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Harvard University psychologists seek to unlock secrets of children's complex thinking

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Children taking a test.

Researchers say conceptual change is extremely difficult to achieve. When children become aware the world is round, for example, they must update their knowledge about the shape of the earth and also update the kinds of conclusions they can draw in light of this new information. The goal of this research is to uncover the cognitive processes that produce updated conclusions, or conceptual changes, in math and science.

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In this NSF Science360 radio interview, listen to Harvard professors Susan carey and Deborah Zaitchik discuss how vitalist biology--being alive or dead--helps them understand the process of building complex thought.

Credit: NSF


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Under a National Science Foundation-funded INSPIRE project, Harvard University psychologists Susan Carey and Deborah Zaitchik are studying how executive function influences the process of learning. Here, Carey discusses her interest in studying abstract knowledge.

Credit: NSF


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Under a National Science Foundation-funded INSPIRE project, Harvard University psychologists Susan Carey and Deborah Zaitchik are studying how executive function influences the process of learning. Here, Zaitchik discusses differences between populations with strong and weak executive function.

Credit: NSF


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