Curious Minds: Innovation in Life and Work
About This Show
Learn from inspiring innovators who are rethinking life and work in a changing world. Each week, Gayle Allen discovers how these entrepreneurs, writers, scientists and inventors, achieve their most fascinating and inspiring breakthroughs. Have fun taking a peek into their Curious Minds!
Most Recent Episode
CM 087: Steven Sloman on the Knowledge Illusion
Few of us realize how dependent we are on the people and objects around us for our knowledge. But Steven Sloman does.
He reveals that we are constantly accessing expertise stored in our communities, our technologies, and in our environment. In fact, research reveals that many of us adopt positions on issues like climate change and health care from certain experts, without even realizing it. These findings have enormous implications for our increasingly polarized society, including the fact that educating people about issues is probably not the most effective way to change their minds.
Steven Sloman is co-author of the book, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. He is a Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Cognition. His work has been featured in publications like the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and the Wall Street Journal.
In this interview we discuss:
The fact that we tend to think we understand how things work better than we actually do
How we fail to distinguish what we know from what others know
How complexity prevents us from understanding many of the things we think we do
The fact that knowledge must be collective to offset all the complexity in our lives
When we want to understand how the government or our car works, we figure out enough causal structure to solve our problems
What the deliberative mind is good at, which is coming to causal conclusions
How deliberation depends on a community of knowledge and connects us to other people
The unique ability of human beings to share intentionality, that is, to engage in tasks with other people
The limitations of understanding that comes from someone else
How understanding is contagious and community based
Much of our understanding comes from having access to knowledge rathe