About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2530-2537
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain


V. Cavojova, E. Ballova Mikuskova

Constantine the Philosopher University, Faculty of Education (SLOVAKIA)
Recently, the new tripartite model of cognitive processing (Stanovich, 2011) came into the center of attention of many researchers in the field of judgement and decision making. It introduced an expanded taxonomy of thinking error types. From this framework it follows that suboptimal reasoning (and thus implications for rational behavior of people) can be caused either by three general types of errors:
(1) dysfunctional autonomous system,
(2) tendency to miserly processing, or
(3) so called mindware problems.

In this paper, we focus on the third of problems: problems connected with gaps in our mindware (we can recognize that we need reasoning for solution of problems, but we lack the skills and knowledge, e.g. probabilistic reasoning) or our mindware is contaminated (it contains parasitic beliefs). Contaminated mindware, according to Stanovich (2011), means that not all our mindware (our beliefs, knowledge, etc.) is actually helpful – either to goal attainment or to the epistemic accuracy. In fact, some acquired mindware can be the direct cause of irrational actions that impede our goals.

The errors connected with mindware problems (either mindware gaps or contaminated mindware) are not correlated with intelligence. Even though, it is possible to expect that more intelligent people would acquire more mindware of any kind based on their better learning abilities, it is also true, that much knowledge relevant to rational thinking (and many thinking dispositions) are picked up later in life and also higher learning abilities do not preclude otherwise intelligent people to pick up wrong mindware” – i.e. one causing irrationality. Among such parasitic beliefs contaminating our hardware belong for example Holocaust denial, anti-vaccination movement, many esoteric beliefs and conspiration theories, which actually require some level of intelligence, because they can be quite complex.

Mindware problems are connected with acquired knowledge, so it means that they can be fixed by proper education. However, explicit teaching of this mindware is not uniform in the school curriculum at any level (Stanovich, 2011). Because principles are taught very inconsistently, if at all, some intelligent people may fail to learn these important aspects of critical thinking. As our current on-going research showed (Čavojová, Ballová Mikušková, Hanák, 2013), the future teachers are not even very motivated to think rationally. One of the possible reasons, however, can be that Master Rationality Motive Scale (Stanovich 2011), which was used in the study, is rather general and abstract. Therefore, in this paper we present outline for development of specific measure for contaminated mindware, which would be perhaps better at identifying people inclining toward irrational beliefs.

Such measure would be especially useful and needed for education of future teachers, who are going to be responsible for future education of next generation. Our aim is to highlight the need for addressing and teaching rationality (not only) of future teachers, but the first step is to devise proper instrument identifying the weak spots of students.
author = {Cavojova, V. and Ballova Mikuskova, E.},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2530-2537}}
AU - V. Cavojova AU - E. Ballova Mikuskova
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 2530
EP - 2537
ER -
V. Cavojova, E. Ballova Mikuskova (2014) DEVELOPING CONTAMINATED MINDWARE MEASURE, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 2530-2537.