Psychology

Upending our physical theories

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Science  03 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6230, pp. 88-89
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6230.88-g

Learning involves defining and classification, especially when the entities in question might be actual objects, such as a glass of milk or a dove, but could also have an innate property, such as animacy. Griffiths uses the scenario of a magician transforming one type of object into another to elicit judgments about which transformations are more interesting. He finds that the direction of transformation affects these judgments, with greater interest expressed in those that move from less animacy to more; that is, changing a glass of milk into a dove rather than vice versa. This asymmetry may be due to a need to adjust our prior ideas.

Cognition 136, 43 (2015).

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