Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Folk Models

I am reading a new book and a concept came out that makes a lot of sense. It called Folk Models or Folk Science. "Folk models substitute one big term for another instead of defining the big term by breaking it down into more little ones (in science we call this decomposition, or deconstruction)... Folk models are difficult to prove wrong, because they do not have a definition in terms of smaller components, that are observable in people's real behavior. Folk models may seem glib; they offer popular, but not necessarily helpful, characterizations of difficult phenomena...Folk models easily lead to over generalization...You are not bound to particular definitions, so you may interpret the concepts any way you like." This is from Sidney Dekker from the Lund University in Sweden. It is in his book called "The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error." Dekker is a Professor of Human Factors and Flight Safety, and Director of Research at the School of Aviation at Lund University. He is a cognitive psychologist. I like his folk models or folk science because it fits in so well with a lot of woo, such as creationism, intelligent design, altenative medicine, psychic phenomen, etc. We are all subject to this type of characterizations he calls folk models. But his explaination is sooo helpful.

Skeptical DoDo

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