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Naïve Physics and Mental Models. Reasoning about devices. Causal Models. Causal models Vosniadou & Brewer Contain causal information Go beyond what we learn May have flaws. Qualitative reasoning. People generally do not reason about quantities

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Causal Models

  • Causal models
    • Vosniadou & Brewer
    • Contain causal information
    • Go beyond what we learn
    • May have flaws
qualitative reasoning
Qualitative reasoning
  • People generally do not reason about quantities
  • Precise distances or specific relations among quanitities
  • We reason qualitatively
    • If one quantity increases, another decreases
    • Boundary conditions
      • Water flow occurs when the level in one container is larger than the level in the other.
na ve physics
Naïve physics
  • What would happen to a ball shot through this pipe?
  • People often respond by assuming curvilinear momentum
    • McCloskey and Proffitt
  • Even happens if they carry out an action.
other areas of na ve physics
Other areas of naïve physics
  • Reasoning about collisions
  • Piagetian Water Level Problem
  • Reasoning about movement
    • Importance of embodiment in judging distances
    • Visual information is not enough
    • Vestibular information needed for rotation
why do we err
Why do we err?
  • Our naïve physics matches our observations
    • The world has friction, and so there are unseen forces that act in opposition to seen forces
    • Our naïve physics is often accurate for things we can do with our bodies
      • Only when we create larger machines do the differences become important.
  • Should not be a surprise
    • Newtonian physics is only a few hundred years old
    • Aristotelian mechanics is closer to our daily experience