Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Subscribe now for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Is Empiricism Innate? Preference for Nurture Over Nature in People’s Beliefs About the Origins of Human Knowledge

Is Empiricism Innate? Preference for Nurture Over Nature in People’s Beliefs About the Origins of... The origins of human knowledge are an enduring puzzle: what parts of what we know require learning, and what depends on intrinsic structure? Although the nature-nurture debate has been a central question for millennia and has inspired much contemporary research in psychology and neuroscience, it remains unknown whether people share intuitive, prescientific theories about the answer. Here we report that people (N = 1,188) explain fundamental perceptual and cognitive abilities by appeal to learning and instruction, rather than genes or innateness, even for abilities documented in the first days of life. U.S. adults, adults from a culture with a belief in reincarnation, children, and professional scientists—including psychologists and neuroscientists, all believed these basic abilities emerge significantly later than they actually do, and ascribed them to nurture over nature. These findings implicate a widespread intuitive empiricist theory about the human mind, present from early in life. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Open Mind MIT Press

Is Empiricism Innate? Preference for Nurture Over Nature in People’s Beliefs About the Origins of Human Knowledge

Open Mind , Volume 3: 12 – Sep 1, 2019

Loading next page...
 
/lp/mit-press/is-empiricism-innate-preference-for-nurture-over-nature-in-people-s-BZXfzmQAlh

References

References for this paper are not available at this time. We will be adding them shortly, thank you for your patience.

Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2019 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
eISSN
2470-2986
DOI
10.1162/opmi_a_00028
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The origins of human knowledge are an enduring puzzle: what parts of what we know require learning, and what depends on intrinsic structure? Although the nature-nurture debate has been a central question for millennia and has inspired much contemporary research in psychology and neuroscience, it remains unknown whether people share intuitive, prescientific theories about the answer. Here we report that people (N = 1,188) explain fundamental perceptual and cognitive abilities by appeal to learning and instruction, rather than genes or innateness, even for abilities documented in the first days of life. U.S. adults, adults from a culture with a belief in reincarnation, children, and professional scientists—including psychologists and neuroscientists, all believed these basic abilities emerge significantly later than they actually do, and ascribed them to nurture over nature. These findings implicate a widespread intuitive empiricist theory about the human mind, present from early in life.

Journal

Open MindMIT Press

Published: Sep 1, 2019

References