tsuomela + folk-psychology   5

Two Theories of Home Heat Control* - Kempton - 2010 - Cognitive Science - Wiley Online Library
People routinely develop their own theories to explain the world around them. These theories can be useful even when they contradict conventional technical wisdom. Based on in-depth interviews about home heating and thermostat setting behavior, the present study presents two theories people use to understand and adjust their thermostats. The two theories are here called the feedback theory and the valve theory. The valve theory is inconsistent with engineering knowledge, but is estimated to be held by 25% to 50% of Americans. Predictions of each of the theories are compared with the operations normally performed in home heat control. This comparison suggests that the valve theory may be highly functional in normal day-to-day use. Further data is needed on the ways this theory guides behavior in natural environments.
philosophy  psychology  explanation  folk-psychology  science  folk  theory  expertise  laypeople  from delicious
december 2011 by tsuomela
Discerning the Division of Cognitive Labor: An Emerging Understanding of How Knowledge Is Clustered in Other Minds - Keil - 2010 - Cognitive Science - Wiley Online Library
The division of cognitive labor is fundamental to all cultures. Adults have a strong sense of how knowledge is clustered in the world around them and use that sense to access additional information, defer to relevant experts, and ground their own incomplete understandings. One prominent way of clustering knowledge is by disciplines similar to those that comprise the natural and social sciences. Seven studies explored an emerging sense of these discipline-based ways of clustering of knowledge. Even 5-year-olds could cluster knowledge in a manner roughly corresponding to the departments of natural and social sciences in a university, doing so without any explicit awareness of those academic disciplines. But this awareness is fragile early on and competes with other ways of clustering knowledge. Over the next few years, children come to see discipline-based clusters as having a privileged status, one that may be linked to increasingly sophisticated assumptions about essences for natural kinds. Possible mechanisms for this developmental shift are examined.
philosophy  psychology  explanation  folk-psychology  science  folk  theory  expertise  laypeople  understanding  knowledge  division  labor  from delicious
december 2011 by tsuomela
The Feasibility of Folk Science - Keil - 2010 - Cognitive Science - Wiley Online Library
If folk science means individuals having well worked out mechanistic theories of the workings of the world, then it is not feasible. Laypeople’s explanatory understandings are remarkably coarse, full of gaps, and often full of inconsistencies. Even worse, most people overestimate their own understandings. Yet recent views suggest that formal scientists may not be so different. In spite of these limitations, science somehow works and its success offers hope for the feasibility of folk science as well. The success of science arises from the ways in which scientists learn to leverage understandings in other minds and to outsource explanatory work through sophisticated methods of deference and simplification of complex systems. Three studies ask whether analogous processes might be present not only in laypeople but also in young children and thereby form a foundation for supplementing explanatory understandings almost from the start of our first attempts to make sense of the world.
philosophy  psychology  explanation  folk-psychology  science  folk  theory  expertise  laypeople  from delicious
december 2011 by tsuomela
OnFiction: Folk Psychology and Narrative
Daniel Hutto has written Folk psychological narratives (2008) to argue against the idea that we each use a theory-of-mind to understand other people.
psychology  cognition  awareness  other  folk-psychology  mental  model 
april 2009 by tsuomela

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