is on Synthese’s website. In this post, you will find a non-technical overview of the paper’s main point and then the TLDR explainer.

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Unconscious Intentions Do Not Undermine Free Will


Some have said that free will is an illusion (e.g., Wegner, 2002). And some free will skeptics base their claims on evidence that experimenters can predict our decisions before we are aware of making the decision or forming an intention. This leap from pre-decision prediction to free will skepticism seems intuitive at first. Upon reflection, however, it seems odd. In this post, I’ll explain.

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Multi-disciplinary Philosophy PhD Programs


One of my favorite researchers is Chandra Sripada. Sripada is a professor of both philosophy and psychiatry. My research also crosses the humanities-science divide(s). So, I often wonder how to replicate a multi-disciplinary career like Sripada’s. A look at Sripada’s CV reveals a career path involving multiple advanced degrees, internships/residencies, etc. If you are like me, then you (or your partner) might want a more efficient path to a career. In this post, I share advice about how to obtain multi-disciplinary training from philosophy graduate programs. Continue reading Multi-disciplinary Philosophy PhD Programs

On Inferring Mechanisms In Cognitive Science


One of the things that cognitive scientists do is look for, identify, and describe mechanisms. For example, cognitive scientists are interested in our ability (or proclivity) to ascribe mental states to others things and creatures. So, some posit a “theory of mind” mechanism. But, intuitively, there will not be a mechanism for every one of our abilities or behaviors. For example, it would be surprising if there were mechanism for driving a car. But if that is right, then we need principled reasons to think so. Or, at the very least, we need a story about why some of our abilities have mechanisms and others don’t. In this post, I’ll briefly consider four such stories. One of the take-aways will be that it is not obvious why some abilities (like driving a car) do not have mechanisms. Another take-away will be that it is not obvious what scientists mean by ‘mechanism’. Continue reading On Inferring Mechanisms In Cognitive Science

The Institute of Art and Ideas Podcast: Europe’s (Superior) Answer to TED


I first learned about the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI) a few years ago. I was watching one of the IAI’s debates about the limits of logic. The discussion was long form, but structured. And it included perspectives from multiple areas of expertise. For those reasons alone, the IAI had my attention. After all, you don’t typically get all that from American alternatives like TED or Talks at Google. In this post, I want to introduce the uninitiated to the IAI podcast by highlighting two of my favorite episodes. Continue reading The Institute of Art and Ideas Podcast: Europe’s (Superior) Answer to TED