Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We Don't Know What We Think We Know

Imbedded in the cultural DNA of America is the idea of the individual. Whether it’s the Horatio Alger story, or Gary Cooper taking on the bad guys in High Noon or the current President bragging that he alone can fix America's problems.

Nothing can be further from the truth. To carry the movie analogy a step further, Hidden Figures is closer to the real world than Dirty Harry. From the classroom to Silicon Valley we are learning that collaboration and cooperation are what works today.

But there is a reason it’s working. Not just as a trendy social construct, but because we are finding out that knowledge itself is a collaborative process. Not just on the internet or in shared google docs, but because we actually rely on the people around us to know what we think we know.

To expand on this I’m joined by two cognitive scientists who have taken this idea to a new level of understanding. The are Dr. Steven Sloman, a professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown and Dr. Philip Fernbach, a cognitive scientist and professor of marketing at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business. Together they are the authors of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

My conversation with Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman: