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dc.contributor.authorBanerjee, Konika
dc.contributor.authorHaque, Omar Sultan
dc.contributor.authorSpelke, Elizabeth S.
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-17T15:21:54Z
dc.date.issued2013
dc.identifier.citationBanerjee, Konika, Omar S. Haque, and Elizabeth S. Spelke. 2013. Melting Lizards and Crying Mailboxes: Children’s Preferential Recall of Minimally Counterintuitive Concepts. Cognitive Science 37, no. 7: 1251–1289.en_US
dc.identifier.issn0364-0213en_US
dc.identifier.issn1551-6709en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11913973
dc.description.abstractPrevious research with adults suggests that a catalog of minimally counterintuitive concepts, which underlies supernatural or religious concepts, may constitute a cognitive optimum and is therefore cognitively encoded and culturally transmitted more successfully than either entirely intuitive concepts or maximally counterintuitive concepts. This study examines whether children's concept recall similarly is sensitive to the degree of conceptual counterintuitiveness (operationalized as a concept's number of ontological domain violations) for items presented in the context of a fictional narrative. Seven- to nine-year-old children who listened to a story including both intuitive and counterintuitive concepts recalled the counterintuitive concepts containing one (Experiment 1) or two (Experiment 2), but not three (Experiment 3), violations of intuitive ontological expectations significantly more and in greater detail than the intuitive concepts, both immediately after hearing the story and 1 week later. We conclude that one or two violations of expectation may be a cognitive optimum for children: They are more inferentially rich and therefore more memorable, whereas three or more violations diminish memorability for target concepts. These results suggest that the cognitive bias for minimally counterintuitive ideas is present and active early in human development, near the start of formal religious instruction. This finding supports a growing literature suggesting that diverse, early-emerging, evolved psychological biases predispose humans to hold and perform religious beliefs and practices whose primary form and content is not derived from arbitrary custom or the social environment alone.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipPsychologyen_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwellen_US
dc.relation.isversionofdoi:10.1111/cogs.12037en_US
dc.relation.hasversionhttp://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~lds/pdfs/Banerjee_2013.pdfen_US
dash.licenseOAP
dc.subjectCounterintuitiveen_US
dc.subjectConceptsen_US
dc.subjectReligionen_US
dc.subjectEvolutionen_US
dc.subjectCultureen_US
dc.subjectMemoryen_US
dc.titleMelting Lizards and Crying Mailboxes: Children's Preferential Recall of Minimally Counterintuitive Conceptsen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
dc.description.versionAccepted Manuscripten_US
dc.relation.journalCognitive Scienceen_US
dash.depositing.authorSpelke, Elizabeth S.
dc.date.available2014-03-17T15:21:54Z
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/cogs.12037*
workflow.legacycommentsFAR 2013en_US
dash.contributor.affiliatedHaque, Omar
dash.contributor.affiliatedBanerjee, Konika
dash.contributor.affiliatedSpelke, Elizabeth
dc.identifier.orcid0000-0002-6925-3618


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