So, now you know what's on your mind. It's important to open your mind or rather, to keep your mind open. Of course, you already started to use your imagination when conceiving of possible explanations and contrasts but as you are about to learn in the next clip, it's important to remain vigilant, by continuing to use your imagination tirelessly. One of the most famous, slightly enigmatic quotes, by the late Dutch football player, Johan Cruyff is “Elk nadeel heb z'n voordeel.”- Every disadvantage has its advantage. We can readily apply these to abduction. Yes, abduction allows for hypothesis formation, problem solving, and scientific discovery. And hence, it also propels scientific progress. So, abduction is very important. But nevertheless, these are all advantages of a fundamental disadvantage. A disadvantage that all scientists and all scientific disciplines have to deal with, one way or another. That is, theory ladeness of observation. Let me first illustrate theory ladenness of observation, with the ambiguous figures, that most of us know from psychology textbooks. Take for instance, the decor rabbits. Either you interpret the figure as a duck and as a result you do see a duck, or you interpret it as a rabbit and hence you see a rabbit. You can even oscillate between these two interpretations, but you can't see both at the same time, or consider the Rubin's vase. Either you take the two black silhouettes to be the figure, and the white to the ground and then you see two faces looking at one another, or alternatively you take the white as the figure and the black as the ground and then you see a vase. But again, you can't see both at the same time. So, observation requires interpretation and the observer's perspective determines which interpretation is seen. The downside of theory ladeness of observation is that, when we solve problems that are more complex than these ambiguous figures, we have the tendency to stick to one interpretation or hypothesis. Not only overlooking other possible interpretations or hypotheses, but also ignoring data that speak against our preferred view. So basically, theory ladeness of observation, becomes problematic when we get stuck in a single point of view. When we can only adopt one perspective. And when our expectations become biases and when we see our biases confirmed, time after time. Of course, methodologists are well aware of the risks that theory ladeness of observation brings about and they take or at least try to take, apt disciplinary precautions, to lessen the power of effects like the placebo effect, and of biases like the observer bias and the experimenters bias. Think for instance, of double blind studies. Firstly, subjects are randomly assigned to the experimental or to the control group. And they are blinded, that is, they do not know themselves to which group they belong. But secondly, researchers are blinded as well. They do not know either which participants belong to the experimental group and which belong to the control group. Only when the study is over, a third party reveals the key that identifies the subjects and which group they belonged to. But suppose one has to investigate and eventually explain a single event. For instance, an air crash or for that matter a murder. Plenty of dramatic examples of judicial failures illustrate that even with longstanding experience, the best intentions and the best training, investigate this quite easily foul prey to the tendency to jump to conclusions. Their observations gets t-reladent. They pay attention to only one scenario or set of expectations and they overlook or ignore or explain away, the significance of results that are not in line with that scenario, that set of expectations. Fortunately, more and more decision makers not only realize how devastating this pervasive human tendency can be, but also how one can minimize its downsides. That is; by the proliferation of alternatives, by never falling short of using one's imagination to think of competing hypotheses, competing scenarios. The best way to repose theory ladeness of observation, is by deliberately working with several competing hypotheses or scenarios at the same time. And because it's almost impossible for a single research team, let alone for an individual researcher, to carefully attend to more than one hypothesis or scenario, this might very well bring about considerable costs because it necessitates working with several teams that continuously and vigorously contradict one another. However, the gain is considerable. The result is a much more careful problem solving process. The competing and contradicting research teams or researchers keep each other sharp. The previous point generalizes. Many people claim and insist that it's important to be critical and that the major goal of academic training should be, developing the critical thinking skills of the students. Sounds very nice and promising of course, but what does it really mean? Does it mean that one should always, whatever the circumstances are, whatever the context is, apply the highest methodological standards? If only we would be that strict, there would be very little science. For one thing more often than not practical and ethical limitations make it impossible to meet the highest methodological standards. To test the relation between smoking and lung cancer, according to the highest methodological standards, one should start with forcing a random half of a sufficiently big population of human beings, to smoke during many years. And the other random half not to smoke. But ethically, that's of course completely inadmissible. So, critical reasoning in this strict and narrow sense is counter-productive. Fortunately, there is an efficient and effective way to minimize the downsides of theory-Ladenness of observation and to maximize diligence and carefulness in scientific problem solving. And at least, to keep on imagining and working with alternative scenarios during the whole problem solving process. That's why creative reasoning is the best way to reason critically in the broad sense. Scientists should continuously keep themselves and others sharp and focused by not only bearing, but even organizing and provoking contradiction. Now that you understand why it's important to keep your mind open, let's consider carefully how you can do that. Discover how the mind of the universe scientists, do it in assignments two A subsequently, trying to do it yourself in assignment two B. Think of ways to proliferate your alternatives.