Dysrationalia — if you disagree with me, off with your head

Some quotations from a critique of (an early version of) Stanovich’s theory by Sternberg (1994). Firstly, theory:

“Why do we need a theory? Because we’ve had too many fly-by-night constructs in the abilities business, and we don’t need more of them. We do need serious new constructs — and the way to present them is via a theory […] — and construct validation of that theory.”

What is an irrational belief?

“In the real world, few problems truly lend themselves to the kind of deductive (rational) reasoning we learn in logic classes. The vast majority of problems are inductive, so that arguments can be stronger or weaker, but not logically valid or invalid. I am afraid that Stanovich has fallen into a trap that of labeling people as “dysrational” who have beliefs that he does not accept. And therein lies frightening potential for misuse. And if you disagree with me, off with your head. Here, it’s a joke. Historically, it’s not.”

Reference

Robert J. Sternberg (1994). What If the Construct of Dysrationalia Were an Example of Itself? Educational Researcher, 23, pp. 22-23+27

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