W.E.I.R.D.

“Western, educated, industrialized, rich und democratic,” biases ethnologists are trying to counteract in the interdisciplinary kulturvergleichende Kognitionsforschung, culture-comparative cognitive research. They recently met for an interesting conference in Bielefeld on “cultural variety in causal thinking.”

The F.A.Z. summarized a few of the presentations in its article “Difficult causality” (24 Apr 2013). One interesting point about what they said is a current trend in the field of thinking about children as “little scientists” exploring the world is yet another thing kids have in common with adults:

“Children, just like scientists and consumers, get most of what they know not from their own experience but from other people. [When deciding whom to believe], they orient themselves based on the skills/knowledge of the information source but also on their personal relationship to the source and how it all fits in with what the children already know.”

–Dave Sobel, Brown University

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