Re: Henson on the Nazi meme

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Mon 28 Mar 2005 - 12:06:18 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Henson on the Nazi meme"

    --- Keith Henson <> wrote:

    > At 01:18 PM 27/03/05 -0800, you wrote:
    > >Dear Keith,
    > >
    > >>For at least ten years I though a worthwhile
    > research project would
    > >>to find the kids who were in that class and
    > interview them and a
    > >>control group to see if the experience changed the
    > course of their
    > >>lives. Now I am not so sure you would find
    > anything useful by
    > >>groping in the dark without a theory to guide such
    > an investigation.
    > >
    > >Jones taught only 1/3 of the Contemporary History
    > classes that year. The
    > >other classes could provide comparisons.
    > While that's true, I had rather use the same class
    > from a nearby high
    > school such as Palo Alto as a control because the
    > kids at Cubberly were
    > exposed to the school newspaper story.
    > >But, as you suggest, a hypothesis testing approach
    > seems unlikely to
    > >produce much of value.
    > Especially when you don't have a theory about what
    > happened. :-)
    > >Case study methodology seems more appropriate. :-)
    > True.
    > The question I used to think was important was to
    > see if the experience
    > made the kids any less likely to be taken advantage
    > of in their adult
    > lives. Because the group was relatively small, it
    > would take really
    > careful study design to get meaningful results.
    > What you would be looking
    > for might be called a "gullibility index."
    > I have known parents who teased children with "tall
    > tales" when they were
    > little. I have often wondered if a family tradition
    > of teasing kids this
    > way led to them building "input filters" that
    > critically examined incoming
    > data--even from their parents. There has been a
    > great deal of noise about
    > teaching critical thinking skills to school children
    > usually at the high
    > school level. That might be *way* too late if this
    > skill is like language
    > acquisition.
    > On the other hand, gullibility might be largely
    > determined by genes. It is
    > certainly easy to come up with evidence supporting
    > either hypothesis.
    > Another thought would be to try this on current
    > school 10th grade students,
    > especially if a bit of study indicated it didn't
    > hurt the Cubberly
    > kids. Would the results be different today? I.e.,
    > was there something
    > different about these kids born in the middle of the
    > baby boom era?
    I think I asked in a previous post about the ethical considrations of such an experiment. If you were a researcher at a university in a psychology department, would this be the sort of research that would pass ethics review? If you said you were going to go to a high school and subject a class to such a manipulation techniques would they ask: "You're going to do what!?" Would a school board, high school prinicipal or local PTA object to such a thing?

    __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon 28 Mar 2005 - 12:23:05 GMT