Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong

Book - 2017
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Why do we catch colds? What causes seasons to change? And if you fire a bullet from a gun and drop one from your hand, which bullet hits the ground first? In a pinch we almost always get these questions wrong. Worse, we regularly misconstrue fundamental qualities of the world around us. In Scienceblind, cognitive and developmental psychologist Andrew Shtulman shows that the root of our misconceptions lies in the theories about the world we develop as children. They're not only wrong, they close our minds to ideas inconsistent with them, making us unable to learn science later in life. So how do we get the world right? We must dismantle our intuitive theories and rebuild our knowledge from its foundations. The reward won't just be a truer picture of the world, but clearer solutions to many controversies that plague our politics today.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Basic Books, [2017]
ISBN: 9780465053940
Branch Call Number: 501 SHT
Characteristics: viii, 311 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Science blind


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Nov 15, 2018

I highly recommend this book to elementary teachers who want to be better science teachers. It would also be a great reference for parents of elementary-age children. It certainly gave me an appreciation of those areas of science which I understand best and which I am still thinking about intuitively.

Nov 14, 2017

The introduction is promising, starting with the problem of people buying unpasteurized milk, thinking it's healthier, despite the fact that they are subjecting themselves to the risk of serious illness. The book is mostly about misconceptions of children, and not enough abut how those misconceptions result in bad decisions by adults. Vaccine aversion was only addressed, and not very thoroughly, on the last two pages of the book, and many other misconceptions not at all. If you're interested in child psychology, this is a good book, but for me, looking for how these translate to adult mistakes, it was a disappointment.

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