Jamie Hale

Jamie Hale

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

You've Been Bamboozled!

Being bamboozled is synonymous with being duped, tricked, fooled, deceived, etc.   Everyone has been bamboozled and will probably continue to be bamboozled on occasion.  There is no foolproof way to avoid it.  However, learning to think scientifically, rationally, statistically, and accepting the fact that everyone is susceptible to cognitive errors may lessen the tendency to be bamboozled.      

This is the first in a series of articles highlighting popular examples of bamboozlement.   You have been bamboozled if you believe:
That low carb diets are superior to All other diets
Low carb diet enthusiasts claim their diet is supreme to other methods. They claim their diet offers a metabolic advantage-"metabolic advantages that will allow overweight individuals to eat as many or more calories as they were eating before starting the diet yet still lose pounds and inches" (Atkins, 1992). In addition, advocates claim overproduction of insulin, stimulated by high CHO intake, is the cause of obesity. Other claims include: low carb diets result in weight loss, fat loss, improved body comp, and improved health. Simply put, low carb dieting is superior to other forms of dieting, according to many low carb advocates.

Low carb diets have been shown to improve the conditions previously mentioned, but isn’t it true other diets offer some of the same benefits? And in some cases aren't low carb diets successful due to calorie manipulation and not some metabolic advantage? Or are low carb diets simply the way to go across the board
Low carbs and weight loss

Studies consistently show that weight loss is primarily determined by caloric intake, not diet composition (Hill et al.,1993)

In all cases, individuals on high-fat, low-CHO diets lose weight because they consume fewer calories (Freedman et al. 2001)....
Homeopathy is a real medical treatment
Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, developed homeopathy in the late eighteenth century. He did so because of his dissatisfaction with the conventional medicine of his time.

Hahnemann suggested two key principles. First, he asserted that “like cures like.” In other words, a substance that produces certain symptoms in a healthy person can be used to cure similar symptoms in a sick person. Second, he claimed that very small doses of a remedy would be effective. Hahnemann diluted the remedies in a process he named potentization. He would take an original natural substance and dilute it numerous times. Between each dilution, he would shake the remedy. Shaking supposedly released the cure’s healing energy....
Homeopathy: Less is More

When making decisions trust intuitive thinking
Intuition has its place in the world. But believing it is a reliable cognitive device in most situations that we should trust more often than not is sure to get you into trouble. Relying more often on intuition instead of reasoning is not something that I believe is supported by our current psychological understanding and research.