SkepticismSpeak Your Mind

Speak Your Mind: Skeptical Blindspots

I generally like to think of myself as a skeptical thinker who critically evaluates information that passes my way. However, I’ve definitely been surprised to learn that specific beliefs I held have no real evidence behind them at all. It just happens that those beliefs were in my skeptical blindspot–I never thought to question them!

For example, I always thought that menstrual synchrony between human females was a definitively proven phenomenon. And, I thought, I had the observational evidence to prove it! I’d even heard that the synchrony occurs through pheromonal contact, or something like that.

It didn’t hit me that I’d never thought very deeply about the topic until I read this Science-Based Medicine post by Harriet Hall debunking the same subject. What a weird revelation–of course menstrual synchrony appears to occur by coincidence!

Have you ever realized that a certain topic was in your skeptical blindspot? What was it, and how did you find out? Do you suspect that you still have any skeptical blindspots?

Featured image credit: Ske, Wikimedia Commons.

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Vy is a recent graduate working in a neuroscience lab with children and monkeys. She likes sewing, knitting, lifting weights, and reading in her free time. Especially reading about science!


  1. June 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm —

    I probably have skeptical blindspots, but I’m overall unaware of them.

    What I actually wanted to say was that this episode of Skeptically Speaking has a lot of interesting facts about menstruation in general, and is where I learned that synchrony is not factual.

  2. June 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm —

    I can’t find the link, but on the SGU forums someone posted an article expressing skepticism that there is really any objective difference between dog breed personalities.

    I really have no idea whether there is evidence for such differences or not, but reading it it did occur to me that I had never even questioned it before.

  3. June 14, 2012 at 9:42 am —

    I’d be surprised if I didn’t still have skeptical blindspots. I think I have beliefs that I don’t consciously consider that often, so I have yet to really examine them skeptically. Every so often I’ll say something in a conversation, and then think “Wait is that even true? I need to research this a bit.”

    As much as it might make me feel silly when I realize I’ve been beleiving some BS, finding out what’s true is awesome. 🙂

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