Thinking about the unknown

Harris, Paul L. (2001) Thinking about the unknown. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 5 (11). pp. 494-498. ISSN 1364-6613

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01789-7

Abstract

A long tradition of research suggests that children and adults with no formal education are prone to reason only on the basis of their first-hand experience, and do not encode and reason from novel generalizations supplied by other people. However, recent research reveals that when given simple prompts, even pre-school children can reason from adults’ unfamiliar claims. A radical implication of these findings is that young children arrive at school with a pre-existing capacity for thinking and reasoning about the unknown. The assumption that early learning should be rooted in children's own empirical experience could be mistaken.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:A long tradition of research suggests that children and adults with no formal education are prone to reason only on the basis of their first-hand experience, and do not encode and reason from novel generalizations supplied by other people. However, recent research reveals that when given simple prompts, even pre-school children can reason from adults’ unfamiliar claims. A radical implication of these findings is that young children arrive at school with a pre-existing capacity for thinking and reasoning about the unknown. The assumption that early learning should be rooted in children's own empirical experience could be mistaken.
Keywords:Thinking, Reasoning, Memory, Categorisation, Categorization
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C820 Developmental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:757
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:26 Jun 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:23

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