This course was taught at California State University, Los Angeles during the spring 2012 semester
Excerpt from Syllabus
An introduction to skeptical inquiry as a foundation for drawing sound conclusions about popular claims made about health-related lifestyle practices, practitioners, facilities, products, services, and information portals. Healthy skepticism emphasizes careful consideration of scientific evidence and knowledge, and human susceptibility to deception and misperception.
Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to:
- Discuss the major challenges, considerations, and science-based resources for distinguishing fact from fiction regarding information about health products, services, and practices promoted in the health marketplace.
- Apply key concepts of skeptical inquiry and science-based health care to plan and conduct meaningful descriptive studies concerning the promotion of health products, services, practices, and/or information in the health marketplace.
- Explain why testimonials regarding the effectiveness of health products, services, and practices are not trustworthy even when they are appealing.
- Evaluate quackery as a public health problem and efforts to combat quackery.