Nick Byrd’s Blog

New Talk: Great Minds Do Not Think Alike

I’ll be at the Deep South Philosophy of Neuroscience workshop this weekend. I’m presenting a new, pre-registered study of philosophers. The study replicates findings that less reflective philosophers tended towards certain philosophical views. It also finds that philosophical views are somewhat predicted by culture, education, gender, and personality. Here’s my handout.

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The meaning of ‘statistical significance’ and of p-values

A 2019 paper in the Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science found that most psychology textbooks, instructors, and students misinterpret ‘statistical significance’ and p values. Talk about a headline! More important than the headline, however, are the right interpretations and what we can do to correct widespread misinterpretations. In this post, I explain what the authors’ findings and the three solutions they propose.

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Upon Reflection Podcast, Ep. 3: Not All Who Ponder Count Costs – Reflection & Moral Dilemmas

Welcome to the third episode of Upon Reflection, a podcast about what we think as well as how and why we think it.

A screen shot of Nick Byrd and Paul Conway's 2019 paper "Not All Who Ponder Count Costs"

In this podcast, I’ll be reading my paper about moral dilemmas entitled, “Not all who ponder count costs: Arithmetic reflection predicts utilitarian tendencies, but logical reflection predicts both deontological and utilitarian tendencies“. In this paper we find that—contrary to some dual process theories’ claims—consequentialist responses to moral dilemmas may not be more reflective per se, but rather more influenced by mathematical information. As with all of my papers, the free preprint of the paper can be found on my CV at byrdnick.com/cv under “Publications“.

If this sounds like the kind of research that you want to hear more about, you can subscribe to Upon Reflection wherever you find podcasts. You can also find out more about me and my research on Twitter via @byrd_nick, or on Facebook via @byrdnick. If you end up enjoying the Upon Reflection podcast, then feel free to tell people about it, online, in person, or in your ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review.

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Upon Reflection Podcast Ep. 2: What We Can Infer About Implicit Bias

Welcome to the second episode of Upon Reflection, a podcast about what we think as well as how and why we think it.

A screenshot of the first page of the paper "What We Can (And Can't) Infer About Implicit Bias From Debiasing Experiments".

In this podcast, I’ll be reading my paper entitled, “What We Can (And Can’t) Infer About Implicit Bias From Debiasing Experiments“. I argue that implicit bias is not entirely unconscious or involuntary, but it probably is associative. As with all of my papers, the free preprint of the paper can be found on my CV at byrdnick.com/cv under “Publications“.

If this sounds like the kind of research that you want to hear more about, you can subscribe to Upon Reflection wherever you find podcasts. You can also find out more about me and my research on Twitter via @byrd_nick, or on Facebook via @byrdnick. If you end up enjoying the Upon Reflection podcast, then feel free to tell people about it, online, in person, or in your ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review.

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Episode 1 of The Upon Reflection Podcast

Welcome to the first, introductory episode of Upon Reflection, a podcast about the philosophy of cognitive science and the cognitive science of philosophy.

The Upon Reflection podcast image: the thinker statue next to a fMRI image of the thinker statue.

In this podcast I’ll be sharing my own and others’ research with you. For instance, I’ll talk about the differences between intuition and reflection and how intuitive reasoning predicts different philosophical beliefs than reflective reasoning. I’ll also discuss topics like implicit bias and how—contrary to what you may have heard—implicit bias may not be entirely unconscious and involuntary. Of course, cognitive science is an interdisciplinary research community. So there will be much more to talk about.

If this sounds like the kind of research that you want to hear more about, you can subscribe to Upon Reflection wherever you find podcasts. You can also find out more about me and my research at @byrd_nick on Twitter, or @byrdnick on Facebook. If you end up enjoying the Upon Reflection podcast, then feel free to tell people about it, online, in person, or in your ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review.

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Introduction to Philosophy: A Free Course


Below are the syllabus and materials for my Introduction to Philosophy course. You are welcome to use any of the material as a student or as an instructor. The usual creative commons license applies to my portion of this—i.e., only the stuff to which I would have a copyright. (If you are my student, remember that you can be quizzed on the contents of the syllabus.)

I. Introduction to Philosophy

Did you know that people who study philosophy make significantly fewer reasoning errors than others? (See Livengood et al 2010 and Byrd 2014). And did you know that philosophy majors outperform basically everyone else on the GRE? And did you know that the median mid-career salary for people who major in philosophy is $81,000? And did you know that philosophy majors were projected to be the top-paid humanities major in 2016? Find out more about philosophy majors here. And if you’ve never taken a philosophy class, you might want to read this 3-4 page intro. Continue reading Introduction to Philosophy: A Free Course

Working Retreats: 3 Productivity Tips?

I recently signed up for and attended a writing retreat. I got a lot of writing done even though I was essentially doing the same thing that I always do: sit at a desk and try to write my papers—I didn’t even talk to anyone, really. I was puzzled about why a group working retreat could be more productive for someone than working on their own. As I thought about it, I came up with three hypotheses based on research on precommitment, scheduling, and work environment. I shared and explained them on Twitter (see below).

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