Saturday 16 September 2006

Practical applications of understanding naive biology

Naive biology is set of concepts and cognitive processes that help us understand biological phenomena. A new article sums up the evidence showing that naive biology is a specific domain and, interestingly, suggests some practical applications.


The face of the thinker

The hindsight bias is the tendency to say after an event happened that “we knew it all along”, that it’s not really surprising. This is a bias because when asked before the event, we wouldn’t have predicted it, but after it happened we think we would have (and because it can be quite irritating). A paper has just come out in Current Directions in Psychological Science that reviews the role of metacognitive thoughts and feeling in this phenomenon, and among the effects mentioned one is quite surprising: people asked to make the face we make when engaged in deep thinking were actually more doubtful towards their answers, as if they had had to think hard to come out with them. Explanation of the experiment.


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