Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Rational Lampoon

by Gary Niederhoff on July 3, 2017

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Rational Lampoon
click to listen!

Two heads may be better than one. But what about three or more? A new study shows that chimpanzees excel at complex tasks when they work in groups, and their accumulated knowledge can even be passed from one generation to the next.

But group-think also can be maladaptive. When humans rely on knowledge that they assume other people possess, they can become less than rational.

Find out why one cognitive scientist says that individual thinking is a myth. Most of your decisions are made in groups, and most derive from emotion, not rationality.

Also, why we know far less than we think we do. For example, most people will say they understand how an everyday object like a zipper works, but draw a blank when asked to explain it.

Plus, why we have a biological drive to categorize people as “us” or “them,” and how we can override it.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Laurance Doyle / Ape Aping
Part 2: Steve Sloman / Collective “Knowledge”
Part 3: Robert Sapolsky / Us vs. Them

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