The Scientific Method Of The Mind: What Sherlock Holmes can teach us about decision making

24th Jan 2013; 13:00

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RSA Thursday

When we think of the scientific method, we imagine an experimenter in his laboratory following a series of steps that runs something like this: make some observations about a phenomenon; create a hypothesis to explain those observations; design an experiment to test the hypothesis; run the experiment; see if the results match your expectations; rework your hypothesis if you must; lather, rinse, and repeat. Simple seeming enough.

But how can we go beyond that? Can we train our minds to work like that automatically, all the time, through a mindful, present approach to our everyday thinking and decision making?

Sherlock Holmes teaches us to do not only that, but to go a step beyond: by using his methodology and applying the mindfulness that has come to characterise the scientific method to our lives, we can learn to optimise not only our own everyday existence but our broader contributions to society and the lives of those around us.

Speaker: Maria Konnikova, author and columnist

Chair: Vikki Heywood CBE, RSA Chair

See what people said on Twitter: #RSAmind

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